Chapter 11 Conflict in Organizations Learning Goals вЂў Define conflict and conflict behavior in organizations вЂў Distinguish between functional and dysfunctional conflict вЂў Understand different levels and types of conflict in organizations вЂў Analyze conflict episodes and the linkages among them Learning Goals (Cont.) вЂў Understand the role of latent conflict in an episode and its sources in an organization вЂў Describe a conflict management model вЂў Use various techniques to reduce and increase conflict вЂў Appreciate some international and ethical issues in conflict management Chapter Overview вЂў Introduction вЂў Functional and Dysfunctional Conflict вЂў Levels and Types of Conflict in Organizations вЂў Conflict Episodes вЂў Conflict Frames and Orientations вЂў Latent Conflict: The Sources of Conflict in Organizations Chapter Overview (Cont.) вЂў вЂў вЂў вЂў Conflict Management Reducing Conflict Increasing Conflict International Aspects of Conflict in Organizations вЂў Ethical Issues in Conflict in Organizations Introduction Conflict: What does the word mean to you? Conflict Conflicto Conflit Conflito Introduction (Cont.) вЂў Definition вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ Opposition Incompatible behavior Antagonistic interaction Block another party from reaching her or his goals Range of conflict behavior Doubt or questioning Annihilation of opponent Introduction (Cont.) вЂў Key elements вЂ“ Interdependence with another party вЂ“ Perception of incompatible goals вЂў Conflict events вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ Disagreements Debates Disputes Preventing someone from reaching valued goals Introduction (Cont.) вЂў Conflict is not always bad for an organization вЂў Do not need to reduce all conflict вЂў Conflict episodes: ebb and flow of conflict вЂў An inevitable part of organization life вЂў Needed for growth and survival вЂў Conflict management includes increasing and decreasing conflict вЂў Major management responsibility Introduction (Cont.) Brazilian Saying (Ditado popular, Portuguese) Toda unanimidade Г© burra. (вЂњItвЂ™s dumb if we all agree.вЂќ) Special thanks to Gustavo Sette Rabello, Graduate Student, The Robert O. Anderson Graduate School of Management, 1996 Functional and Dysfunctional Conflict вЂў Functional conflict: works toward the goals of an organization or group вЂў Dysfunctional conflict: blocks an organization or group from reaching its goals вЂ“ Dysfunctionally high conflict: what you typically think about conflict вЂ“ Dysfunctionally low conflict: an atypical view вЂ“ Levels vary among groups Functional and Dysfunctional Conflict (Cont.) вЂў Functional conflict вЂ“ вЂњConstructive ConflictвЂќ--Mary Parker Follett (1925) вЂ“ Increases information and ideas вЂ“ Encourages innovative thinking вЂ“ Unshackles different points of view вЂ“ Reduces stagnation Functional and Dysfunctional Conflict (Cont.) вЂў Dysfunctionally high conflict вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ Tension, anxiety, stress Drives out low conflict tolerant people Reduced trust Poor decisions because of withheld or distorted information вЂ“ Excessive management focus on the conflict Functional and Dysfunctional Conflict (Cont.) вЂў Dysfunctionally low conflict вЂ“ Few new ideas вЂ“ Poor decisions from lack of innovation and information вЂ“ Stagnation вЂ“ Business as usual Levels and Types of Conflict Level of conflict Organization Group Individual Type of conflict Within and between organizations Within and between groups Within and between individuals Levels and Types of Conflict (Cont.) вЂў Intraorganization conflict вЂ“ Conflict that occurs within an organization вЂ“ At interfaces of organization functions вЂ“ Can occur along the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the organization вЂў Vertical conflict: between managers and subordinates вЂў Horizontal conflict: between departments and work groups Levels and Types of Conflict (Cont.) вЂў Intragroup conflict вЂ“ Conflict among members of a group вЂ“ Early stages of group development вЂ“ Ways of doing tasks or reaching group's goals вЂў Intergroup conflict: between two or more groups Levels and Types of Conflict (Cont.) вЂў Interpersonal conflict вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ Between two or more people Differences in views about what should be done Efforts to get more resources Differences in orientation to work and time in different parts of an organization Levels and Types of Conflict (Cont.) вЂў Intrapersonal conflict вЂ“ Occurs within an individual вЂў вЂў вЂў вЂў Threat to a personвЂ™s values Feeling of unfair treatment Multiple and contradictory sources of socialization Related to the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (Chapter 5) and negative inequity (Chapter 8) Levels and Types of Conflict (Cont.) вЂў Interorganization conflict вЂ“ Between two or more organizations вЂ“ Not competition вЂ“ Examples: suppliers and distributors, especially with the close links now possible Conflict Episodes Simple conflict episode Latent conflict Manifest conflict Conflict aftermath Conflict Episodes (Cont.) вЂў Latent conflict: antecedents of conflict behavior that can start conflict episode вЂў Manifest conflict: observable conflict behavior вЂў Conflict aftermath вЂ“ End of a conflict episode вЂ“ Often the starting point of a related episode вЂ“ Becomes the latent conflict for another episode вЂў Conflict reduction: lower the conflict level