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Chapter 13

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COMM 151
Christopher Miners

COMM 151 – Chapter 13 Notes (pg 426-437) – Conflict and Stress What is Conflict?  Interpersonal Conflict: A process that occurs when one person, group, or organizational subunit frustrates the goal attainment of another  Classic conflicts include antagonistic attitudes and behaviour  develop a dislike for each other  Antagonistic behaviour includes name calling, sabotage or physical aggression Causes of Organizational Conflict  Group Identification and Intergroup Bias  Without interaction or cohesion people have a tendency to develop a more positive view of their own “in group” and less view of the “out-group” which they are not a member  Intergroup bias occurs due to self-esteem  Identifying with success of one’s group and disassociating oneself from out group failure boost self-esteem and provides comforting feelings of social solidarity  Might identify with a group based on: race, gender, job functions, or job level  Likelihood of conflict increases because the emphasis on teams in organizations places high premium on getting employees to identify strongly with their team  The prevalence of intergroup bias suggests that orgs will have to pay special attention to managing relationships between teams  Interdependence  When individuals/subunits are dependent on each other to accomplish their own goals, the potential for conflict exists  Interdependence can set stage for conflict for two reasons:  It necessitates interaction between parties so they can coordinate their interests  Easy for one side to abuse its power and create antagonism  Interdependence does not always lead to conflict because it provides mutual assistance  Difference in Power, Status, and Culture  Conflict occurs when parties differ in power , status, and culture  Power  If dependence is not mutual but one-way, the potential for conflict increases  Ex. Factories product workers are dependent on inspectors because they approve their work  inspectors have different bosses, office, friends and the workers might treat the inspectors with hostility  Status  Status differences provide little impetus for conflict when people of lower status are dependent on those of higher status  Because of the design of the org, lower status workers might find themselves giving orders to and controlling the tasks of higher status people  Ex. Lower status servers give order and initiate queries to higher status chefs  Culture  When two or more very different cultures develop in an org, clash in beliefs and values can result in overt conflict  Ambiguity  Ambiguous goals, jurisdictions, and performance criteria can lead to conflict COMM 151 – Chapter 13 Notes (pg 426-437) – Conflict and Stress  Formal and informal rules that govern interaction break down  Difficult to assign praise for good outcomes or blame for bad outcomes when it is difficult to see who was responsible for what  Frequent cause of conflict between managers and employees  Scarce Resources  Limited budget money, secretarial support, or other resources can contribute to conflict  Scarcity has a way of turning latent or disguised conflict into overt conflict Types of Conflict  Relationship Conflict: Interpersonal tensions among individuals that have to with their relationships per se, not the task at hand  Personality Clashes  Task Conflict: Disagreements about the nature of the work to be done  Ex. Difference in opinions about goals or technical matters  Process Conflict: disagreements about how work should be organized and accomplished  Ex. Disagreements about responsibility, resource allocation, and who should do what Conflict Dynamics  Following events transpire when conflict beings  “Winning” the conflict becomes more important than developing a good solution to the problem at hand  Parties conceal information from each other or pass on distorted information  Each side becomes are cohesive. Deviants who speak of conciliation are punished, and strict conformity is expected  Contact with the opposite party is discouraged except under formalized, restricted, conditions  While the opposite party is negatively stereotyped, the image of one’s own position is boosted  More aggressive people who are skilled at engaging in conflict may emerge as leaders Modes of Managing Conflicts – Refer to chart on page 430  These approaches to managing conflict measure both how assertive you are trying satisfy your own group’s concerns & how cooperative you are in trying to satisfy those of the other party  Avoiding: A conflict management style characterized by low assertiveness of one’s own interests and low cooperation with the other party  “hiding head in sand approach”  DO NOTHING  Effectiveness is often limited  Accommodating: A conflict management style in which one cooperates with the other party while not asserting one’s own interests  Effective when you’re wrong, when it’s important to the other party, or when trying to build goodwill with them COMM 151 – Chapter 13 Notes (pg 426-437) – Conflict and Stress  Competing: A conflict management style that maximizes assertiveness and minimizes cooperation  Full priority is given to your own goals and facts  we win, you lose  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  Compromise: A conflict management style that combines intermediate levels of assertiveness and cooperation  kind of like halfway between pure competition and pure accomidation  Satisficing rather than maximizing your outcomes and hope that the same occurs for the other party  good fallback if other strategy fails  Does not always result in the most creative response to conflict  Not useful for resolving conflicts that stem from power asymmetry because the weaker party will have little to offer to the stronger party  Collaborating: A co
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