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Lecture 2

CMN 4131 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Cognitive Dissonance, Neutral Party, Decision-Making


Department
Communication
Course Code
CMN 4131
Professor
Sherry Ferguson
Lecture
2

This preview shows pages 1-3. to view the full 9 pages of the document.
Understanding Conflict:
Types of Conflict, Variables Influencing Conflict, Reasons for Conflict, and
Obstacles to Resolution
John Keltner - The Struggle Spectrum
According to John Keltner, conflict occurs on a continuum, and the
chances for peaceful resolution diminish as you move along the
continuum from expression of mild differences to violence. Third party
interventions have a good chance of success at some stages, but not at
others
According to Keltner, peace does not imply the absence of struggle.
Struggle is part of the human condition. Rather peace implies the
management of affairs, including the whole range of struggle, in such a
way that there is not destruction of the human condition and potential.
Failure to manage struggle ultimately results in war - involving individuals
or societies
Stage 1 of Struggle Spectrum: Expression of Mild Difference
Parties have varying goals, practices, preferences, or time commitments.
Nonetheless . . . .
Parties deal with each other in a friendly and cooperative way
Parties show respect for each other’s point of view
Parties openly share their interests and needs
Parties seek mutually agreeable position
No firm positions are taken
Parties engage in joint problem solving
Implications for resolution:
Parties engage in joint decision making; they may resolve the issues on their
own. There is no need for third-party intervention.
Stage 2 of Struggle Spectrum: Negotiation Phase
Mild differences become more pronounced and signs of polarization
become obvious to parties involved and to others
Statements become more guarded, with parties presenting conditions to
the other party
Both parties begin to select positions and formulate and present
persuasive statements in support of their choices.
Each party begins to try to get concessions from the other party
Parties continue to seek a solution that is mutually satisfying to
themselves and their rivals
Goals remain mutually inclusive, attitudes remain basically conciliatory,
and consensus is still possible
Implications for resolution:
Because polarization is not yet. Intense and parties still want to find a mutually
agreeable solution, a third party such as a mediator can be useful at this point.
Stage 3 of Struggle Spectrum: Bargaining Phase
Arguments become more heated
Parties engage in “hard negotiations” or bargaining
Parties hurl accusations at each other and become defensive in their
responses to the other party
Parties “dig in” to their positions, becoming intractable
Parties begin to mix persuasive efforts with threats, proposals, counter
proposals, and “horse trading.”
Parties drag unrelated “gunnysack” issues into the conflict
The argument becomes a win-lose situation, with goals becoming
mutually exclusive
Outsiders may try to influence the dispute by insisting that parties follow
some rules of behaviour in their attacks on each other.
Implications for resolution:
Parties may submit to formal rule-controlled interactions. There is still a place
for a neutral party such as a mediator at this stage.
Stage 4 of Struggle Spectrum: Campaign Stage
The dispute goes “public”, and parties attempt to involve more people in
the dispute
In an effort to garner support for their position, parties may direct their
messages more often to other people than to the opposition
Parties to the dispute make increasing use of the mass and social media
(e.g., newspapers, radio, TV, pamphlets, brochures, signs) and other
media for reaching the public (mass or small meetings)
Parties may engage in house-to-house solicitation
Parties talk more often to other people than to each other when they
appear together in public
Parties plan their messages carefully; the messages are often antagonistic
Parties listen to each other only to the degree that they can find faults
and errors in what their opponent is saying
Parties attempt to destroy the others’ credibility: e.g., to cast doubt on
the ethics or honesty of the other person
Goals have become highly exclusive in nature, and joint decision making is
no longer a goal
Communication is almost totally blocked.
Implications for resolution:
Resolution of the conflict at this stage may depend on pressure by others drawn
into the dispute (e.g., pressure by family members or friends or legal
imperatives). Informal third party arbitration is possible but difficult
Stage 4 of Struggle Spectrum: Litigation
Disputes go before the courts, and judges and juries decide the outcome
Parties have little or no choice in the selection of the court or jurisdiction
that will hear the dispute, unlike arbitration where the parties mutually
select the arbitrator
Parties use advocacy, formal argument, debate, and persuasion
Witnesses come forward to testify in favor of or against the principles in
the dispute
Parties follow legal rules of evidence and submit to a prescribed order of
events
Representatives act on behalf of the parties
The behaviours of the parties are antagonistic toward each other
The win-lose dynamic is at its most intense level
The parties rarely talk or communicate directly with each other
Parties present their positions so that they will look better than the other
person
Parties cover up many facts to avoid jeopardizing their position
Parties are more interested in getting their positions accepted than in
solving the problem
“Hired guns” conduct the communication
Implications for resolution:
Decision making is out of the hands of the parties involved in the dispute
Stage 6 of Struggle Spectrum: Violence
Parties view each other as enemies, and the goal is to destroy the enemy
Parties may use weapons at this stage of the conflict
Parties aim to eliminate each other or reduce each other’s capacities to
extent that they cannot respond or prevail in dispute
Parties will “lose face” if they abandon stated goals
Parties perceive their goals as mutually irreconcilable
Parties communicate with each other by taking actions: e.g., physically
attacking the other party or setting up a trade blockade that causes
famine or other dire consequence.
