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Organizational Conflict and Negotiation
1

Conflict at the City of Ottawa
Conflict occurred between City of Ottawa firefighters and a diversity management instructor. They disagreed over the selection of three female firefighters and spending money on diversity training rather than other training and equipment.

P. Doyle. Ottawa Citizen

2

Conflict Defined
The process in which one party perceives that its interests are being opposed or negatively affected by another party.
P. Doyle. Ottawa Citizen

3

The Conflict Process

Conflict Perceptions Sources of Conflict Conflict Emotions Manifest Conflict Conflict Outcomes

4

Task vs. Socioemotional Conflict
• Task-related conflict
– Conflict is aimed at issue, not parties – Basis of constructive controversy – Helps recognize problems, identify solutions, and understand the issues better

• Socioemotional conflict
– Conflict viewed as a personal attack – Foundation of conflict escalation – Leads to dissatisfaction, stress, and turnover
5

Constructive Controversy in the Cockpit
At one time, co-pilots hesitated to disagree with the captain even when they saw a safety hazard. Today, cockpit resource management training encourages flight crews to engage in constructive controversy in. The result has been significantly fewer airplane disasters.

© Photodisc. With permission.

6

Organizational Conflict Outcomes
Potential benefits
– Improves decision making – Strengthens team dynamics

Dysfunctional outcomes
– – – – Diverts energy and resources Encourages organizational politics Encourages stereotyping Weakens knowledge management
© Photodisc. With permission.

7

Sources of Conflict
Goal Incompatibility Different Values and Beliefs

• Goals conflict with goals of others • Different beliefs due to unique background, experience, training • Caused by specialized tasks, careers • Explains misunderstanding in crosscultural and merger relations

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Sources of Conflict
Goal Incompatibility Different Values and Beliefs Task Interdependence

Three levels of interdependence
Pooled
A Resource B C

Sequential
A B C

Reciprocal
B

A C

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Sources of Conflict
Goal Incompatibility Different Values and Beliefs Task Interdependence Scarce Resources

Lack of opportunity

--reliance on stereotypes

• Increases competition for resources to Lack of ability fulfill goals communication heightens -- arrogant
conflict perception

Ambiguity
Communication Problems

• Lack of rules guiding relations Lack of motivation tactics • Encourages political

-- conflict causes lower motivation to communicate, increases stereotyping

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Conflict Management Styles
High

Competing

Collaborating

Assertiveness

Compromising

Avoiding
Low

Accommodating

Cooperativeness
11

High

Conflict Management Strategies
1. Emphasizing Superordinate Goals
– Emphasizing common objectives rather than conflicting sub-goals – Reduces goal incompatibility and differentiation

2. Reducing Differentiation
– Removing sources of different values and beliefs
• Generalist careers and job rotation • Common dress code and status • Common work experiences

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Managing Conflict in Drum Circles
Doug Sole leads a group of employees in Toronto in a drum circle. Drum circles encourage participants to learn how to cooperatively work together in unstructured workplaces. They also improve mutual understanding.
G. Diggens. With permission.

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3. Communication and Understanding
Employees understand and appreciate each other’s views through communication
– Informal gatherings – Formal dialogue sessions – Relationship restructuring – Drum sessions
G. Diggens. With permission.

14

Other Ways to Manage Conflict
4. Reduce Task Interdependence
– Dividing shared resources – Combine tasks – Use buffers

5. Increase Resources
– Duplicate resources

6. Clarify Rules and Procedures
– Clarify resource distribution – Change interdependence
G. Diggens. With permission.

15

Bargaining Zone Model
Your Positions
Initial Target Resistance

Area of Potential Agreement

Resistance

Target

Initial

Opponent’s Positions

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Situational Influences on Negotiation
• Location
• Physical Setting • Time Investment and Deadlines • Audience
© Corel Corp. With permission.

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Effective Negotiator Behaviours
• Plan and Set Goals • Gather Information • Communicate Effectively • Make Appropriate Concessions
© Corel Corp. With permission.

18

Third-Party Objectives

Procedural Fairness

Efficiency

Third-Party Conflict Resolution Objectives
Outcome Fairness

Effectiveness

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Types of Third Party Intervention
High

Mediation

Inquisition

Level of Process Control

Arbitration
Low

Level of Outcome Control
20

High

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