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Chapter 11

MHR 405 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Work Unit, Job Enrichment, Mary Parker Follett

Human Resources
Course Code
MHR 405
Louis Pike

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Chapter 11: Conflict and Negotiation in the Workplace
Conflict: the process in which one party perceives
that its interests are being opposed or negatively
affected by another
Most common view is that conflict is dysfunctional; harmonious relations are the best
Disagreement with supervisor can waste productive time, violate the hierarchy of
command and questions the assignment of authority
Benefits of Conflict- John Dewy praised its benefits
Pushes us to observe and memorize, instigates to invention, shocks out of passivity
Conflict should be put to use rather than treated as a consequence of differences
Optimal conflict perspective- organizations are the most effective when employees
experience some level of conflict but less effective with high levels of conflict
Moderate level of conflict allows for the firm to NOT become non-responsive to their
external environment- helps to engage in active thinking
External conflict allows for teams to form cohesion, teams have conflict with the outside
Part of the optimal conflict perspective
Task Conflict (constructive conflict): people focus their discussion around the issue (task) while
showing respect for people with other points of view; aids in better decision making
Debates the merits and limitations of different positions, recommendations can thus be
clarified, redesigned and tested
No hostile emotions are triggered by their drive to defend their self-concept; in some
instances, it can be difficult to remain constructive due to intensity
Relationship Conflict: people focus on characteristics of other individuals, rather than on the
issues, as the source of conflict; personality clashes, interpersonal incompatibilities
Does not concern differences of opinion regarding the task or decisions
To undermine the other competencies; attacks self-esteem issues
Separating Task from Relationship Conflict (want to minimize relationship conflict and
encourage task)
Minimize the level of relationship conflict during task conflict episodes
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Having higher emotional intelligence and it associated personal characteristics; emotional
stability, do’t ie reatios as persoal attaks ad are ale to regulate their eotios
Cohesive team that have mutual trust and have worked with each other for a longer time
are able to know and anticipate behavior of others, a stronger social identity
Supportive team norms that encourage openness and discourage negative behavior
people experience high level of conflict-
generated emotions, have difficulty finding
words/expressions to communicate effectively
without further irritating relationship
process is a series of episodes that potentially
cycle into conflict escalation
Incompatible goals- oe perso’s goals iterfere ith aother perso’s goal produtio
department wants long production runs whereas sales team want ASAP delivery)
Differentiation- differences among people and work units such as their training, values beliefs
and experiences (two people might have the same goal but different belief to achieve it); classic
tension employees brought together by merger. People also begin to develop social identities
based on tech developments in their era
Interdependence- higher the task interdependence (employees sharing materials, info,
expertise to perform jobs) more likely to have conflict; rewards and outcomes are partly
determined by performance of others. Beside independence pooled interdependence is best
Scare resources- when each person or unit requires the same resources, people undermine
others to fulfill their own goals
Ambiguous or nonexistent rules- uncertainty increases the risk that one party will interfere
ith aother’s goals; lear rules allo for eploees to ko hat to epet fro eah other
Communication problems- arise due to lack of opportunity,
ability, motivation to communicate effectively (using
stereotypes, the way in a person reacts can escalate conflict);
Mary Parker Follet suggested the different conflict handling
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