Implications for resolution:
The parties may eventually reconsider their position if the costs become too
great or it becomes clear that neither party can win the conflict. The impetus for
resolution sometimes comes from third parties.
Positive Outcomes of Conflict: Opportunities for Growth and Learning
Growth in problem-solving abilities
Growth in social abilities
Higher quality solutions
More creative solutions
Increased cohesion among groups who unite in process of struggle
Better personal relations after we have had a conflict and resolved it
Keltner says that peace does not mean the absence of struggle. It only means
"the management of affairs, including the whole range of a struggle, in such a
way that there is not destruction of the human condition and potential"
Types of Conflict -
Intrapersonal:
Cognitive dissonance, internal conflict where we are undecided on how to
respond or behave in a situation, can precede eruption of conflict with others
Interpersonal:
Disagreements or conflicts within families, work teams, or social groups (e.g.,
between managers and subordinates, spouses, siblings, or roommates)
Intergroup:
Conflict between nations, cultures, organizations (e.g., unions and
management), or other collections of people
Variables Influencing Conflict
Personal
Situational
Cultural
Reasons for Conflict: Unmet Needs, Goals, and Expectations
Maslow's hierarchy of needs:
Physiological, safety or security, socio-emotional, self-esteem, self-actualization
Example:
Wife who expects more communication from her husband. He prefers to watch
football game to talking with her. Failure to meet socio-emotional needs of wife.
Example:
Poor air quality in building. Workers protest their safety needs are not being
met
Reasons for Conflict: Interference from Others
Example:
Someone jumps ahead of you in a line, and you don't get a ticket to a game
Example:
Someone takes the parking spot for which you have been waiting
Example:
Someone keeps interrupting when you are trying to explain your position
Reasons for Conflict: Differences in Opinions, Values, and Beliefs
Example:
One likes to spend money on clothes or entertainment; the other likes to save
for the future
Example:
Conservatives and liberals disagree on how to deal with debts and deficits
Reasons for Conflict: Lack of Agreement on Goals or How to Achieve Goals
Example with workplace:
Priorities often differ for those at top and bottom of organizations.
Management wants to make lots of money. Workers want quality of life. To
make lots of money, management expects overtime. Employees want weekends
and evenings to spend with family.
Example with relationship.
The major goal of one partner is to have a successful career; to the other, career
is secondary to children and family.
Example with social interactions.
One wants to play card game like bridge or sport like soccer for fun. Another
takes the game very seriously and expects winning performances.
Reasons for Conflict: Issues Related to Power and Control
Exercise of what is perceived as unreasonable level of control, often in
institutional settings but sometimes also in personal settings; sometimes one
party feels as if they have lost control of his/her life
Example:
Supervisor who makes unreasonable demands on employees
Example:
Wife who demands that husband give up his night out with friends
Example:
Husband who demands that wife dress in a particular way.
Reasons for Conflict: Interdependence
Sometimes, our fates are intertwined with fates of others over whom we have
no control, which can be angering and frustrating. The greater the
interdependence of people, the greater the potential for conflict.
