Conflict and Negotiation in the Workplace

Conflict and Negotiation in the Workplace

McGraw-Hill/Irwin

Copyright © 2013 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

Chapter 11

1

 

Managing Intergenerational Conflict at L’Oreal Canada

L’Oreal Canada executive Marjolaine Rompré (left in this photo, with CEO Javier San Juan and Garnier brand director Sheila Morin) introduced educational seminars to help employees across generations improve their mutual understanding and thereby minimize conflict.

 

 

2

Conflict Defined

The process in which one party perceives that its interests are being opposed or negatively affected by another party

11-3

 

3

Is Conflict Good or Bad?: Pre 1970s

Historically, experts viewed conflict as dysfunctional

Undermined relations

Wasted human energy

More job dissatisfaction, turnover, stress

Less productivity, information sharing

 

 

 

 

Level of conflict

Conflict outcomes

Bad

Good

Low

High

0

 

 

11-4

4

 

Is Conflict Good or Bad?: 1970s-1990s

1970s to 1990s – belief in an optimal level of conflict

Some level of conflict is good because:

Energizes debate

Reexamine assumptions

Improves responsiveness to external environment

Increases team cohesion

 

 

 

 

Level of conflict

Conflict outcomes

Bad

Good

Low

High

0

 

 

 

Optimal conflict

 

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Is Conflict Good or Bad?: Emerging View

Two types of conflict

Constructive conflict — Conflict is aimed at issue, not parties

Produces benefits of conflict

However, likely an upper limit to any conflict

Relationship conflict — Conflict is aimed at undermining the other party

Introduces perceptual biases

Distorts information processing

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Is Conflict Good or Bad?: Emerging View

Goal: encourage constructive conflict, minimize relationship conflict

Problem: difficult to separate constructive from relationship conflict

Drive to defend activated when ideas are critiqued

 

 

 

 

Level of conflict

Conflict outcomes

Bad

Good

Low

High

0

 

 

 

Constructive conflict

Relationship conflict

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Minimizing Relationship Conflict

Three conditions that minimize relationship conflict while engaging in constructive conflict

Emotional intelligence

Cohesive team

Supportive team norms

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Critical Thinking Question

The chief executive officer of Creative Toys, Inc., read about cooperation in Japanese companies and vowed to bring the same philosophy to the company. The goal is to avoid all conflict so that employees will work cooperatively and be happier at Creative Toys. Discuss the merits and limitations of the CEO’s policy.

 

9

 

 

The Conflict Process

Sources of

Conflict

Manifest

Conflict /

Behavior

 

 

Conflict

Outcomes

 

Conflict

Perceptions

Conflict

Emotions

 

 

 

Conflict

Escalation Cycle

11-10

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Differentiation

Task Interdependence

Different values/beliefs

Explains cross-cultural and generational conflict

Conflict increases with interdependence

Pooled, Sequential, & Reciprocal

Parties more likely to interfere with each other

 

Incompatible

Goals

One party’s goals perceived to interfere with other’s goals

Reinforced by reward system

Structural Sources of Conflict

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Ambiguous Rules

Communication Problems

Creates uncertainty, threatens goals

Without rules, people rely on politics

Increases stereotyping

Reduces motivation to communicate

Escalates conflict when arrogant

Lack of opportunity, ability, & motivation

Scarce Resources

Motivates competition for the resource

Structural Sources of Conflict

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12

 

Conflict Handling at Xerox

Xerox CEO Ursula Burns (left in this photo) warns that the company has too much avoidance conflict handling. “We are really, really, really nice,” she emphasizes. “I want us to stay civil and kind, but we have to be frank.”

 

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Interpersonal Conflict Handling Styles

Win-win orientation

believe parties will find a mutually beneficial solution

Working together produces creative solution

Win-lose orientation

belief that the more one party receives, the less the other receives

Escalates conflict

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Assertiveness

Cooperativeness

Forcing

Problem-solving

Compromising

Avoiding

Yielding

High

Low

High

Interpersonal Conflict Handling Styles

11-15

15

 

Conflict Handling Contingencies

Problem solving (win-win orientation)

Best when:

Interests are not perfectly opposing

Parties have trust/openness

Issues are complex

Problem: other party take advantage of information

Forcing (win-lose orientation)

Best when:

you have a deep conviction about your position

quick resolution required

other party would take advantage of cooperation

Problems: relationship conflict, long-term relations

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16

 

