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An expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce rewards and interference from the other party in achieving their goal
When does conflict occur?
When two or more people oppose one another because their needs, wants goals or values are different.
What emotions/feelings may accompany conflict?
Define conflict resolution?
An approach to conflict that usually involves reduction or elimination of conflict.
Define conflict management?
An approach to conflict that may or may not reduce or elimination conflict and may increase or create conflict.
List some causes of conflict?
- Scarce resources
- Faulty communication
- Perceived differences
- Biology (humans aggressive by nature (males))
List different conflict settings?
- Within individuals
- Between individuals
- Between groups
- Between organisations
- Between nations
List some types and modes of conflicts?
- Community conflict
- Diplomatic conflict
- Economic conflict
- Emotional conflict
- Environmental resources conflict
- Group conflict
- Ideological conflict
- International conflict
- Workplace conflict
- Intrapersonal conflict
- Interpersonal conflict
- Organizational conflict
- Military conflict
- Religious-based conflict
- Inter-societal conflict
- Intra-societal conflict
List some potential down sides to conflict?
- Negative emotions
- Blocked communication
- Increased negative stereotyping of opponents
- reduced coordination between people who have to work and live together
- A shift towards autocratic leadership when discussion-based decision making breaks down
- Reduced ability to view other perspectives - a breakdown in empathy and vision
List some potential positives to conflict?
- Releasing pressures and frustrations
- Clarifying thoughts and generating better solutions
- Gaining new perspectives about our side
- Defusing more serious conflict
- Increasing cohesiveness
- Challenging complacency
- Making changes
- Fighting inertia
- Appreciating differences
- Resolving intrapersonal conflicts
What are four major patterns of major conflicts in organizations and draw the diagram of it.
Vertical conflict - conflict between hierarchical levels (e.g. management levels)
Horizontal conflict - conflict between personnel working a the same hierarchical level within an organization
Staff-line conflict - conflict between people performing different types of roles (e.g line personnel (front line staff - Sales, techs, assembly-line workers) and staff personnel (supporting staff - HR, legal, IT)
Role conflict - conflict that occurs when misunderstandings arise over just what it is that a person is meant to be doing
Give some examples of what may cause conflict between the four major patterns of conflicts in an organization?
Vertical conflict - resources, goals, deadlines, performance results.
Horizontal conflict - incompatible goals, real or perceived scarcity of resources, territory, interpersonal chemistry.
Staff-line conflict - promotions and appraisals, access to computer hardware/software
Role conflict - incomplete, out of date, overlapping or non-existent, reporting to more than one manager/supervisor, conflicting requests/orders
List possible causes of conflict in organizations?
Workflow interdependence - If work flow is tightly coupled or closely interdependent, then sections benefit or suffer from other sections efficiency or inefficiencies.
Power and/or value asymmety - conflict that occurs in organizations between people of different values and/or status
Goal incompatibility - When specific goals of sections of an organization clash, even though they share the overall goal of the organization.
List the phases of a conflict spiral?
- Covert resistance (rumors, sabotage, non-cooperation)
- Overt resistance (anger, blaming, complaining, nagging/whining)
- Critical incident - an event that is, or perceived to be significant in the escalation of a conflict
- Selective perception - distorting/filtering of reality so the the conflict is polarised
- Enlisting the support of others
- Issue linkage
- Ritual or hot-button words
Describe the 5 styles of conflict handling and draw thomas and kilmann's model.
- Party's desire to satisfy own concerns
- Party's desire to satisfy others concerns
- Competing (win-loose)
- Collaborating (win-win)
- Compromising (spit the difference)
- Avoiding (loose-loose)
- Accommodating (loose-win)
What are some approaches to conflict?
- Avoidance or innaction
- Unilateral power play (strikes, physical violence, civil disobedience, scheming)
- Referral up the chain of command
- Alternate methods (Ombudsman, private judge, expert evaluation)
List some approaches to managing conflict?
- Interpersonal skills
- Gender and cultural differences
- Group dynamics
- Contact and communication
- Superordinate goals
- GRIT (Graduated and Reciprocated Initives in Tension reduction)
- Tit for Tat
- De-escalation thresholds
- New resources
- Decoupling and buffering
- Formal authority
- Mediation and mediators
What is mediation?
Involves a third party taking an active role in seeking solutions to a confict
Can be conducted informally by amateurs or formally by professionals.
What are the characteristics of a ideal mediator?
- Neutral and impartial
- Appropriately assertive
- Skilled in communication skills
- Skilled in generating options, alternatives, solving problems
- Familiar with negotiating process
- Knowledgeable about appropriate legal and procedural factors
- Comfortable with other expressing strong emotions
- Objective, supportive, non-judging, non-directive
What are some reasons for conflict cessation?
- One side overwhelms the other
- One side takes unilateral advantage of the other
- One side yields
- One side avoids conflict
- Both sides reach a stalemate
What is a stalemate and how does it occur?
Impasse, deadlock, the phase in a conflict where all parties seem unable to move towards a solution.
Each side knows the other too well and can counter any move in advance.
Resources have become exhausted
Social support is diminishing
Costs have become unacceptable
What are some situations where conflict might be needed?
A workplace situations where confrontation is unavoidable
A personal relationship where a showdown may be required to clear the air.