Example:
Couples who are financially interdependent and one is unable to hold a steady
job
Example:
Children living in parents’ home
Example:
Classmates working on project where all will get same grade
Reasons for Conflict: Stressful and Anxious Situations with Time Demands
Example:
Have to meet unrealistic deadline for accomplishing work; someone makes a
mistake that thwarts the process
Example:
Someone interferes with your ability to concentrate on an important task; you
can’t focus
Reasons for Conflict: Competitive Situations with Mutually Exclusive Goals (Win-
Lose Dynamics)
Zero-sum game (only one party can win)
Example:
Rugby or soccer. Related to concept of scarce and un-distributable resources,
which follows
Reasons for Conflict: Scarce and Un-Distributable Resources
Example:
One room that both roommates prefer
Example:
Only one first place. My success requires your failure
Example:
Only enough money for one person to take trip or get promotion
Reasons for Conflict: Cultural Differences
Misunderstandings related to language, dress, rituals and habits, religion,
nonverbal symbols. Lecture on cultural differences to follow later in term
(relevant to negotiation and mediation)
Obstacle #1 to Problem Solving: Parties have different info & facts
One person knows real reason for some action; the other does not have all the
facts. The second person makes a demand that cannot be met by other person,
given knowledge of bigger picture
Example:
Jeremy is supposed to go to the concert with Nancy. He cancels at the last
minute because he learns that his brother has been arrested for drinking and
driving, and he has to bail him out. He doesn’t want to share the info with
Nancy.
Nancy suspects Jeremy might have made other plans or just be too tired after
working a night shift. She paid a lot of money for the tickets, and she demands
that he keep the engagement.
Obstacle #2 to Problem Solving: Parties assess different information in different
ways
Both parties know all the facts, but they disagree on the causes, the likely
outcome, or solutions.
Example 1:
Nancy knows that Jeremy is canceling the concert because he has to bail his
brother out of jail. But she thinks this has become a pattern, and she doesn’t
think Jeremy should assume so much responsibility for his brother. She thinks
he is hurting his brother, not helping him, when he always bails him out of bad
situations. Jeremy has always taken care of his brother, as their parents died
when they were young. So he feels a great sense of responsibility. Also he
knows that his brother tried to get a ride home that night, but he couldn’t find
anyone who could help him and he had no money for a taxi.
Example 2:
Health care. Everyone agrees that health care system is in bad shape. Waiting
lists too long. Drugs unaffordable for some people. Emergency room waits too
long. Not enough doctors & nurses. But PM, provincial ministers, medical
establishment, & others may disagree on the reasons, what will happen if
nothing happens, and how to improve the situation
Obstacle #3 to Problem Solving: Parties have different levels of motivation to
settle the conflict
One party may benefit from delaying a resolution or may not care whether
conflict is resolved because they prefer present situation.
Example 1:
Elisha does not want to divorce her partner. She is afraid he is going to remarry
as soon as they divorce. So she finds as many excuses as possible to put off the
proceedings.
Example 2:
Employer delays negotiations, waiting for wage freeze.
Example 3:
One person has custody of children at moment, does not feel urgency to go to
court where they might lose rights.
Example 4:
Republicans contest every action taken by Obama or the Democratic members
of the House or Senate.
Obstacle #4 to Problem Solving: Parties have emotional reactions that outweigh
logic
Parties in conflict may want the other to feel bad and to suffer even if there is
no personal benefit and the outcome is detrimental to both parties.
Example:
A couple is involved in a divorce. The husband does not want to pay spousal
support, and he thinks his wife is asking too much for child support. Both have
hired lawyers to represent them. The longer the dispute continues without
resolution, the more they will pay the lawyers and the less they will have for
themselves. If the dispute continues long enough, they will probably lose more
than they gain; however, emotions play a role in their lack of willingness to
continue the dispute
Lecture 2: January 18
Thursday, January 18, 2018
2:35 PM

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Understanding Conflict:
Types of Conflict, Variables Influencing Conflict, Reasons for Conflict, and
Obstacles to Resolution
John Keltner - The Struggle Spectrum
According to John Keltner, conflict occurs on a continuum, and the
chances for peaceful resolution diminish as you move along the
continuum from expression of mild differences to violence. Third party
interventions have a good chance of success at some stages, but not at
others
According to Keltner, peace does not imply the absence of struggle.
Struggle is part of the human condition. Rather peace implies the
management of affairs, including the whole range of struggle, in such a
way that there is not destruction of the human condition and potential.
Failure to manage struggle ultimately results in war - involving individuals
or societies
Stage 1 of Struggle Spectrum: Expression of Mild Difference
Parties have varying goals, practices, preferences, or time commitments.
Nonetheless . . . .
Parties deal with each other in a friendly and cooperative way
Parties show respect for each other’s point of view
Parties openly share their interests and needs
Parties seek mutually agreeable position
No firm positions are taken
Parties engage in joint problem solving
Implications for resolution:
Parties engage in joint decision making; they may resolve the issues on their
own. There is no need for third-party intervention.
Stage 2 of Struggle Spectrum: Negotiation Phase
Mild differences become more pronounced and signs of polarization
become obvious to parties involved and to others
Statements become more guarded, with parties presenting conditions to
the other party
Both parties begin to select positions and formulate and present
persuasive statements in support of their choices.
