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Lecture 9

BUS 272 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Jargon, Negotiation, Rieti

Business Administration
Course Code
BUS 272
Lieketen Brummelhuis

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Conflict: a process that begins when one party perceives that another party has negatively affected or is about to negatively affect,
something that the first party cares about.
Conflict must be perceived by the parties to it. If no one is aware of a conflict, then it is generally agreed that no conflict
Also involves opposition or incompatibility, and some form of interaction between the parties
This definition has been left broad on purpose. It encompasses a wide range of conflict that people experience
Functional vs. Dysfunctional Conflict
Functional (or constructive) conflict: conflicts that support the goals of the group or improve its performance
Dysfunctional conflict: conflicts that hinder group performance
Cognitive conflict: task oriented and occurs because of differences in perspectives and judgements, can often result in identifying
potential solutions to problems.
Affective conflict: emotional and aimed at a person rather than an issue, tends to be dysfunctional conflict
There are a number of conditions that can give rise to conflict. They need not lead directly to conflict but at least one of these
conditions is necessary if conflict is to surface.
Couiatio a e soure of oflit through seati diffiulties, isuderstadigs, ad oise i the ouiatio
channels. Word connotations, jargon, insufficient exchange of information, and noise in the communicating channel are all barriers
to communication and potential antecedents to conflict. Potential for conflict increase when there is too much or too little
Can be the consequence of the requirements of the job more than personality. E.g. Sales department is constantly in conflict with
the production department. Structural variables that can lead to conflict:
Size, specialization, and composition of the group act as forces to stimulate conflict. The larger the group and the more
specialized its activities, the greater the likelihood of conflict.
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The greater the ambiguity in defining where responsibility for actions lies, the greater the potential for conflict to emerge.
Rewards systems reate oflit he o eer’s gai is at aother’s epese.
Leadership style can create conflict if managers micromanage.
The diversity of goals among groups is a major source of conflict. When groups within an organization seek diverse ends,
opportunities for conflict increase
If one group is dependent on another, opposing forces are stimulated
This includes personality, emotions, and values. Some people just tend to get into conflicts a lot.
Conflict researchers often use dual concern theory to desrie people’s oflit aageet strategies. Cosiders ho oe’s degree
of cooperativeness (the degree to which one tries to satisfy the other person’s concerns) and assertiveness (the degree to which one
tries to satisfy one’s own concerns) determine how a conflict is handled.
Choosing a particular strategy for resolving conflict depends on a variety of factors. Research shows that while people may choose
among the strategies, they have an underlying disposition to handle conflicts a certain way.
Problem solving: Requesting a face-to-face meeting to identify the problem and resolve it through open discussion
Developing overarching goals: creating a shared goal that requires both parties to work together, and motivates them to do
Smoothing: playing down differences while emphasizing common interests with the other party
Compromising: agreeing with the other party that each will give up something of value to reach an accord.
Avoidance: withdrawing from or suppressing the conflict
When conflict is specifically work-related, there are additional techniques that might be used:
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