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Chapter 9

CHAPTER 9 - Conflict and Negotiation

Business Administration
Course Code
BUS 272
Zorana Svedic

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Conflict – process that begins when one part perceives that another part has negatively affected, or is about to,
something that the first party cares about
Functional conflict – conflict that supports the goals of the group and improves its performance
Dysfunctional conflict – conflict that hinders group performance and achievement of goals
Cognitive conflict – conflict that is task-oriented and related to differences in perspectives and judgments
Affective conflict – conflict that is emotional and aimed at a person rather than an issue
Communication – conflict increases when either too little or too much communication takes place
Structurevariables that act as forces to stimulate conflict
Size, specialization and composition – the larger the group and the more specialized its activities, the
greater the likelihood of conflict
Ambiguity – the greater the ambiguity in precisely defining where responsibility for action lies, the greater
the potential for conflict to emerge
Reward systems – can create conflict when one member’s gain is at another’s expense
Leadership style – can create conflict if managers tightly control and oversee the work of employees
Diversity of goals – when groups within an organization seek diverse ends where some are inherently at
Interdependence– when one group is dependent on another, or interdependence allows one group to gain
at another’s expense, opposing forces are stimulated
Personal variables – variables such as emotions and personality
Dual concern theory – considers how one’s degree of cooperativeness and assertiveness determine how a conflict
is handled
Cooperativeness – the degree to which one tries to satisfy the other persons concerns
Assertiveness – the degree to which one tries to satisfy ones own concerns
5 Conflict-handling strategies
1. Forcing – imposing one’s will on the other party
2. Problem solving – trying to reach an agreement that satisfies both one’s own and the other party’s
aspirations as much as possible
3. Avoiding – ignoring or minimizing the importance of the issues creating the conflict
4. Yielding – accepting and incorporating the will of the other party
5. Compromising – balancing concern for oneself with concern for the other party in order to reach a solution
(Inside/outside workplace)
Problem solving – requesting a face-to-face meeting to identify the problem and resolve it through open
Developing overarching goals – creating a shared goal that requires both parties to work together and
motivates them to do so
Smoothing – playing down differences while emphasizing common interests with other party
Compromising – agreeing with the other party that each will give up something of value to reach an accord
Avoidance – withdrawing from or suppressing the conflict
(Work-related conflict)
Expansion of resources – creates a win-win solution when there is scarcity of resource
Authoritative command – management can use its formal authority to resolve the conflict and then
communicate its desires to the parties involved
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