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Chapter 13


Management (MGH)
Course Code
Samantha Montes

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Chapter Thirteen- Conflict and Stress
What is Conflict?
Interpersonal conflict- a process that occurs when one person, group, or organizational
subunit frustrates the goal attainment of another
Conflict often involves antagonistic attitudes and behaviours
Conflicting parties might develop a dislike for each other, seeing each other as unreasonable
Causes of Organizational Conflict
Group Identification and Intergroup Bias
Self-esteem is a critical factor in inducing intergroup bias
Identifying with the successes of ones own group and disassociating oneself from out-group
failures boosts self-esteem and provides comforting feelings of social solidarity
Attributing positive behaviour to own work group should contribute to your self-esteem
When individuals or subunits are mutually dependent on each other to accomplish their
own goals, potential for conflict exists
Not always conflict, call provide good basis for collaboration through mutual assistance
Differences in Power, Status and Culture
If dependence is not mutual, but one way, potential for conflict increases
Ie: workers depend on inspectors, but not vice versa
Status differences provide little impetus for conflict when people of lower status are dependent
on those of higher status, but when role reversed, conflict
Ie: chiefs find themselves taking orders from lower servers
when two or more very different cultures develop in an organization, the clash in beliefs and
values can result in overt conflict

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ambiguous goals, jurisdictions or performance criteria lead to conflict
formal and informal rules that govern interaction break down
difficult to accurately assign praise for good outcomes or blame for bad outcomes when hard to
see who is responsible A might blame B, B blames C and C blames A
ambiguous performance criteria are a frequent case of conflict b/t managers and employees
Scarce Resources
differences in power are magnified when resources become scare
limited budget, lab space can contribute to conflict, especially turn latent or disguised conflict
into overt conflict
Types of Conflict
Not all conflicts are the same, three different ones
Relationship conflict- interpersonal tensions among individuals that have to do with their
relationship per se, not the task at hand
Task conflict- concerns disagreements about the nature of the work to be done
oEx: Differences of opinion about goals or technical matter
Process conflict-disagreements about how work should be organized and accomplished
oDisagreements about responsibility, authority, resource allocation
These conflicts prevents the development of cohesiveness
Modes of Managing Conflict (AA-CCC)
Assessed on how assertive you are (attempt the satisfy own concerns) and how cooperative you

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Low assertiveness of ones own interests and low cooperation with other party
hiding the head in the same
Provide short-term stress reduction, does not change situation effectiveness is limited
If issue is trivial, info is lacking, ppl need to cool down, or opponent is very powerful and
hostile., avoidance might be a sensible response
One cooperates w/ other party while not asserting ones own interests
Sometimes seen as a sign of weakness
Effective reaction when you are wrong
Maximize assertiveness for your own position and minimize cooperative response
Tend to frame the conflict in strict win-lose term
Competing style holds promise when you have a lot of power, sure of your facts, the situation is
truly win-lose
Combines intermediate levels of assertiveness and cooperation
A compromise b/t pure competition and pure accommodation
Attempt to satisfice rather than max your outcomes
Similar to a plea bargain-compromise b/t defending lawyer and prosecutor
Does not result in the most creative response to conflict
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