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Management (MGH)
Anna Nagy

MGTB23 & MGTB29 FINAL EXAM TEXTBOOK REVIEW NOTES Conflict and Stress What is Conflict?  Interpersonal conflict = process where a person, group, or organizational subunit frustrates another’s goal attainment o Classically: conflict often involve antagonistic attitudes + behaviours  Attitude – eg. dislike for each other, negative stereotypes of each other  Behaviour – eg. Name calling, sabotage, physical aggression o Sometimes = collaborative/cooperative way manage conflict   antagonism  Sometimes = suppressed, hidden conflict o Eg. Gender conflict Causes of Organizational Conflict  Group Identification + Intergroup Bias o Identification with particular group –> possible conflict  = in-group bias = tendency to have more positive view of own group (in-group) than of other groups (out-group)  out-group = group that one is not a member of  occurs even when people = placed randomly in groups  happens because of self-esteem o identifying yourself with own group’s success + dissociate from out-group failures   self-esteem + social solidarity  your group = good so you = good o Possible groups = based on personal characteristics, job function (eg. Sales or production), job level (manager vs. non-manager)  also = real differences – power, opportunity, clients serviced, etc. o Companies should stress cooperation between groups  Interdependence o Possible conflict when groups = mutually dependent on each other to accomplish their own goals  Eg. Sales staff need production department for timely delivery of high- quality goods; Production needs sales to = routine orders with adequate lead times  –> groups must interact  possible conflict  each group = some power over the other –> power abuse –> antagonism o not always cause conflict –depends on other factors  Differences in Power, Status, and Culture o Power: one-way dependence – only 1 group = dependent on another group  A needs B, B doesn’t need A  B = power over A  A = not happy  Eg. Factory workers vs. inspectors o Status difference  Not = problem when lower status people = dependent on higher status people  = way organization works –> people = used to it  problem = when lower status = power over/managing higher status people o –> resentment o eg. Lower status servers = give orders + queries to higher status chefs; junior staff = better with information technology than senior staff o Culture difference  Different beliefs + values = conflict  Eg. Hospital administrators = efficiency vs. physicians = quality care; Apple company: National Semiconductor workers = rough, Hewlett- Packard manufacturers = more “mannered”  Ambiguity o Ambiguous goals, jurisdictions, performance criteria   normal formal + informal rules governing interaction = break down   no clear responsibility –> not sure who to blame or praise  eg. New + improved product fail  marketing department blamed for poor advertising, design group for poor product  ambiguous performance criteria  conflict between managers + employees  Scarce Resources o Power struggles occur, latent conflict becomes overt conflict  Fight for scarce resources – limited budget $, secretarial support, lab space Types of Conflict  Relationship conflict = interpersonal tensions among individuals that = personal + have nothing to do with the task at hand  Task conflict = disagreements about the nature of the work to be done o Different of opinions about goals, technical matters  Process conflict = disagreements about how work should = organized + accomplished o Responsibility, authority, resource allocation, task division  –> hurts team performance + satisfaction o prevent cohesiveness o but task conflict sometimes = helpful – if not become relationship conflict + when task needs a variety of perspectives to be considered Conflict Dynamics  “Winning” the conflict = more important than developing a good solution to solve the problem  Parties start concealing info or passing on distorted info to each other  Each side –> more cohesive o Expect conformity o Punish those that want fix the conflict  Discourages contact with opposite party – except under formalized, restricted conditions  Aggressive people, good at having conflicts = leaders The conflict becomes a bigger problem than original reason for conflict Ways of Managing Conflict  Avoiding o = low assertiveness of own interests + low cooperation with other party o  some short-term stress reduction – not change situation –> not very effective o – = good way when issue = trivial, need more info, people need to calm down, opponent = very powerful + hostile  Accommodating o Cooperates with other party’s wishes + not assert own interests o  if seen as weakness = not good o – good if you = wrong, issue = more important to other party, you= want build good will  Competing o = max assertiveness + minimize cooperation  own goals, facts, procedures = full priority  not compromise o –> good if = lots of power, your facts are right, situation = win or lose, don’t need to interact with other party in the future  Compromise o = intermediate assertiveness + cooperation o sacrifice some of own needs hoping other group would sacrifice too o  could lead to procedural conflict (ie. Who gives up more + when?) o  not always = most creative conflict response, not good for power conflicts – weaker party = nothing to offer stronger party o -- good when = fighting for scarce resources, when other ways fail  Collaborating o Maximize assertiveness + cooperation to satisfy both parties (no one has to lose) o   productivity + achievement o Good when conflict = not intense, each party = info useful to the other o  takes time + practice to do this o eg. Companies give engineering s
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