•Ambiguity - Ambiguous goals, jurisdictions, or performance criteria can lead to conflict (e.g.,
sales and production)
Types of Conflict
Relationship Conflict: Interpersonal tension among individuals that have to do with their relationship
per se, not the task at hand
Task Conflict: Disagreement about the nature of the work to be done (e.g., different goals)
Process Conflict: Disagreement about how work should be organized and accomplished (e.g., dis-
agreement about how work should be organized and accomplished)
•Occasionally, some degree of task conflict might actually be beneficial for team performance,
especially when the task is non-routine and requires a variety of perspectives to be considered.
Modes of Managing Conflict
Avoiding: A conflict management style characterized by low assertiveness of one’s own interests and
low cooperation with the other party (i.e., hiding the head in the sand). Although it can provide some
ST stress reduction, it does not really change the situation.
Accommodating: A conflict management style in which one cooperates with the other party while not
asserting one’s own interests. It can be a sign of weakness or an effective way to build goodwill.
Competing: A conflict management style that maximizes assertiveness and minimizes cooperation
(e.g., create a win-lose situation, where full priority is given to your own goals)
Compromise: A conflict management style that combines intermediate levels of assertiveness and co-
operation (i.e., compromise between pure competition and pure accommodation)
Collaborating: A conflict management style that maximizes both assertiveness and cooperation that
full satisfies the interests of both parties (i.e., emphasis is on win-win resolution). It probably works
best when the conflict is not internse and when each party has information that is useful to the other.
Although effective collaboration can take time and practice to develop, it frequently enhances produc-
tivity and achievement.
May 5, 2011 5:09 PM