INTERPERSONAL CONFLICT (PowerPoint) by jennyyingdi

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• Goldman (1966) presented a cycle of conflict based on;
   (1) an initiating event,
   (2) an influencing event, and
  (3) a concluding event.
• Pondy (1967) presented a model of organizational
  conflict that identified five stages of conflict episode:
  (1) latent conflict,
  (2) perceived conflict,
  (3) felt conflict,
  (4) manifest conflict, and
  (5) conflict aftermath.
• Thomas’s (1976) process model of conflict episode
  (1) frustration,
  (2) conceptualization,
  (3) behaviour, and
  (4) outcome.
A Model of Organizational Conflict
                     LEVELS OF CONFLICT
• Irritation
   – The problems or difficulties are not significant;
   – you could do without them but they are easily ignored.
• Annoyance
   – The problems bring a growing frustration, stress begins to increase and
     difficulties are expected.
   – Objections are usually voiced logically.
• Anger
   – The problems bring about strong feelings of injustice, hurt and enmity.
   – Objections start being voiced emotionally.
• Violence
   – The position taken is thought to be totally justified.
   – Retribution and payback become the order of the day; there is a need to win,
     irrespective of the cost, and for the other party to lose.
   – Physical action is thought to be appropriate.
   – Objections are expressed physically because argument using words has been to
     no avail - people walk off the job, go on strike, abuse the product, etc.
• Conflict between individuals can also be brought about by:
Poor communication
• Conflict can arise “Where the parties are unable to express
  themselves, verbalise their needs, state the case adequately,
  provide logical and structured argument, or listen effectively”
• The more limited the communication skills a person has, the
  greater possibility of physical violence.
Perceived differences
• Humans form groups naturally and distinguish their group from
• This can lead to possible conflict between:
   – races,
   – religions,
   – political systems and,
   – teams or departments at work.
Biological orientation
• This stems from the Darwinian concept of
  the survival of the fittest.
• Here it is suggested that conflict is both
  natural and healthy.
• Nature is red in tooth and claw.
• Weak organisations go to the wall.

