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MHR 505 (27)
Chapter 11

Chapter 11 Notes

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Human Resources
MHR 505
Frank Miller

Chapter 11 Conflict Management Conflict is an inevitable part of life in an organization that includes a hierarchy, unequal distribution of power, and limited resources. Differences among people in terms of personality, values, attitudes, perceptions, languages, culture, and national backgrounds. As organizations become flatter and more team-based, workers become more interdependent and are responsible for more decision making. Conflict in organizations can take many forms ranging from informal arguments over office space and formal lawsuits over employment issues that can cost organization thousands of dollars and person hours. Managers spend 25 percent of their time dealing with conflict, which is the equivalent of one day every week. The RCMPs implementation of an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) system is one example of Canadian organizations are responding to the increasing amounts of interpersonal, group, and organizational conflict. Companies are turning to in-house conflict coaches and are creating special conflict management jobs, such as facilitators and ombudsmen. LO1 The Nature of Conflict in Organizations Conflict: The perception, in an interdependent relationship, of incompatible wishes, goals, attitudes, emotions, or behaviours. Interpersonal Conflict: A dynamic process that occurs between two interdependent parties as they experience negative emotional reactions to perceived disagreements and interference with the attainment of their goals. Conflict and Emotion Behavioural Component of Emotion: The verbal and nonverbal messages we express when we communicate. o Most emotional express occurs nonverbally through facial expressions, voice, and gestures; often, a mismatch between our verbal and nonverbal messages can be a conflict trigger. Physiological Component of Emotion: The bodily experience of emotion; it is the way emotion makes us feel and thus what makes emotional experience so compelling. Cognitive Component of Emotion: The way our mind appraises or interprets emotions. o For example, the same joke might upset me while it makes you laugh. The way ones mind interprets situations is key to understand organizational conflict. Task, Relationship, and Process Conflict Categorize interpersonal conflict in the following three content categories: www.notesolution.com o Relationship (affective) conflict: Defined as interpersonal incompatitibilites that typically include feelings of anger, tension, and friction. o Task (cognitive) conflict: Differences in viewpoints and opinions pertaining to group task. Evident when there are disagreements over different ideas, differences of opinions, and differences about the content of decisions. Value conflicts are those that arise out of opposing principles or ideals involved in carrying out a task, and often need the help of a mediator or facilitator to get resolved. o Process Conflict: Controversy about aspects of how task accomplishment will proceed. High performing teams had low but increasing levels of process conflict, low levels of relationship conflict that rose slightly as their deadlines got closer, and moderate levels of task conflict at the midpoint of group interaction. Shared value systems, high levels of trust, and open discussions produced the ideal conflict pattern. Dean Tjosvold o According to Tjosvold, we need to integrate our reason and emotion as well as task and relationship issues in order to effectively deal with important interpersonal conflicts effectively. o Tjosvold argue for the conflict positive organization Organizational Manifestations of Conflict Interorganizational: Conflict that occurs between two or more organizations. o Competition, Corporate Takeovers, Mergers and Acquisitions, and New Organizational Arrangements such as strategic alliances often heighten interorganizational conflict. o EXAMPLE: Conflict between Napster, the Internet music service company, and several records companies is an example of interorganizational conflict. Intergroup: Conflict occurs between groups or departments. o Becoming more common between turf wars between managers. o Develop an us against them mentality where each sees the other team as the enemy o Can lead to win-lose outcomes, and negative consequences like territoriality, aggression, and prejudice. o Can sometimes lead to functional outcomes such as re-evaluations and introspection within each group. Intragroup: Conflict occurs within a single group or team, and, team conflict occurs in the storming stage of a teams development. Interpersonal Conflict: Conflict which occurs between two or more people, dynamic process involving interdependent parties as they experience negative emotional reactions to the perceived disagreements and interference with he attainment of their goals. LO2 www.notesolution.com
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