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Textbook notes-Chapter 13-Conflict and Stress

Management (MGH)
Course Code
Andrew Davidson

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impersonal conflict: the process that occurs when one person group, or organization subunt
frustrates the goal attainment of another
- conflict often involves antagonistic attitudes and behaviours such as name calling, sabotage, and
physical aggression
1) group identification and intergroup bias
- even without interaction, ppl have a tendency to develop a more positive view of their own in
group and less positive view of the out group of which they are not a member
- intergroup bias occur cuz of self esteem
- identifying with the success of ones own group and disassociating oneself from out-group
failures boosts self esteem and provides comforting feelings of social solidarity
- attributing positive behaviour to your own work group shuld contribute to your self esteem
- groups or classes ppl might identify: personal characteristics, job function, job level
- diff b/w groups might be accentuated by real diff in power, opportunity, clients serviced ect
2) interdependence
- when individuals or subunits are mutually dependent on each other to accomplish their own
goals, the potential for conflict exist
- interdependence can set the stage for conflict for 2 reasons
1) necessitates interaction b/wthe parties so that they can coordinate their interests
- conflicts will not develop if the parties can go it alone
2) interdependence implies that each party has some power and create antagonism
3) difference in power, status, and culture
i) power
- when dependence is not mutual byt one way, conflict increases
ii) status
- diff provides lil push for conflict when ppl of lower status are dependence on those higher status
- but sometimes ppl with lower status find themselves giving orders to higher status ppl
ex. restaurant
iii) culture
- when 2 or more very diff cultures develop in an organization, the clash in beliefs and values can
result in overt conflict
4) ambiguity [uncertainty]
-ambiguous goals, jurisdictions, or performance criteria can lead to conflict
- under such ambiguity, the formal and informal rules that govern interaction break down
- its hard to assign praise and blame for good and bad outcomes when its hard to see who was
responsible for who

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- ambiguous performance criteria are a frequent cause of conflict b/w managers and employees
5) scarce resource
- diff in power are magnified when resources become scarce
- not all conflicts are the same
1) relationship conflict: interpersonal tensions among individuals that have to do with their
relationship per se, not the task at hand
2) task conflict: disagreements about the nature of the work to be done
3) process conflict: disagreements about how work should be organized and accomplished
- process conflict tend to be detrimental to member satisfaction and team performance
- some task conflict might actually be beneficial for team performance, especially when the ask is
into relationship conflict
PG 448
- these approaches to managing conflict are function of how assertive you are trying to satisfy
your own or your groups concerns and how cooperative you are in trying to satisfy those of the
other party of group
interests and low cooperation with the other party
change the situation , this its effectiveness is often limited
2) accommodating: a conflict management style in which one cooperates with the other party ,
while not asserting ones own interests
- can be an effective action when you are wrong, the issue is more imp to the other party or you
want to build good will
3) competing : a conflict management style that maximizes assertiveness and minimizes
- tend to frame the conflict in strict win ±lose terms
- full priority is given to your own goals, facts or procedures
- this style holds promise when you have a lot of power, you are sure of your facts, the situation is
truly win lose, or you will not have to interact with the other party in the future
4) compromise: a conflict management style that combines intermediate levels of assertiveness
and cooperation
- itself compromises b/w pure competition and pure accommodation
- compromise places a premium on determining else of exchange b/w the 2 parties
- not useful for resolving conflicts that stem from power asymmetry cuz the weaker party may

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have lil to offer that stronger party
- sensible action reaction to conflict stemming from scarce resources
- good fallback position if other strategies fail
5) collaborating: a conflict management style that maximizes both assertiveness and cooperation
- emphasis is put on a win- win resolution in which there is no assumption that someone must lose
- its assumed that the solution to the conflict can leave both parties in a better condition
- ideally, collaboration occurs as a problem solving exercise
- works best when the conflict is not intense and when each party has info that is useful to the
- effective collaboration cake take time and practice to develop , it frequently enhances
productivity and achievement
- helps manage conflict inside organization
- collaboration b/w organizational departments is particularity imp for providing good customer
management or buyer and seller
negotiation: a decision making process among interdependence parties who doWVKDUHLGHQWLFDO
- negotiation constitutes conflict management in that its an attempt either to prevent conflict or to
resolve exiting conflict
- negotiation is an attempt to reach a satisfactory exchange among or b/w the parties
distributive negotiations: win ±lose negotiation in which a fixed amount of assets is divided b/w
- b/w b/w competition and accommodation
- in theory, parties will more or less tend toward some compromise
integrative negotiation: win-win negotiation that assumes that mutual problem solving can
enlarge the assets to be divided b/w parties
- b/w avoiding and collaboration, ideally towards the latter
Distributive negotiation tactics
- single issue negotiation
1) threats and promises
- promise: future consulting contracts if party agrees to do the survey at a lower price
= diff b/w a threat and promise can be subtle as when the promise implies a threat if no concession
is made
= threat has some merit as a bargaining tactic if one party has power over the other that
corresponds to the nature of the threat , especially if no future negotiation are expected or if the
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