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Conflict and Negotiation in Organizations

Chapter Learning Objectives

Define and discuss the nature of conflict in organizations. Identify and describe the common forms and causes of conflict Discuss the most frequent reactions to conflict in organizations.

Describe how conflict can be managed.

Define negotiation in organizations and discuss its underlying processes

The Nature of Conflict in Organizations


A process resulting in the perceptions of two parties that they are working in opposition to each other in ways that result in feelings of discomfort and/or animosity

Figure 15.1 Conflict

The Nature of Organizational

Common Forms of Conflict

Task Conflict

Process Conflict

Relationship Conflict

Legal Conflict

Interpersonal Conflict

Common Causes of Conflict

Interpersonal Conflict
Conflict between Organization and Environment

Causes of Conflict

Intergroup Conflict

Task Interdependence

Task Interdependence
Types of Task Interdependence

Pooled Interdependence

Sequential Interdependence

Reciprocal Interdependence

Common Reactions to Conflict






Figure 15.2 Conflict

Five Types of Reactions to

Reference: Adapted from Kenneth Thomas, Conflict and Conflict Management, in Marvin Dunnette (ed.), Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1976), pp. 889935. Reprinted by permission.

Reactions to Conflict
Reactions to conflict can be differentiated by:

Importance of each partys goals to that party

Compatibility of each partys goals to the goals of the other party


Managing Conflict

Managers must know:

When to stimulate and when to resolve conflict in order to avoid potentially disruptive effects That both too little and too much conflict can be dysfunctional

Digital Vision at Getty Images


Managing Conflict (contd)

Stimulating Conflict

The creation and constructive use of conflict by a manager A managed effort to reduce or eliminate harmful conflict
The goal of the overall organization which is more important to the well-being of the organization and its members than the more 12 specific goals of the conflicting parties

Conflict Resolution

Superordinate Goal

Conflict Management Alternatives


Managing Conflict (contd)

Using Structure to Manage Conflict

The Managerial Hierarchy

Rules and Procedures

Liaison Roles

Task Forces


Managing Conflict (contd)

Team Building

Survey Feedback

Interpersonal Techniques to Manage Conflict

Third-Party Peacemaking

Negotiated Conflict Management


The process in which two or more parties (people or groups) reach agreement on an issue even though they have different preferences regarding that issue
Individual Differences

Negotiation in Organizations

Situational Characteristics

Approaches to Negotiations
Game Theory

Cognitive Approaches

Negotiation in Organizations (contd)

Approaches to Negotiations

Situational Characteristics

The context within which negotiation takes place

Types of communication between negotiators

Potential outcomes of the negotiation Relative power of the parties

Time frame available for negotiation

Number of people representing each side Presence of other parties

Negotiation in Organizations (contd)

Approaches to Negotiation (contd)

Game Theory

Uses mathematical models to predict the outcome of negotiation situations Assumes that negotiators are always rational

Cognitive Approaches

Recognize that negotiators often depart from perfect rationality during negotiation
Try to predict how and when negotiators will make 18 these departures

Negotiation in Organizations (contd)

Win-Win Negotiation

The PRAM Model

Proper planning Building relationships Getting agreements

Maintaining relationships


Figure 15.4

The PRAM Model of Negotiation

Reference: Reprinted from Brian G. Long, Ph.D., and Ross R. Reck, Ph.D., The Win-Win Negotiator: How to Negotiate Favorable Agreements That Last. Copyright 1985, 1987 by Brian G. Long and Ross R. Reck. Reprinted with permission of Ross R. Reck, Ph.D.