Each party begins to try to get concessions from the other party
Parties continue to seek a solution that is mutually satisfying to
themselves and their rivals
Goals remain mutually inclusive, attitudes remain basically conciliatory,
and consensus is still possible
Implications for resolution:
Because polarization is not yet. Intense and parties still want to find a mutually
agreeable solution, a third party such as a mediator can be useful at this point.
Stage 3 of Struggle Spectrum: Bargaining Phase
Arguments become more heated
Parties engage in “hard negotiations” or bargaining
Parties hurl accusations at each other and become defensive in their
responses to the other party
Parties “dig in” to their positions, becoming intractable
Parties begin to mix persuasive efforts with threats, proposals, counter
proposals, and “horse trading.”
Parties drag unrelated “gunnysack” issues into the conflict
The argument becomes a win-lose situation, with goals becoming
mutually exclusive
Outsiders may try to influence the dispute by insisting that parties follow
some rules of behaviour in their attacks on each other.
Implications for resolution:
Parties may submit to formal rule-controlled interactions. There is still a place
for a neutral party such as a mediator at this stage.
Stage 4 of Struggle Spectrum: Campaign Stage
The dispute goes “public”, and parties attempt to involve more people in
the dispute
In an effort to garner support for their position, parties may direct their
messages more often to other people than to the opposition
Parties to the dispute make increasing use of the mass and social media
(e.g., newspapers, radio, TV, pamphlets, brochures, signs) and other
media for reaching the public (mass or small meetings)
Parties may engage in house-to-house solicitation
Parties talk more often to other people than to each other when they
appear together in public
Parties plan their messages carefully; the messages are often antagonistic
Parties listen to each other only to the degree that they can find faults
and errors in what their opponent is saying
Parties attempt to destroy the others’ credibility: e.g., to cast doubt on
the ethics or honesty of the other person
Goals have become highly exclusive in nature, and joint decision making is
no longer a goal
Communication is almost totally blocked.
Implications for resolution:
Resolution of the conflict at this stage may depend on pressure by others drawn
into the dispute (e.g., pressure by family members or friends or legal
imperatives). Informal third party arbitration is possible but difficult
Stage 4 of Struggle Spectrum: Litigation
Disputes go before the courts, and judges and juries decide the outcome
Parties have little or no choice in the selection of the court or jurisdiction
that will hear the dispute, unlike arbitration where the parties mutually
select the arbitrator
Parties use advocacy, formal argument, debate, and persuasion
Witnesses come forward to testify in favor of or against the principles in
the dispute
Parties follow legal rules of evidence and submit to a prescribed order of
events
Representatives act on behalf of the parties
The behaviours of the parties are antagonistic toward each other
The win-lose dynamic is at its most intense level
The parties rarely talk or communicate directly with each other
Parties present their positions so that they will look better than the other
person
Parties cover up many facts to avoid jeopardizing their position
Parties are more interested in getting their positions accepted than in
solving the problem
“Hired guns” conduct the communication
Implications for resolution:
Decision making is out of the hands of the parties involved in the dispute
Stage 6 of Struggle Spectrum: Violence
Parties view each other as enemies, and the goal is to destroy the enemy
Parties may use weapons at this stage of the conflict
Parties aim to eliminate each other or reduce each other’s capacities to
extent that they cannot respond or prevail in dispute
Parties will “lose face” if they abandon stated goals
Parties perceive their goals as mutually irreconcilable
Parties communicate with each other by taking actions: e.g., physically
attacking the other party or setting up a trade blockade that causes
famine or other dire consequence.
Implications for resolution:
The parties may eventually reconsider their position if the costs become too
great or it becomes clear that neither party can win the conflict. The impetus for
resolution sometimes comes from third parties.
Positive Outcomes of Conflict: Opportunities for Growth and Learning
Growth in problem-solving abilities
Growth in social abilities
Higher quality solutions
More creative solutions
Increased cohesion among groups who unite in process of struggle
Better personal relations after we have had a conflict and resolved it
Keltner says that peace does not mean the absence of struggle. It only means
"the management of affairs, including the whole range of a struggle, in such a
way that there is not destruction of the human condition and potential"
Types of Conflict -
Intrapersonal:
Cognitive dissonance, internal conflict where we are undecided on how to
respond or behave in a situation, can precede eruption of conflict with others
Interpersonal:
Disagreements or conflicts within families, work teams, or social groups (e.g.,
between managers and subordinates, spouses, siblings, or roommates)
Intergroup:
Conflict between nations, cultures, organizations (e.g., unions and
management), or other collections of people
Variables Influencing Conflict
Personal
Situational
Cultural
Reasons for Conflict: Unmet Needs, Goals, and Expectations
Maslow's hierarchy of needs:
Physiological, safety or security, socio-emotional, self-esteem, self-actualization
Example:
Wife who expects more communication from her husband. He prefers to watch
football game to talking with her. Failure to meet socio-emotional needs of wife.
