CONFLICT MANAGEMENT Conflict management refers on the way how we approach the other party in a conflict situation. There are main structural approaches such as emphasizing superordinate goals, reducing differentiation, improving communication and understanding, reducing task independence, increasing resources, and clarifying rules and procedures. Emphasizing Supeordinate Goals The first way to resolve the conflict is to seek and find the common goals. The emphasizing superordinate goals are common objectives held by conflicting parties that are more important than the department or individual goals on which the conflict is based.If the commitments to corporate wide goals increase, the employees will pay less attention to competing individual or departmental-level goals.
So, it reduces their perceived conflict with co-workers. Besides that, they also can reduce the problem of incompatibility and differentiation by establishing a common frame of reference. For example, the most effective executive teams frame their decision as superordinate goals that arise above each executive’s departmental or divisional goals. Reducing DifferentiationBesides that, another way for resolving conflict is to remove the sources of different values and beliefs that produce the conflict in the first place.
When the employees think they have same backgrounds or experience with other workers, they will be more motivated to coordinate their activities and resolve the conflict. For example, move the employees to different jobs so that they come to depend on each others. Improving Communication and Understanding The third way to minimize the conflict involves by giving the conflict parties more opportunities to communicate and understand each other. By aving the good communication, the employees can understand and appreciate each other’s views and opinions. It relates to contact hypothesis which is the more meaningful interaction we have with someone, the less we rely on stereotypes to understand that person. There are two warnings. First, apply communication or understanding after reducing differentiation. For example, when we interact with people who are quite different and have conflict with us, we tend to select information that reinforces that view.
So, communication and understanding interventions are most effective when differentiation is sufficiently low.Second, people in collectivist and high power distance cultures are less comfortable with the practice of resolving differences through open communication. People in Confucian cultures prefer an avoidance conflict management style since it is consistent with face saving and harmony. Furthermore, direct communication is high-risk because it threatens the harmony easily. Reducing Interdependence Another way to minimize dysfunctional conflict may involve reducing the level of interdependence between the parties.
It can occur by dividing the shared sources so that each party has exclusive use part of it in different times.Sequentially, interdependence task may be combined so that they can form a pooled or shared interdependence. Furthermore, buffers also can help to reduce the interdependence level among people. It includes resources such as more inventories could be added between people who perform sequential tasks.
The organizations use human buffers as people who serve as intermediaries between interdependent people or work units that do not get along through direct interaction. Increasing Resources The dysfunctional conflict also can be reduced by increasing the amount of resource available.It also refers by duplicating the resources so that can minimize the conflict. Corporate decision makers might dismiss this solution quickly because of the costs involved. Nevertheless, these costs with the costs of dysfunctional conflict that arise out of resource scarcity must be compared carefully. Clarifying Rules and Procedures Conflicts that arise from unclear and ambiguous can be resolved through establishing rules and procedures.
This strategy has been applied by Armstrong World Industries, Inc. , when consultants and information system employees clashed while working together on development of a client-server network.Moreover, the rules establish the changes of interdependence. For example, employee’s work hours or a supplier’s order fulfillment.
RESOLVING CONFLICT THROUGH NEGOTIATION Negotiation is the process whereby two or more conflicting parties attempt to resolve their divergent goals by redefining the terms of their interdependence. In the other meaning, people negotiate when discussion can meet satisfaction and resolution in their exchange of goods and services. For example, the employees negotiate with supervisors over next month’s work assignment. Bargaining Zone Model of NegotiationsBargaining zone means the process of negotiation moves each party along a continuum an area of potential overlap. It can be applied to situations in which both sides potentially gain from the negotiations.
There are three main points of this model. First, the initial-offer point is the team’s opening offer to the other party. Second, the target point is the team’s realistic goal or expectation for a final agreement. Third, the resistance point is the point beyond which the team will not make further concessions. Negotiation begins with describing the initial-offer point for each item on the plan.Besides that, in the win-lose situations, neither the target nor resistance point is revealed to the other party. If the parties have a win-win situation, the objective is to find a creative solution that keeps both parties close to their initial-offer points. Situational Influences on Negotiations Both the situation and the behaviors of negotiators are the effectiveness of negotiating.
