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ORGB 347 Chapter 7

4 Common sources of conflict
1. Personal differences
2. Information deficiencies
3. Role incompatibility
4. Environmental stress
1. Personal differences
discrepancies in perceptions and expectations
2. Information deficiencies
due to misinterpreted or misunderstood information

or when information comes from different sources

3. Role incompatibility
comes from conflicting expectations or incompatible job assignments within an organization
4. Environmental stress
a result of a scarcity of resources or environmental uncertainty
Is conflict always bad?
NO, interpersonal conflict is essential
People-focused conflict
refers to the “in your face” kind of confrontations.

affect level is high and the intense emotional heat is likely fueled by moral indignation.

issue-focused conflict
more like rational negotiations
an interpersonal decision making process by which two or more people agree how to allocate scarce resources
Five strategies for managing conflict
1. Forcing
2. Accommodating
3. Avoiding
4. Compromising
5. Collaborating
1. Forcing
you attempt to satisfy your own needs at the expense of the other person’s.

an uncooperative approach & assertive, clearly.

2. Accommodating
satisfy the needs of the other person, but neglect your own

A cooperative and unassertive approach

3. Avoiding
neglects the interests of both parties by side-stepping the issues

An uncooperative and unassertive approach

4. Compromising
tries to quickly come up with a solution that will satisfy both parties

intermediate on both assertiveness and cooperativeness

5. Collaborating
Attempts to address the problems of both parties and find the optimal solution

A cooperative and assertive approach

the distributive negotiation strategy
a win-lose strategy
it assumes that it is like dividing a pie. If one person gets more than the other gets less.

Accommodating
Avoiding
Compromising

the integrative negotiation strategy
win-win strategy
instead of dividing the pie, this strategy tries to make the pie bigger.

Collaborative

Four factors that help you determine which conflict management approach is best
1. importance of the issue
2. importance of relationship
3. relative power of the parties
4. time constraints involved
1. Forcing
very important
low relationship importance
high relative power
medium to high time constraints
2. Accommodating
Low issue importance
high relationship importance
low power
med to high time constraints
3. Compromising
medium issue importance
medium relationship importance
equal power
low time constraints
4. Collaborating
high issue importance
high relationship importance
equal power
low time constraint
5. avoiding
low issue importance
low relationship importance
equal power
med-high time constraints
framework for collaborative problem solving
1. establish superordinate goals
2. separate people from the problem
3. focus on interests, not positions
4. invent options for mutual gains
5. use objective criteria for evaluating alternatives
6. define success in terms of real gains, not imaginary losses
The four PHASES of collaborative problem solving
1. problem identification
2. solution generation
3. action plan formulation and agreement
4. implementation and follow up
What 7 things should the initiator do?
1. maintain personal ownership of the problem
2. succinctly describe your problems in terms of behaviors, consequences, and feelings
3. avoid drawing evaluative conclusions and attributing motives to the respondent
4. Persist until understood
5. Encourage two way discussion
6. manage the agenda
7. focus on commonalities
What 4 things should the respondent do?
1. show genuine interest and concern
2. ask questions
3. agree with some aspect of the complaint
4. ask for other alternatives
6 things mediator can do
1. acknowledge that a conflict exists and propose a problem solving approach to resolve it
2. seek out perspective of both parties
3. serve as facilitator, not judge
4. manage the discussion to ensure fairness. keep it issue oriented, not personality oriented
5. explore options by focusing on interests, not positions
6. make sure all parties fully understand and support the solution agreed upon
altruistic-nurturing personality
seeks gratification through promoting harmony with others.

trust, optimism, loyalty.

accommodating

assertive-directive
seeks gratification through self-assertion and directing the activities of others.

Forcing

analytic-autonomizing
seeks gratification through the achievement of self sufficiency, self reliance, and logical orderliness.

cautious, practical

Which of the following is the most difficult situation to manage in a collaborative manner?

a disagreement regarding roles and responsibilities
an interpersonal confrontation
a conflict due to environmental uncertainty
a misrepresentation of facts

interpersonal confrontation
Which of the following conflict management strategies is an integrative approach?

compromising
accommodating
collaborating
all of these

collaborating
In a situation where two co-workers are arguing about their respective responsibilities, a joint negotiation meeting is appropriate.

True
False

True
An effective mediation strategy for bringing the two sides together is trying to get both parties to attack you.

True
False

False
In a situation where only one party is aware of a problem, the mediator should hold separate meetings first.

True
False

True
If someone approaches you and accuses you of doing something wrong, you are the

initiator
mediator
responder
originator

Responder
Studies show that managers most often use the problem-solving method of conflict resolution.

True
False

False
In bringing up a conflict situation, we should maintain responsibility for a problem, even if the other person caused it.

True
False

True
When maintaining the relationship is the number one priority, even more important than the issue, which of the following conflict management strategies is most appropriate?

compromising
collaborating
accommodating
avoiding

accommodating
When two parties quickly try to find a solution they both can live with, which conflict management strategy are they using?

forcing
collaborating
compromising
accommodating

Compromising
People looking for a “win-win” solution to a conflict are using an integrative negotiation strategy.

True
False

True
Successful conflict managers rely on one or two of their preferred conflict management strategies to resolve all conflicts.

True
False

False
We should be careful not to agree with any aspect of our adversary’s position during negotiations because it would weaken our position.

True
False

False
Which of the following is the most assertive and least cooperative response to a conflict situation?

avoiding
accommodating
compromising
forcing

Forcing
The collaboration approach to conflict management is the best to use in all situations.

True
False

False
A company is considering the possibility of moving its manufacturing plant to a Central American country. The financial manager points out that the company would save on production costs because the labor is so cheap and the country’s environmental regulations are not very strict. The production manager argues that it is an unethical move because it would exploit the native workers and damage the country’s environment. What is the source of the conflict between the financial manager and the production manager?

role incompatibility
personal differences
informational deficiency
environmental stress

Informational deciciency
Which of the following is the most unassertive and uncooperative response to a conflict situation?

accommodating
avoiding
compromising
collaborating

avoiding
The personality type most likely to use a forcing approach to conflict management is

analytic-autonomizing
altruistic-nurturing
aggressive-dominating
assertive-directing

assertive-directing
Studies on group decision-making show that having a “devil’s advocate” in the group

limits the number of alternatives generated
hinders performance
improves the group’s performance
undermines the group’s ability to work as a team

improves the group’s performance
Conflict in an organization is unhealthy and should be eliminated.

True
False

False

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