Chapter 7 HROB 3100

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University of Guelph
Human Resources and Organizational Behaviour
HROB 3100
Jamie Gruman

HROB 3100 Chapter 7Managing ConflictSkill Learning one of the leading causes of business failure among major corporations is too much agreement among top management they have similar training and experience which means they tend to view conditions the same way and pursue the same goalsinterpersonal conflict is an essential part of organizational lifehow managers deal with conflict often predicts how successful an organization will beconflict sparks creativity stimulates innovation and encourages personal performanceit is natural for an untrained or inexperienced person to avoid threatening situations and it is generally acknowledged that conflict represents the most severe test of a managers interpersonal skillsan effective managers task is to maintain an optimal level of conflict while keeping conflicts focused on productive purposes o Rules of Engagement These allow management to argue without destroying their ability to work together these includeWork with more rather than less informationFocus on the factsDevelop multiple alternatives to enrich the level of debate Share commonly agreedupon goalsInject humor into the decision making processMaintain a balanced power structureResolve issues without forcing consensusit is been determined that 1 interpersonal conflict is inevitable 2 conflicts over issues or facts enhance the practice of management 3 despite the intellectual acceptance of the value of conflict there is a widespread tendency to avoid it and 4 the key to increasing ones comfort level with conflict is to become proficient in managing all forms of interpersonal disputes both productive and unproductive conflicts By understanding the focus of the conflict we better understand the substance of the conflict what fuels the conflict and by finding the source of conflict we better understand how it got started the igniting sparkCONFLICT FOCUSPeople focused conflict the in your face kind of confrontations in which the affect level is high and the intense emotional heat is likely fueled by moral indignationaccusations of harm demands for justice and feelings of resentment are common markers of personal disputesthese are extremely difficult to resolve and the long term effects of the dispute on interpersonal relationships can be devastating Issuefocused conflict more like rational negotiationscan be thought of as an interpersonal decision making process by which two or more people agree how to allocate scarce resources
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