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Chapter 13

Ch. 13. Conflict & Stress.docx

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Jennifer Komar

BU288 Lecture 14Ch 13 ConflictStress Thursday Nov 1 2012What is ConflictInterpersonal conflict organization subunit persongroup frustrates goal attainment of anotherOften involves antagonistic attitudes and behaviours may develop a dislike for each other and develop negative stereotypes Causes of Organizational Conflict1 Group Identification and Intergroup BiasIdentification with a particular groupclass of people can set stage for organizational conflictEven without interaction or cohesion people grouped by trivial characteristics ie eye colour develop a more positive view of their own groupintergroup biasSelfesteem is a critical factorcause for intergroup bias Identifying with successes of own group and not with outgroup failures boosts our selfesteem and social solidarity Groups can be based on personal characteristics race or gender job function sales or production job level manager or nonmanager etc Differences between groups may be accentuated by differences in power opportunity clients serviced etc Nowadays firms try to get workers to identify strongly with their teams Intergroup bias suggests that organizations should pay attention to managing relationships between teams2 InterdependenceWhen people mutually depend on each other to achieve their own goals potential for conflict Interdependence sets stage for conflict for 2 reasons1It necessitates interaction between the parties so that they can coordinate their interestsconflict doesnt develop if the parties can do it alone2Interdependence implies that each party has power over the othermay abuseantagonismInterdependence does not always lead to conflict3 Differences in Power Status and Cultureaffects how interdependence causes conflictPower if dependence is not mutual potential for conflict rises B has power over A but A has nothing to bargain with Thus A may be hostile towards Bsymptom of conflict Ex the quality control system in many factories Production workers might treat inspectors with hostility Status status differences provide little impetus for conflict when people of lower status depend on those of higher status But sometimes lower status workers may find themselves ordering high status people ex restaurant waiters to chefs The high status people may resent thisCulture when 2 or more different cultures develop in an organization the clash in beliefsvalues can lead to conflict Some have developed strong cultures in efficiency and costeffectiveness while others develop strong cultures in customer care at any cost 4 AmbiguityAmbiguous goals jurisdictionsor performance criteria can lead to conflictUnder ambiguity formal and informal rules governing interactions break downDifficult to praiseblame people for goodbad outcomes when its hard to see who was responsible Ex sales drop following the introduction of a new and improved product the conflict exists between the marketing department and the design group Ambiguous performance criteria are a frequent cause of conflict between managers and employees Ambiguous performance and openended assignments are susceptible to a variety of interpretations 5 Scarce ResourcesDifferences in power are magnified when resources become scarcealways occurs with a battle and conflict often surfaces in the process of power jockeying Limited budget money secretarial support or lab space can contribute to conflictScaricy has a way of turning latent or disguised conflict into overt conflicttwo scientists who dont get along very well may be able to put up a peaceful front until theres a reduction in lab space Types Of Conflict1
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