Example:
Poor air quality in building. Workers protest their safety needs are not being
met
Reasons for Conflict: Interference from Others
Example:
Someone jumps ahead of you in a line, and you don't get a ticket to a game
Example:
Someone takes the parking spot for which you have been waiting
Example:
Someone keeps interrupting when you are trying to explain your position
Reasons for Conflict: Differences in Opinions, Values, and Beliefs
Example:
One likes to spend money on clothes or entertainment; the other likes to save
for the future
Example:
Conservatives and liberals disagree on how to deal with debts and deficits
Reasons for Conflict: Lack of Agreement on Goals or How to Achieve Goals
Example with workplace:
Priorities often differ for those at top and bottom of organizations.
Management wants to make lots of money. Workers want quality of life. To
make lots of money, management expects overtime. Employees want weekends
and evenings to spend with family.
Example with relationship.
The major goal of one partner is to have a successful career; to the other, career
is secondary to children and family.
Example with social interactions.
One wants to play card game like bridge or sport like soccer for fun. Another
takes the game very seriously and expects winning performances.
Reasons for Conflict: Issues Related to Power and Control
Exercise of what is perceived as unreasonable level of control, often in
institutional settings but sometimes also in personal settings; sometimes one
party feels as if they have lost control of his/her life
Example:
Supervisor who makes unreasonable demands on employees
Example:
Wife who demands that husband give up his night out with friends
Example:
Husband who demands that wife dress in a particular way.
Reasons for Conflict: Interdependence
Sometimes, our fates are intertwined with fates of others over whom we have
no control, which can be angering and frustrating. The greater the
interdependence of people, the greater the potential for conflict.
Example:
Couples who are financially interdependent and one is unable to hold a steady
job
Example:
Children living in parents’ home
Example:
Classmates working on project where all will get same grade
Reasons for Conflict: Stressful and Anxious Situations with Time Demands
Example:
Have to meet unrealistic deadline for accomplishing work; someone makes a
mistake that thwarts the process
Example:
Someone interferes with your ability to concentrate on an important task; you
can’t focus
Reasons for Conflict: Competitive Situations with Mutually Exclusive Goals (Win-
Lose Dynamics)
Zero-sum game (only one party can win)
Example:
Rugby or soccer. Related to concept of scarce and un-distributable resources,
which follows
Reasons for Conflict: Scarce and Un-Distributable Resources
Example:
One room that both roommates prefer
Example:
Only one first place. My success requires your failure
Example:
Only enough money for one person to take trip or get promotion
Reasons for Conflict: Cultural Differences
Misunderstandings related to language, dress, rituals and habits, religion,
nonverbal symbols. Lecture on cultural differences to follow later in term
(relevant to negotiation and mediation)
Obstacle #1 to Problem Solving: Parties have different info & facts
One person knows real reason for some action; the other does not have all the
facts. The second person makes a demand that cannot be met by other person,
given knowledge of bigger picture
Example:
Jeremy is supposed to go to the concert with Nancy. He cancels at the last
minute because he learns that his brother has been arrested for drinking and
driving, and he has to bail him out. He doesn’t want to share the info with
Nancy.
Nancy suspects Jeremy might have made other plans or just be too tired after
working a night shift. She paid a lot of money for the tickets, and she demands
that he keep the engagement.
Obstacle #2 to Problem Solving: Parties assess different information in different
ways
Both parties know all the facts, but they disagree on the causes, the likely
outcome, or solutions.
Example 1:
Nancy knows that Jeremy is canceling the concert because he has to bail his
brother out of jail. But she thinks this has become a pattern, and she doesn’t
think Jeremy should assume so much responsibility for his brother. She thinks
he is hurting his brother, not helping him, when he always bails him out of bad
situations. Jeremy has always taken care of his brother, as their parents died
when they were young. So he feels a great sense of responsibility. Also he
knows that his brother tried to get a ride home that night, but he couldn’t find
anyone who could help him and he had no money for a taxi.
