Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Conflict Process:

The Conflict Process:

The conflict process can be comprising (include, covering) five stages:

Potential Opposition or incompatibility
Cognition and personalization

 Stage - 1: Potential opposition or incompatibility:

  • Presence of conditions that create opportunities for conflict to arise.
  • May not lead directly to conflict but necessary source of conflict
  • These conditions (cause or source) of conflict:
    • Communication
    • Structure
    • Personal Variable
  • Communication:
    • Deepa (Supply Chain Manager at Hotel)
    • Ranjan: OK
    • Vijay: Tells something to do, done, wrong you did.
  • Structure:
    • Meera- floor sale manager (furniture store)
    • Rubina- credit manager
    • HP Printer:
    • HP goal: low cost, lightweight, compete in low-end market
    • Engineer: High quality, high cost printer
    • Including variables:
      • Size of group, specialized members
      • Jurisdiction clarity, goal compatibilities, leadership style
      • Reward system and degree of dependence between members
  •  Personal Variables:
    • Immediate dislike
    • Sound, voice, smile
    • Value system, social conflict, prejudice, dislike Bengali

Stage-2: Cognition and personalization:

  • Stage-1, negatively affect something that one party cares about, then the potential for opposition or incompatibility become actualize.
  • For conflict perception is required
  • A conflict is perceived does not mean that it is personalized.
  • A may be aware that B and A are in serious disagreement. But it may not make A tense or anxious, and it may not effect what so ever on A’s affection towards B.
  • It is at the felt level that individual becomes emotionally involved, that parties experience anxiety, tension, frustration or hostility.

Stage -3: Intentions

  • Decision to act in a given way
  • Perceptionà felt (emotions)--àAct, Behavior
  • Wrong attributing the other party’s intentions may arise conflicts
  • Even behavior does not always accurately reflect a person’s intentions.

Conflict handling intentions:
Using two dimensions:
  • Cooperativeness: the degree to which one party attempts to satisfy the other party’s concerns.
  • Assertiveness: the degree to which one party attempts to satisfy his or her own concerns.

Five Conflict handling intentions:

  1. Competing: Assertive and Uncooperative
  2. Collaborating: Assertive, cooperative
  3. Avoiding: Unassertive, uncooperative
  4. Accommodating: Unassertive, cooperative
  5. Compromising: Mid-range on both assertive and cooperative.

 Dimensions of conflict handling intentions:
  1. Competing: a desire to satisfy one’s interest, regardless of the impact on the other party to the conflict.
  2. Collaboration: a situation in which the parties to a conflict each desire to satisfy fully the concerns of all parties.
  3. Avoiding: the desire to withdraw from or suppress a conflict.
  4. Accommodating: the willingness of one party in a conflict to place the opponent’s interests above his or her own.
  5. Compromising: a situation in which each party to conflict is willing to give-up something.

Stage-4: Behavior:

  • Conflict becomes visible.
  • The behavior stage includes the statements, actions and reactions made by conflicting parties.
  • One party’s behavior.
  • Other party’s reactions.

Conflict intensity continuum:

 Conflict Management:

The use of resolution and Stimulation techniques to achieve the desired level of conflict.
Conflict Management Techniques:
  1. Problem solving
  2. Superordinate goals
  3. Expansion of resources
  4. Avoidance
  5. Smoothing
  6. Compromising
  7. Authoritive Command
  8. Altering the human variable
  9. Altering the structural variables
  10. Communication
  11. Bringing in Outsiders
  12. Restructuring the organization
  13. Appointing a devil’s advocate

Stage -5: Outcomes:

  • Outcome may be functional or dysfunctional

Functional: conflict results in an improvement in the group performance.
Dysfunctional: it hinders group performance.
Functional Outcomes from Conflict
  • Increased group performance
  • Improved quality of decisions
  • Stimulation of creativity and innovation
  • Encouragement of interest and curiosity
  • Provision of a medium for problem-solving
  • Creation of an environment for self-evaluation and change

Creating Functional Conflict
  • Reward dissent and punish conflict avoiders

Dysfunctional Outcomes from Conflict
  • Development of discontent (dissatisfaction, displeasure)
  • Reduced group effectiveness
  • Retarded(slow, underdeveloped) communication
  • Reduced group cohesiveness
  • Infighting among group members overcomes group goals

(Ref: Organizational Behavior- S.P.Robbins)

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