There are four important situational factors such as location, physical setting, time and audience. First, location is easier to negotiate as we are common with the negotiating environment and are able to maintain comfortable routines.It is also no need to depend on others for resources during negotiation. Second, the physical distance between the parties and formality of the setting can influence their orientation with each other. Sometimes, people who sit face-to-face tend to develop a win-lose orientation toward the situation. Third, the longer time in negotiations can lead to stronger commitment in reaching a solution.
For example, the more time people put in negotiation, the stronger the tendency to make unwarranted concessions. So that, the negotiation is going to be succeed.Time deadlines are a liability in negotiation which it is useful to motivate people to complete it. Lastly, most negotiators have the audiences. They can be anyone that is interested in the negotiation outcomes. For examples are executives, other team members, or general public. The negotiators tend to be more competitive and less willing to make concessions when the audience has the direct observation towards the proceedings. Negotiator Skills The negotiator skills are important in resolving conflict arise.
Four of most important skills are setting goals, gathering information, communicating effectively, and making concessions.Firstly, negotiators should prepare for the negotiation and set goals. They also should think carefully through their initial-offer, target and resistance points. If the negotiation fails, they need to consider alternative strategies. Besides that, they need to check their underlying assumptions as well as goods and values. Secondly, in order to gather the information, negotiators should spend more time listening to the other party and asking the details.
Thirdly, effective negotiators communicate in a way to maintain strong relationships between parties. They also will avoid irritating statements.Furthermore, they are masters of persuasion so that it is accepted by others. Lastly, making concessions are important because they enable the parties to move toward the area of potential agreement, symbolize each party’s motivation to bargain in good faith, and tell others about the importance of negotiating items. THIRD-PARTY CONFLICT RESOLUTION Third-party conflict resolution is any attempt by a relatively neutral person to help the parties resolve their differences. Procedural fairness is important when the third party makes a binding decision to resolve the dispute.There are three types of third-party resolution activities, which are arbitration, inquisition, and mediation.
Arbitration is the final stage of grievances by unionized employees, and is becoming more common in nonunion conflicts. The arbitrators have high control over the final decision but low control over process. They will decide the outcome of a dispute between two parties. Besides that, executives engage in this strategy by following previous agreed-on-rules of due process, making a binding decision and listening to arguments from the dispute parties.Inquisitors control all discussion about the conflict and choose the form of conflict resolution.
They have high decision control and high process control. They generally the conflict resolution process and enforce a resolution that they perceive to be the most appropriate. There are important ways to limit the collaborative problem solving process. First, they generally operate on assumptions of the problem and the relevant information in solving the problem. Second, they limit the information that they gather to the information they specifically request from disputants. As a result, inquisitors make quick decisions to resolve conflicts.Mediators have high control over the intervention process. Their main purpose is to manage the process and context of interaction between the dispute parties.
However, the parties make the final decision about how to resolve their differences. So, mediators have little or no control over the conflict resolution decision. There are several things mediators need to do to increase the likelihood of successful mediation such as suggest alternatives, prepare to invest time and effort, and insist on a detailed action plan.
On the other hand, the mediation is hard work and time consuming. CHOOSING THE BEST THIRD-PARTY INTERVENTION STRATEGYResearch suggests that people in positions of authority usually adopt an inquisitional approach which is they dominate the intervention process as making a binding decision. The inquisition approach is preferred by manager because it is consistent with the decision-oriented nature of managerial jobs, tends to resolve the disputes efficiently, and gives them control over the conflict process and outcome. Conversely, this approach is usually least effective in organizational settings. The problem is leaders who take in an inquisitional role be likely to collect the limited information about the problem.Besides that, the employees often view inquisitional procedures and outcomes as unfair.
The most appropriate of third-party resolution in organizations depends on the situation such as the type of disputes, the culture values and the relationship between the managers and employees. However in general speaking, the mediation approach is the best because it gives employees more responsibility for resolving their own disputes. It also offers the highest level of employee satisfaction with the conflict process and outcome.
References http://www. wright. edu/~scott. williams/LeaderLetter/mediation. htm