Conflict Episodes Latent conflict Manifest conflict Conflict reduction Conflict aftermath Conflict Episodes (Cont.) Latent conflict Manifest conflict Conflict aftermath The antecedents of conflict Example: scarce resources Conflict Episodes (Cont.) вЂў Some latent conflict in the lives of college students вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ Parking spaces Library copying machines Computer laboratory Books in the bookstore School and other parts of your life University policies Conflict Episodes (Cont.) Latent conflict Observable conflict behavior Manifest conflict Conflict aftermath Example: disagreement, discussion Conflict Episodes (Cont.) Latent conflict Manifest conflict Conflict aftermath Residue of a conflict episode Example: compromise in allocating scarce resources leaves both parties with less than they wanted Conflict Episodes Latent conflict Perceived conflict Felt conflict Manifest conflict Conflict reduction Text book Figure 11.1 Conflict aftermath Conflict Episodes (Cont.) вЂў Perceived conflict вЂ“ Become aware that one is in conflict with another party вЂ“ Can block out some conflict вЂ“ Can perceive conflict when no latent conditions exist вЂ“ Example: misunderstanding another personвЂ™s position on an issue Conflict Episodes (Cont.) вЂў Felt conflict вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ Emotional part of conflict Personalizing the conflict Oral and physical hostility Hard to manage episodes with high felt conflict What people likely recall about conflict Relationships Among Conflict Episodes вЂў Episodes link through the connection of conflict aftermath to latent conflict вЂў Effective conflict management: break the connection вЂў Discover the latent conflicts and remove them Relationships Among Conflict Episodes (Cont.) Conflict reduction Latent conflict Manifest conflict Conflict aftermath Latent conflict Manifest conflict Conflict aftermath Latent conflict Manifest conflict Conflict aftermath Conflict Frames and Orientations вЂў Conflict frames вЂ“ Perceptual sets that people bring to conflict episodes вЂ“ Perceptual filters вЂў Remove some information from an episode вЂў Emphasize other information in an episode Conflict Frames and Orientations (Cont.) Relationship-Task Conflict frame Emotional-Intellectual Cooperate-Win Conflict Frames and Orientations (Cont.) вЂў Conflict frame dimensions вЂ“ Relationship-Task вЂў Relationship: focuses on interpersonal relationships вЂў Task: focuses on material aspects of an episode вЂ“ Emotional-Intellectual вЂў Emotional: focuses on feelings in the conflict episode (felt conflict) вЂў Intellectual: focuses on observed behavior (manifest conflict) Conflict Frames and Orientations (Cont.) вЂў Conflict frame dimensions (cont.) вЂ“ Cooperate-Win вЂў Cooperate: emphasizes the role of all parties to the conflict вЂў Win: wants to maximize personal gain Conflict Frames and Orientations (Cont.) вЂў Conflict frames вЂ“ Limited research results вЂў End an episode with a relationship or intellectual frame: feel good about relationship with other party вЂў Cooperation-focused people end with more positive results than those focused on winning Conflict Frames and Orientations (Cont.) вЂў Conflict orientations вЂ“ Dominance: wants to win; conflict is a battle вЂ“ Collaborative: wants to find a solution that satisfies everyone вЂ“ Compromise: splits the differences вЂ“ Avoidance: backs away вЂ“ Accommodative: focuses on desires of other party Conflict Frames and Orientations (Cont.) вЂў Can change during conflict episode вЂ“ How firmly the person holds orientation вЂ“ Importance of the issues to the person вЂ“ Perception of opponent's power вЂў Collaborative orientation: more positive long-term benefits than the others Conflict Frames and Orientations (Cont.) Conflict orientation and the conflict aftermath Collaborative Compromise No residue Avoidance Accommodative Dominance High residue Conflict aftermath Conflict Frames and Orientations (Cont.) вЂў Combinations of conflict orientations in a group вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ Dominance, avoidance Dominance, dominance Avoidance, avoidance Dominance, collaborative, compromise Collaborative, compromise, avoidance Collaborative, compromise, avoidance, dominance, accommodative Latent Conflict: The Sources of Conflict in Organizations вЂў Antecedents to conflict episodes вЂў Many natural conditions of organizations act as latent conflicts вЂў Lurk in the background; trigger conflict when right conditions occur вЂў Does not always lead to manifest conflict вЂў Give us clues about how to reduce dysfunctionally high conflict Latent Conflict: The Sources of Conflict in Organizations (Cont.) вЂў Some representative latent conflict вЂ“ Scarce resources: money, equipment, facilities вЂ“ Organizational differentiation: different orientations in different parts of organization вЂ“ Rules, procedures, policies: behavioral guides that can cause clashes вЂ“ Cohesive groups: value and orientation differences among groups Latent Conflict: The Sources of Conflict in Organizations (Cont.) вЂў Some representative latent conflict (cont.) вЂ“ Interdependence: forces interaction вЂ“ Communication barriers: shift work and jargon вЂ“ Ambiguous jurisdictions: areas of authority not clearly defined вЂ“ Reward systems: reward different behavior in different parts of the organization Sales on commission; manufacturing rewarded for meeting schedules. Communication