Conflict Handling Contingencies

Avoiding

Best when:

relationship conflict is high

conflict resolution cost is higher than benefits

Problems: doesn’t resolve conflict, frustration

Yielding (giving in)

Best when:

other party has much more power

issue is much less important to you than other party

value/logic of your position is imperfect

Problem: Increases other party’s expectations

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17

 

Conflict Handling Contingencies

Compromising

Best when…

Parties have equal power

Quick solution is required

Parties lack trust/openness

Problem: Sub-optimal solution where mutual gains are possible

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18

 

Organizational Approaches to Conflict Resolution

Emphasize superordinate goals

Emphasize common objective rather than conflicting sub-goals

Reduces goal incompatibility and differentiation

19

1. Emphasize superordinate goals

Superordinate goal – a broad goal that all parties to a dispute

value and agree is important

• Emphasize common strategic objective rather than objectives

specific to the individual or work unit

• Reduces goal incompatibility and differentiation

2. Reduce differentiation

• Reduce differences that generate conflict

• Create common experiences e.g. moving staff across merged

companies

Structural Approaches to Conflict Resolution (Ways to alter causes of conflict)

Emphasizing superordinate goals (goal that both parties value)

Emphasize common objective rather than conflicting sub-goals

Reduces goal incompatibility and differentiation

Reducing differentiation

Remove sources of different values and beliefs

e.g. Move employees around to different jobs

11-20

20

 

Structural Approaches to Conflict Resolution (Ways to alter causes of conflict)

Improving communication/understanding

Employees understand and appreciate each other’s views through communication

Relates to contact hypothesis

Two warnings:

Apply communication/understanding after reducing differentiation

A Western strategy that may conflict with values/traditions in other cultures

11-21

21

 

Structural Approaches to Conflict Resolution (Ways to alter causes of conflict)

Reduce Task Interdependence

Dividing shared resources

Combine tasks

Use buffers

Increase Resources

Duplicate resources

Clarify Rules and Procedures

Clarify resource distribution

Change interdependence

11-22

22

 

Resolving Conflict Through Negotiation

Negotiation — attempting to resolve divergent goals by redefining terms of interdependence

Which conflict handling style is best in negotiation?

Begin cautiously with problem-solving style

Shift to a win-lose style when

Mutual gains situation isn’t apparent

Other part won’t reciprocate info sharing

11-23

 

23

 

Types of Third Party Intervention

Mediation

Arbitration

Inquisition

Level of

Process Control

Level of Outcome Control

High

High

Low

11-24

24

 

Choosing the Best 3rd Party Strategy

Managers prefer inquisitional strategy, but not usually best approach

Mediation potentially offers highest satisfaction with process and outcomes

Use arbitration when mediation fails

25

 

Resolving Conflict Through Negotiation

Negotiation — conflicting parties attempt to resolve their divergent goals by redefining the terms of their interdependence.

Need to balance collaborative behaviors (create value) and competitive behaviors (claim value)

26

 

 

Your Positions

 

Initial Offer

 

 

Target

 

Initial Offer

 

 

Target

Opponent’s Positions

Area of

Potential

Agreement

Bargaining Zone Model

 

Resistance

 

 

Resistance

 

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27

 

Bargaining Zone

In win-lose situations

Parties begin with their initial offer point for each item on the bargaining agenda

Neither the target nor resistance points are revealed

Each side tries to move other side’s resistance point closer to their own initial offer

In purely win-win settings

Try to find a creative solution — keeps parties close to their initial offer points

 

McShane/Von Glinow OB 5e

© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

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Situational Influences on Negotiation

Location

Advantages of ‘home turf’ = no travel-related stress, easier access to resources, but can’t walk out

 

Physical setting

Time passage and deadlines

Time passage – Increases escalation of commitment to completing negotiations, but may result in excessive concessions

Deadlines – more motivation, but might make more concessions & less information sharing

Audience – anyone w/ a vested interest

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Effective Negotiation Behavior

Preparation and goal setting

Plan, goals, target, resistance points, consider alternatives

Gathering information

Communicating effectively

Focus on issues, use persuasion

Making concessions

Move toward area of agreement, motivating, communicates importance of negotiation

Depends on level of trust

Best strategy – be tough but still make concessions to motivate others to resolve conflict

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Questions?

 

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