Spatial relationships
• Individuals seem to need their own space.
• Consequently, when there is overcrowding
  conflict usually increases.
• Fisher and Ury (1981), principled negotiation or
  negotiation on merits.
• Four principles of negotiation relate to,
  – People (separate people from the problem),
  – Interests (focus on Interests, not Positions)
  – Options, (invent Options for mutual Gain) and
  – Criteria (insist on using Objective criteria).
     • market value, attainment of specific goals, scientific
       judgment, ethical standards etc.
• “personality effects are influential and highly important in
  cooperation–conflict behaviour,
• Extroverts are energised by the outside world, whereas introverts
  much prefer to go into themselves to be energised.
• Extroverts will find out what they think and what they believe by
  talking, discussing and arguing with others.
• Extroverts talk first and this helps them to think.
• Extroverts are more likely to strive for collaborative or integrative
  style of handling conflict than introverts
• Introverts, think and review things quietly on their own.
• Introverts think first and this helps them to talk.
• Conflict might occur when;
   – a) an extrovert cannot understand why an introvert will not talk to
     him/her about a conflict problem and
   – b) an introvert cannot understand why an extrovert won’t think through
     the situation first before talking and arguing.
• Thinkers like to base conclusions on facts using logic and analysis, and
  like to achieve objective truth as far as possible.
• Thinkers find it easy to separate themselves from a situation and be
  dispassionate in their approach.
• In conflict situations thinkers will seek the most logical solution,
• Thinkers try to persuade by logic and feel frustrated when feelers are
  influenced by emotions,
• The thinkers handle conflict through dominating and integrating styles.
• Feelers are comfortable about making decisions according to their
  personal values, and usually strive for harmony and well-being.
• Feelers place importance on emotions and empathy for the individuals
  involved in the situation.
• Feelers strive for the most harmonious outcome. What is logical and
  what is harmonious are not usually the same.
• The feelers handle conflict through compromising and obliging styles,
• People can have two very different ways of experiencing the
• Sensors like to employ all of their five senses to gain facts and
  details about things that are going on in the present.
• When they talk they are literal, specific and usually detailed.
• Decisions are made when the facts and the figures are there
  to support a chosen option.
• Intuitives are naturally drawn towards the big picture and the
  patterns, possibilities and options, as well as the meanings
  and connections between things.
• Decisions tend to be made based on possibilities which rely
  on implications that are there to support them.
• Conflict can occur when,
   – the sensors want to stay with the facts and the detail, and
   – the intuitives want to concentrate on the implications of the big
• This is about how people like to organise their lives.
• Judgers are usually organised, structured, like to make plans and
  start working on things early so that deadlines can be comfortably
• They like to make decisions and work with minimum diversions.
• Judgers love closure.
• Perceivers find it easy to collect information before coming to a
• In their approach to life they are more free and easy, adaptable
  and flexible.
• They prefer spontaneity rather than structure, and tend to dislike
• Conflict can arise when judgers want closure on a situation and
  work to create a structure to achieve it and then move on. They
  come into difficulty when perceivers attempt to keep the situation
  fluid by keeping their options open for as long as possible.
                   Bases of Power
• French and Raven’s (1959) bases of power
   – coercive, and non-coercive (reward, expert, legitimate, and
• Jamieson and Thomas (1974) examined students’ perception
  of their teachers’ bases of power and their own modes of
  handling conflict with teachers.
• The students (at the high school and undergraduate levels)
  reported somewhat less accommodating (obliging) and
  somewhat more competing (dominating) styles with teachers
  who used more coercive power.
• Coercive power was positively correlated with the competing
  (dominating) mode at the graduate level.
• Referent power induced the accommodating (obliging) mode
  at the high school and undergraduate level and the
  collaborating (integrating) mode at the graduate level.
            Organizational Culture
• Likert and Likert (1976),
  – exploitive–authoritative,
  – benevolent–authoritative,
  – consultative, and
  – participative organizations,
• positive organizational climate, such as System IV,
  can provide for a more functional management of
  conflict than Systems I, II, or III.
• E.g., when organisations resolve conflict through
  suppression or avoidance., its systems and
  procedures will be slow and cumbersome.
             GENDER and CONFLICT
• Men and women differ psychologically in some respects.
• There are thousands of exceptions to what is suggested here, but
  many of the below have been the basis of conflict between men
  and women since Eve persuaded Adam to eat the apple - or did
  Adam want to eat it in the first place?
• Women like to talk about problems, Men prefer just to offer
• Women listen to the emotional content and sometimes miss facts,
  Men hear facts and sometimes miss the emotional content.
• Women like to take time over a decision, Men like to decide
• Women like to show their feelings , Men like to hide their
• Women like to multi-task, Men like to do things one at a time.
• Women are more interested in people than things , Men are more
  interested in things than people.
            GENDER and STYLES
• Women tend to be more integrating, avoiding, and
  compromising and less obliging than men
  managers. (Rahim, 1983a)
• Females used more avoiding and compromising
  styles than males. (Cole, 1996)
• males used more dominating styles than females,
  (Cole, 1996).
• A transactional analysis training may be useful
  when members of an organization are having
  difficulty in the selection and use of integrating
  style, and/or they are making frequent use of
  obliging, dominating, and avoiding styles.
Transactional analysis, developed by Berne (1961,
• The three aspects of transactional analysis are,
  – structural analysis,
  – transactional analysis proper, and
  – life positions.
    Structural, or personality, analysis
• It is the study of ego states (“coherent systems of thought
  and feeling manifested by corresponding patterns of
• Human beings interact with each other in terms of three
  psychological states :
   – Parent (P),
   – Adult (A), and
   – Child (C).
• Parent ego state: reflects the attitudes, values, and behaviour
  of authority figures, especially parents.
• May include:
   –   prejudicial,
   –   critical,
   –   manipulative, or
   –   nurturing attitudes and behaviour.
Adult ego state:
• represents the rational part of personality and
  based on reason, collecting and processing
  information for problem solving.
Child ego state
• This state reflects the experiences and
  conditions of early childhood.
• In this state, the individual becomes a child
       Transactional analysis proper
• Transaction is the basic unit of communication.
• The three ego states affect the interactions of a person
  with others.
• The basic unit of communication is called a transaction.
• There are three types of transactions;
  – Complementary or parallel transaction
     • “when stimulus and response on the P–A–C transaction diagram
       make parallel lines, the and can go on indefinitely
  – Uncomplementary or cross transaction
     • when a message from one ego state receives a response from a
       different ego state than intended.
  – Ulterior transaction
     • when the overt stimulus indicates a transaction at one level but the
       underlying intent of it may place the transaction at another level
Life positions
“person tends to be dominated by
one of the four life positions (Harris,
• Appeal to Authority
• The Ombudsman
  – helping
     • tries to formulate unique, individualized solutions for employee
  – fact-finding
     • tries to determine whether appropriate rules and procedures were
       followed and whether there is a satisfactory explanation for a
• The structural mechanism can be used for routine
• Should not undermines the formal hierarchical
  relationships in organizations,
• Not appropriate for managing intergroup and other
  strategic conflicts.

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