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Chapter 13

COMM 151 Chapter Notes - Chapter 13: Satisficing, Organizational Conflict, Negotiation

Course Code
COMM 151
Christopher Miners

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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
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
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 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
When two or more very different cultures develop in an org, clash in beliefs and
values can result in overt conflict
Ambiguous goals, jurisdictions, and performance criteria can lead to conflict
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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
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,
While the opposite party is negatively stereotyped, the image of one’s own position is
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
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