Example 2:
Health care. Everyone agrees that health care system is in bad shape. Waiting
lists too long. Drugs unaffordable for some people. Emergency room waits too
long. Not enough doctors & nurses. But PM, provincial ministers, medical
establishment, & others may disagree on the reasons, what will happen if
nothing happens, and how to improve the situation
Obstacle #3 to Problem Solving: Parties have different levels of motivation to
settle the conflict
One party may benefit from delaying a resolution or may not care whether
conflict is resolved because they prefer present situation.
Example 1:
Elisha does not want to divorce her partner. She is afraid he is going to remarry
as soon as they divorce. So she finds as many excuses as possible to put off the
proceedings.
Example 2:
Employer delays negotiations, waiting for wage freeze.
Example 3:
One person has custody of children at moment, does not feel urgency to go to
court where they might lose rights.
Example 4:
Republicans contest every action taken by Obama or the Democratic members
of the House or Senate.
Obstacle #4 to Problem Solving: Parties have emotional reactions that outweigh
logic
Parties in conflict may want the other to feel bad and to suffer even if there is
no personal benefit and the outcome is detrimental to both parties.
Example:
A couple is involved in a divorce. The husband does not want to pay spousal
support, and he thinks his wife is asking too much for child support. Both have
hired lawyers to represent them. The longer the dispute continues without
resolution, the more they will pay the lawyers and the less they will have for
themselves. If the dispute continues long enough, they will probably lose more
than they gain; however, emotions play a role in their lack of willingness to
continue the dispute
Lecture 2: January 18
Thursday, January 18, 2018 2:35 PM

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Understanding Conflict:
Types of Conflict, Variables Influencing Conflict, Reasons for Conflict, and
Obstacles to Resolution
John Keltner - The Struggle Spectrum
According to John Keltner, conflict occurs on a continuum, and the
chances for peaceful resolution diminish as you move along the
continuum from expression of mild differences to violence. Third party
interventions have a good chance of success at some stages, but not at
others
According to Keltner, peace does not imply the absence of struggle.
Struggle is part of the human condition. Rather peace implies the
management of affairs, including the whole range of struggle, in such a
way that there is not destruction of the human condition and potential.
Failure to manage struggle ultimately results in war - involving individuals
or societies
Stage 1 of Struggle Spectrum: Expression of Mild Difference
Parties have varying goals, practices, preferences, or time commitments.
Nonetheless . . . .
Parties deal with each other in a friendly and cooperative way
Parties show respect for each other’s point of view
Parties openly share their interests and needs
Parties seek mutually agreeable position
No firm positions are taken
Parties engage in joint problem solving
Implications for resolution:
Parties engage in joint decision making; they may resolve the issues on their
own. There is no need for third-party intervention.
Stage 2 of Struggle Spectrum: Negotiation Phase
Mild differences become more pronounced and signs of polarization
become obvious to parties involved and to others
Statements become more guarded, with parties presenting conditions to
the other party
Both parties begin to select positions and formulate and present
persuasive statements in support of their choices.
Each party begins to try to get concessions from the other party
Parties continue to seek a solution that is mutually satisfying to
themselves and their rivals
Goals remain mutually inclusive, attitudes remain basically conciliatory,
and consensus is still possible
Implications for resolution:
Because polarization is not yet. Intense and parties still want to find a mutually
agreeable solution, a third party such as a mediator can be useful at this point.
Stage 3 of Struggle Spectrum: Bargaining Phase
Arguments become more heated
Parties engage in “hard negotiations” or bargaining
Parties hurl accusations at each other and become defensive in their
responses to the other party
Parties “dig in” to their positions, becoming intractable
Parties begin to mix persuasive efforts with threats, proposals, counter
proposals, and “horse trading.”
Parties drag unrelated “gunnysack” issues into the conflict
The argument becomes a win-lose situation, with goals becoming
mutually exclusive
Outsiders may try to influence the dispute by insisting that parties follow
some rules of behaviour in their attacks on each other.
Implications for resolution:
Parties may submit to formal rule-controlled interactions. There is still a place
for a neutral party such as a mediator at this stage.
