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Chapter 9

COMM 292 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Problem Solving, Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement

Course Code
COMM 292
Angela Kelleher

of 3
COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour
Chapter 9
Conflict Demand
A process that begins when one part perceives that another party has negatively affected, or
is about to negatively affect, something that the first party cares about
o From incompatible goals, differences over interpretations, disagreements, etc.
Functional vs. Dysfunctional Conflict:
Functional conflict: conflict that supports the goals of the group and improves its
Dysfunctional conflict: conflict that hinders group performance
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
Sources of Conflict:
There are a number of conditions that can give rise to conflict
o They don't have to be directly related to conflict
Conflict through semantic difficulties, misunderstandings, and noise in communication
Conflict increases with either too much or too little communication
Conflict related to the requirements of the job or the workplace more than personality
Size, specialization, and composition of the group act as forces to stimulate conflict
The greater the ambiguity in precisely defining where responsibility for actions lies, the
greater the potential for conflict to emerge
Reward systems 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, allowing employees little discretion in how they carry out tasks
The diversity of goals among groups is a major source of conflict
If one group is dependent on another, or if interdependence allows one group to gain at
another's expense, opposing forces are stimulated
Personal Variables:
There may be personal variables that you are not in agreement with that creates conflict
o Includes the individual value system, and personality characteristics
Conflict Resolution
Conflict Management Strategies:
Forcing: imposing one's will on the other party
Problem solving: trying to reach an agreement that satisfies both one's own and the other
party's aspirations as much as possible
COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour
Avoiding: ignoring or minimizing the importance of the issues creating the conflict
Yielding: accepting and incorporating the will of the other party
Compromising: balancing concern for oneself with concern for the other part in order to
reach a solution
What Can Individuals Do to Manage Conflict:
Problem solving: request face-to-face meeting to identify the problem and resolve it
Developing overarching goals: creating a shared goal that requires both parties to work
Smoothing: play down differences while emphasizing common interest with the other party
Compromising: agreeing with the other part that each will give up something
Avoidance: withdrawing from or suppressing the conflict
Resolving Personality Conflicts:
A variety of factors lead to personality conflicts
o Misunderstanding based on age, race, or cultural differences
o Intolerance, prejudice, discrimination, or bigotry
o Perceived inequities
o Misunderstandings, rumours, or falsehoods about an individual or group
o Blaming for mistakes or mishaps (finger-pointing)
Third-Part Conflict Resolution:
Facilitation: generally acquainted with both parties, suggests that the two parties work
together to resolve the issue
o Informal solution that is aimed at getting both parties to talk directly with each other
Conciliation: trusted third party who provides an informal communication link between the
negotiator and the opponent
o Used in international, labour, family, and community disputes
Ombudsperson: an official role for a person to hear disputes between parties
Peer Review: panel of peers put together to hear both sides of the issue from parties
involved and to recommend a solution
Mediation: neutral third part who facilitates a negotiated solution by using reasoning,
persuasion, and suggestions for alternatives
Arbitration: third part to a negotiation who has the authority to dictate an agreement
Conflict Outcomes
Agreement: equitable and fair agreements are the best outcome
o If agreement means that one party feels exploited or defeated, this will likely lead to
further conflict
Stronger relationships: when conflict is resolved positively, this can lead to better
relationships and greater trust
o If the parties trust each other, they are more likely to keep the agreements they make
Learning: handling conflict successfully teaches one how to do it better next time
o It gives an opportunity to practise the skills one has learned about handing conflict
COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour
Process in which two or more parties exchange goods or services and try to agree on the
exchange rate for them
o Positions: the individual's stand on the issues
o Interests: the underlying concerns that are affected by the negotiation resolution
Bargaining Strategies:
Distributive bargaining: negotiation that seeks to divide up a fixed amount of resources
o A win-lose situation
Integrative bargaining: negotiation that seeks one or more settlements that can create a win-
win solution
How to Negotiate:
Negotiation is made up of a five step process
1. Developing a strategy
2. Defining group rules
3. Clarification and justification
4. Bargaining and problem solving
5. Closure and implementation
BATNA: the best alternative to a negotiated agreement
o The outcome an individual faces if negotiations fail
Bargaining zone: the zone between each party's resistance point, assuming there is overlap
in this range
Contemporary Issues in Negotiation
Cultural Differences in Negotiating Style:
France: they like conflict and frequently gain recognition and develop reputations by
thinking and acting against each other
China: the Chinese draw out negotiations because they believe negotiations never end
Japan: the Japanese also negotiate to develop relationships and commitment to work
USA: Americans are known around the world for their impatience and their desire to be