chapter 13 - conflict and stress

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Western University
Management and Organizational Studies
Management and Organizational Studies 2181A/B
Tony Francolini

Chapter 13Conflict and Stress What is ConflictInterpersonal conflict the process that occurs when one person group or organizational subunit frustrates the goal attainment of anotherConflict often involves antagonistic attitudes and behaviours Conflicting parties might develop a dislike for each other see each other as unreasonable and develop negative stereotypes of their opposites Causes of Organizational Conflict Group Identification and Intergroup BiasPeople tend to develop a more positive view of their own ingroup and a less positive view of the outgroup of which they are not a memberSelfesteem is a critical factor in explaining intergroup biasIdentifying with the successes of ones own group and disassociating oneself from outgroup failures boosts selfesteem and provides comforting feelings of social solidarityDifferent groups tend to make their differences very clear causing conflict between other groupsDue to the increased emphasis on teams we need to make sure we are managing relationships between teams well Interdependence When individuals or subunits are mutually dependent on each other to accomplish their own goals the potential for conflict exists Interdependence can set the stage for conflict for two reasonsoNecessitates interaction between the parties so that they can coordinate their interests oInterdependence implies that each party has some power over the otherrelatively easy for one side or the other to abuse its power Interdependence does not always lead to conflictDifferences in Power Status and CultureConflict can erupt when parties differ significantly in power status or culture PoweroIf dependence is not mutual but oneway potential for conflict increasesStatusoStatus differences provide little impetus for conflict when people of lower status are dependent on those of higher status oSometimes lower status employees end up being the ones giving instruction and commanding the higher status ones waitress instructs head chef Culture oTwo or more very different cultures develop in an organization the clash in beliefs and values can result in overt conflict Ambiguity Ambiguous goals jurisdictions or performance criteria can lead to conflictUnder ambiguity the formal and informal rules that govern interaction break down
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