Stage 4 of Struggle Spectrum: Campaign Stage
The dispute goes “public”, and parties attempt to involve more people in
the dispute
In an effort to garner support for their position, parties may direct their
messages more often to other people than to the opposition
Parties to the dispute make increasing use of the mass and social media
(e.g., newspapers, radio, TV, pamphlets, brochures, signs) and other
media for reaching the public (mass or small meetings)
Parties may engage in house-to-house solicitation
Parties talk more often to other people than to each other when they
appear together in public
Parties plan their messages carefully; the messages are often antagonistic
Parties listen to each other only to the degree that they can find faults
and errors in what their opponent is saying
Parties attempt to destroy the others’ credibility: e.g., to cast doubt on
the ethics or honesty of the other person
Goals have become highly exclusive in nature, and joint decision making is
no longer a goal
Communication is almost totally blocked.
Implications for resolution:
Resolution of the conflict at this stage may depend on pressure by others drawn
into the dispute (e.g., pressure by family members or friends or legal
imperatives). Informal third party arbitration is possible but difficult
Stage 4 of Struggle Spectrum: Litigation
Disputes go before the courts, and judges and juries decide the outcome
Parties have little or no choice in the selection of the court or jurisdiction
that will hear the dispute, unlike arbitration where the parties mutually
select the arbitrator
Parties use advocacy, formal argument, debate, and persuasion
Witnesses come forward to testify in favor of or against the principles in
the dispute
Parties follow legal rules of evidence and submit to a prescribed order of
events
Representatives act on behalf of the parties
The behaviours of the parties are antagonistic toward each other
The win-lose dynamic is at its most intense level
The parties rarely talk or communicate directly with each other
Parties present their positions so that they will look better than the other
person
Parties cover up many facts to avoid jeopardizing their position
Parties are more interested in getting their positions accepted than in
solving the problem
“Hired guns” conduct the communication
Implications for resolution:
Decision making is out of the hands of the parties involved in the dispute
Stage 6 of Struggle Spectrum: Violence
Parties view each other as enemies, and the goal is to destroy the enemy
Parties may use weapons at this stage of the conflict
Parties aim to eliminate each other or reduce each other’s capacities to
extent that they cannot respond or prevail in dispute
Parties will “lose face” if they abandon stated goals
Parties perceive their goals as mutually irreconcilable
Parties communicate with each other by taking actions: e.g., physically
attacking the other party or setting up a trade blockade that causes
famine or other dire consequence.
Implications for resolution:
The parties may eventually reconsider their position if the costs become too
great or it becomes clear that neither party can win the conflict. The impetus for
resolution sometimes comes from third parties.
Positive Outcomes of Conflict: Opportunities for Growth and Learning
Growth in problem-solving abilities
Growth in social abilities
Higher quality solutions
More creative solutions
Increased cohesion among groups who unite in process of struggle
Better personal relations after we have had a conflict and resolved it
Keltner says that peace does not mean the absence of struggle. It only means
"the management of affairs, including the whole range of a struggle, in such a
way that there is not destruction of the human condition and potential"
Types of Conflict -
Intrapersonal:
Cognitive dissonance, internal conflict where we are undecided on how to
respond or behave in a situation, can precede eruption of conflict with others
Interpersonal:
Disagreements or conflicts within families, work teams, or social groups (e.g.,
between managers and subordinates, spouses, siblings, or roommates)
Intergroup:
Conflict between nations, cultures, organizations (e.g., unions and
management), or other collections of people
Variables Influencing Conflict
Personal
Situational
Cultural
Reasons for Conflict: Unmet Needs, Goals, and Expectations
Maslow's hierarchy of needs:
Physiological, safety or security, socio-emotional, self-esteem, self-actualization
Example:
Wife who expects more communication from her husband. He prefers to watch
football game to talking with her. Failure to meet socio-emotional needs of wife.
Example:
Poor air quality in building. Workers protest their safety needs are not being
met
Reasons for Conflict: Interference from Others
Example:
Someone jumps ahead of you in a line, and you don't get a ticket to a game
Example:
Someone takes the parking spot for which you have been waiting
Example:
Someone keeps interrupting when you are trying to explain your position
Reasons for Conflict: Differences in Opinions, Values, and Beliefs
Example:
One likes to spend money on clothes or entertainment; the other likes to save
for the future
Example:
Conservatives and liberals disagree on how to deal with debts and deficits
Reasons for Conflict: Lack of Agreement on Goals or How to Achieve Goals
Example with workplace:
Priorities often differ for those at top and bottom of organizations.
Management wants to make lots of money. Workers want quality of life. To
make lots of money, management expects overtime. Employees want weekends
and evenings to spend with family.
Example with relationship.
The major goal of one partner is to have a successful career; to the other, career
is secondary to children and family.
Example with social interactions.
One wants to play card game like bridge or sport like soccer for fun. Another
takes the game very seriously and expects winning performances.
