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Chapter 13

Chapter 13 Part II BU288.docx

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Ping Zhang

BU288 Chapter 13 – Conflict and Stress Week 9 What is Conflict? -Interpersonal conflict – the process that occurs when one person, group, or organizational subunit frustrates the goal attainment of another -In its classic form, conflict often involves antagonistic attitudes and behaviours -The conflicting attitudes might develop a dislike for each other, see each other as unreasonable, and develop negative stereotypes of their opposites -Antagonistic behaviours might include name calling, sabotage, or physical aggression Causes of Organizational Conflict Group Identification and Intergroup Bias -Even without interaction of cohesion, people have a tendency to develop a more positive view of their own “in-group” and a less positive view of the “out-group” -Self-esteem is a critical factor in why this bias occurs -Identifying with the successes of one’s own group and disassociating oneself from out-group failures boosts self-esteem and provides comforting feelings of social solidarity -Attributing positive behaviour to your own work group should contribute to your self-esteem -People may identify in groups based upon many different characteristic 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 reasons: -It necessitates interaction between the parties so that they can coordinate their own interests -Implies that each party has some power over the other -Interdependence does not always lead to conflict – it often provides a good basis for collaboration through mutual assistance Differences in Power, Status, and Culture Power -If dependence is not mutual but one-way, the potential for conflict increases -Ex. Quality control system in many factories – Production workers might be highly dependent on inspectors to approve their work, but this dependence is not reciprocated Status -Status differences provide little impetus for conflict when people of lower status are dependent on those of higher status Culture -When two 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 conflict -The formal and informal rules that govern interaction break down BU288 Chapter 13 – Conflict and Stress Week 9 -Ambiguous performance criteria are a frequent cause of conflict between managers and employees Scarce Resources -Conflict often surfaces in the process of power jockeying -Scarcity has a way of turning latent or disguised conflict into over conflict Types of Conflict -Relationship conflict – interpersonal tensions among individuals that have to do with their relationship per se, not the task at hand -Task conflict – disagreements about the nature of the work to be done -Process conflict – disagreements about how work should be organized and accomplished -Some degree of task conflict might be beneficial for team performance, especially when the task is non- routine and requires a variety o perspectives to be considered and when it does not degenerate into relationship conflict Conflict Dynamics -Winning the conflict becomes more important than developing a good solution to the problem at hand -The parties begin to conceal information from each other or to pass on distorted information -Each side becomes more cohesive. Deviants who speak of conciliation are punished and strict conformity is expected -Contact with the opposite party is discouraged except under formalized, restricted conditions -While the opposite party is negatively stereotyped, the image of one’s own position is boosted -On each side, more aggressive people who are skilled at engaging in conflict may emerge as leaders -What begins as a problem of identity, interdependence, ambiguity, or scarcity quickly escalates to the point that the conflict process itself becomes an additional problems Modes of Managing Conflict -These approaches to managing conflict are a function of both how assertive you are in trying to satisfy your own or your groups concerns and how cooperative you are in trying to satisfy those of the other party or group Avoiding -A conflict management style characterized by low assertiveness of one’s own interests and low cooperation with the other party -Its effectiveness is limited Accommodating -A conflict management style in which one cooperates with the other party while not asserting one’s own interests -An effective reaction when you are wrong Competing -A conflict management style that maximizes assertiveness and minimizes cooperating -Win-lose terms -Full priority is given to your own goals, facts, or procedures -Holds promise when you have a lot of power BU288 Chapter 13 – Conflict and Stress Week 9 Compromise -A conflict management style that combines intermediate levels of assertiveness and cooperation -You attempt to satisfice rather than maximize your outcomes and hope that the same occurs for the other party -Does not result in the most creative response to conflict -Not so useful in resolving conflicts that stem from power asymmetry, because the weaker party may have little to offer the stronger party Collaborating -A conflict management style that maximizes both assertiveness and cooperation -Win-win resolution -The solution to the conflict can leave both parties in a better condition -Works best when the conflict is not intense and when each party has information that is useful to the other A Model of Stress in Organizations Stressors -Stressors – environmental evens or conditions that have the potential to induce stress -The individual personality often determines the extent to which a potential stressor becomes a real stressor and actually induces stress Stress -Stress – a psychological reaction to the demands inherent in a stressor that has the potential to make a person feel tense or anxious because the persons does not feel capable of coping with these demands Stress Reactions -Stress reactions – the behavioural, psychological, and physiological consequences of stress -Ex. Blood pressure, reduces immune functions, etc. Personality an Stress -It can affect both the extent to which potential stressors are perceived as stressful and the types of stress reactions that occur Locus of Control -Locus o control – a set of beliefs about whether one’s behaviour is controlled mainly by internal or external forces -Internals are more likely to confront stressors directly because they assume that this response will make a difference -Externals are anxious but do not feel that they are masters of their own fate – they are more prone to simple anxiety-reduction strategies that only work in the short run Type A Behaviour Pattern -Types A Behaviour Pattern – a personality pattern that includes aggressiveness, ambitiousness, competitiveness, hostility, impatience, and a sense of time urgency -Tend to be aggressive and ambitious – their hostility is easily aroused BU288 Chapter 13 – Conflict and Stress Week 9 -Likely to exhibit high blood pressure, high heart rate, modified blood chemistry -Stress is more likely to take its toll -Type B does not exhibit these extreme characteristics Negative Affectivity -Negative affectivity – propensity to view the world, including oneself and other people, in a negative light -People high in negative affectivity tend to be pessimistic and downbeat -They tend to report more stressors in the work environment and to feel more subjective to tress Stressors in Organizational Life Executive and Managerial Stressors Roles Overload -Role overload – the requirement for too many tasks to be performed in too short a time period Heavy Responsi
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