differences. Conflict Management Model вЂў Maintain conflict at functional levels вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ Not complete elimination Reducing to functional levels Increasing dysfunctionally low conflict Choose desired level of conflict based on perceived conflict requirements вЂ“ Varies in different parts of an organization вЂ“ ManagerвЂ™s tolerance for conflict plays a role Conflict Management Model (Cont.) Organizational culture Product or service Perceived conflict requirements Desired conflict level Fast-changing environment Conflict Management Model (Cont.) Dysfunctionally low conflict Dysfunctionally high conflict Normal Increase conflict Decrease conflict Text book Figure 11.2 Conflict Management Model (Cont.) вЂў Symptoms of dysfunctionally high conflict вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ Low trust Information distortion Tension/antagonism Stress Sabotage of organizationвЂ™s product or service Conflict Management Model (Cont.) вЂў Symptoms of dysfunctionally low conflict вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ Deny differences Repress controversial information Prohibit disagreements Avoid interactions Walk away from conflict episode Reducing Conflict вЂў Overview вЂ“ Lose-lose methods: parties to the conflict episode do not get what they want вЂ“ Win-lose methods: one party a clear winner; other party a clear loser вЂ“ Win-win methods: each party to the conflict episode gets what he or she wants Reducing Conflict (cont.) вЂў Lose-lose methods вЂ“ Avoidance вЂў Withdraw, stay away вЂў Does not permanently reduce conflict вЂ“ Compromise вЂў Bargain, negotiate вЂў Each loses something valued вЂ“ Smoothing: find similarities Reducing Conflict (Cont.) вЂў Win-lose methods вЂ“ Dominance вЂў Overwhelm other party вЂў Overwhelms an avoidance orientation вЂ“ Authoritative command: decision by person in authority вЂ“ Majority rule: voting Reducing Conflict (Cont.) вЂў Win-win methods вЂ“ Problem solving: find root causes вЂ“ Integration: meet interests and desires of all parties вЂ“ Superordinate goal: desired by all but not reachable alone Reducing Conflict (Cont.) вЂў Summary вЂ“ Lose-lose methods: compromise вЂ“ Win-lose methods: dominance вЂ“ Win-win methods: problem solving Increasing Conflict вЂў Increase conflict when it is dysfunctionally low вЂ“ Heterogeneous groups: members have different backgrounds вЂ“ DevilвЂ™s advocate: offers alternative views вЂ“ Organizational culture: values and norms that embrace conflict and debate Conflict Insights вЂў вЂў вЂў вЂў вЂў вЂў Possible positive effects of conflict Latent conflict Conflict aftermath Conflict episodes Links between episodes Latent conflict and methods of reduction International Aspects of Conflict in Organizations вЂў Cultures that emphasize individualism and competition вЂ“ Positively value conflict вЂ“ English-speaking countries, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium вЂў Cultures that emphasize collaboration, cooperation, conformity вЂ“ Negatively value conflict вЂ“ Many Asian and Latin American countries; Portugal, Greece, Turkey International Aspects of Conflict in Organizations (Cont.) вЂў No direct research evidence вЂў Cultural differences imply different functional conflict levels International Aspects of Conflict in Organizations (Cont.) вЂў Cross-cultural research has dealt with intergroup processes вЂў Collaborative and cooperative cultures expect little conflict during intergroup interactions вЂў Favor suppression of conflict with little discussion about people's feelings вЂў Felt conflict likely part of some conflict episodes but hidden from public view International Aspects of Conflict in Organizations (Cont.) вЂў Managers from an individualistic country operating in a less individualistic country вЂ“ Acceptable to express feelings during a conflict episode вЂ“ Suppression of feelings could baffle them вЂ“ Increasing conflict can confuse local people вЂ“ Almost immediate dysfunctional results Ethical Issues in Conflict in Organizations вЂў Tolerance for conflict вЂ“ Manager with a high tolerance for conflict; keeps conflict levels too high for subordinates вЂ“ Should such managers reveal their intentions about desired conflict levels? вЂ“ Full disclosure: subordinates could leave the group if conflict levels became dysfunctionally stressful вЂ“ Ethical question applies equally to newly hired employees Ethical Issues in Conflict in Organizations (Cont.) вЂў Deliberately increasing conflict is an effort to guide behavior in a desired direction вЂ“ Subtle methods of increasing conflict (forming heterogeneous groups) connote manipulation вЂ“ Full disclosure: manager states his intention to use conflict to generate ideas and innovation вЂ“ If people are free to join a group or not, the ethical issue likely subsides Ethical Issues in Conflict in Organizations (Cont.) вЂў Experiencing intrapersonal conflict вЂ“ Requests to act against one's moral values вЂ“ Observing behavior that one considers unethical вЂў Reduce intrapersonal conflict вЂ“ Report unethical acts вЂ“ Transfer to another part of the organization вЂ“ Quit Ethical Issues in Conflict in Organizations (Cont.) вЂў Different cultures place different values on conflict вЂ“ Optimal conflict levels vary among countries вЂ“ Lower levels conflict in collectivistic countries than individualistic countries Should managers honor such values even if their home country values support higher levels of conflict?