Reasons for Conflict: Issues Related to Power and Control
Exercise of what is perceived as unreasonable level of control, often in
institutional settings but sometimes also in personal settings; sometimes one
party feels as if they have lost control of his/her life
Example:
Supervisor who makes unreasonable demands on employees
Example:
Wife who demands that husband give up his night out with friends
Example:
Husband who demands that wife dress in a particular way.
Reasons for Conflict: Interdependence
Sometimes, our fates are intertwined with fates of others over whom we have
no control, which can be angering and frustrating. The greater the
interdependence of people, the greater the potential for conflict.
Example:
Couples who are financially interdependent and one is unable to hold a steady
job
Example:
Children living in parents’ home
Example:
Classmates working on project where all will get same grade
Reasons for Conflict: Stressful and Anxious Situations with Time Demands
Example:
Have to meet unrealistic deadline for accomplishing work; someone makes a
mistake that thwarts the process
Example:
Someone interferes with your ability to concentrate on an important task; you
can’t focus
Reasons for Conflict: Competitive Situations with Mutually Exclusive Goals (Win-
Lose Dynamics)
Zero-sum game (only one party can win)
Example:
Rugby or soccer. Related to concept of scarce and un-distributable resources,
which follows
Reasons for Conflict: Scarce and Un-Distributable Resources
Example:
One room that both roommates prefer
Example:
Only one first place. My success requires your failure
Example:
Only enough money for one person to take trip or get promotion
Reasons for Conflict: Cultural Differences
Misunderstandings related to language, dress, rituals and habits, religion,
nonverbal symbols. Lecture on cultural differences to follow later in term
(relevant to negotiation and mediation)
Obstacle #1 to Problem Solving: Parties have different info & facts
One person knows real reason for some action; the other does not have all the
facts. The second person makes a demand that cannot be met by other person,
given knowledge of bigger picture
Example:
Jeremy is supposed to go to the concert with Nancy. He cancels at the last
minute because he learns that his brother has been arrested for drinking and
driving, and he has to bail him out. He doesn’t want to share the info with
Nancy.
Nancy suspects Jeremy might have made other plans or just be too tired after
working a night shift. She paid a lot of money for the tickets, and she demands
that he keep the engagement.
Obstacle #2 to Problem Solving: Parties assess different information in different
ways
Both parties know all the facts, but they disagree on the causes, the likely
outcome, or solutions.
Example 1:
Nancy knows that Jeremy is canceling the concert because he has to bail his
brother out of jail. But she thinks this has become a pattern, and she doesn’t
think Jeremy should assume so much responsibility for his brother. She thinks
he is hurting his brother, not helping him, when he always bails him out of bad
situations. Jeremy has always taken care of his brother, as their parents died
when they were young. So he feels a great sense of responsibility. Also he
knows that his brother tried to get a ride home that night, but he couldn’t find
anyone who could help him and he had no money for a taxi.
Example 2:
Health care. Everyone agrees that health care system is in bad shape. Waiting
lists too long. Drugs unaffordable for some people. Emergency room waits too
long. Not enough doctors & nurses. But PM, provincial ministers, medical
establishment, & others may disagree on the reasons, what will happen if
nothing happens, and how to improve the situation
Obstacle #3 to Problem Solving: Parties have different levels of motivation to
settle the conflict
One party may benefit from delaying a resolution or may not care whether
conflict is resolved because they prefer present situation.
Example 1:
Elisha does not want to divorce her partner. She is afraid he is going to remarry
as soon as they divorce. So she finds as many excuses as possible to put off the
proceedings.
Example 2:
Employer delays negotiations, waiting for wage freeze.
Example 3:
One person has custody of children at moment, does not feel urgency to go to
court where they might lose rights.
Example 4:
Republicans contest every action taken by Obama or the Democratic members
of the House or Senate.
Obstacle #4 to Problem Solving: Parties have emotional reactions that outweigh
logic
Parties in conflict may want the other to feel bad and to suffer even if there is
no personal benefit and the outcome is detrimental to both parties.
Example:
A couple is involved in a divorce. The husband does not want to pay spousal
support, and he thinks his wife is asking too much for child support. Both have
hired lawyers to represent them. The longer the dispute continues without
resolution, the more they will pay the lawyers and the less they will have for
themselves. If the dispute continues long enough, they will probably lose more
than they gain; however, emotions play a role in their lack of willingness to
continue the dispute
Lecture 2: January 18
Thursday, January 18, 2018 2:35 PM
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