BUS610 Week 3 Assignment
BUS610 Week 3 Assignment
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Date Created: 11/14/15
Running head: CONFLICT 1 Conflict Identification and Resolution Mia A. Rapier BUS 610: Organizational Behavior Dr. Anthony Trotta September 28, 2014 CONFLICT 2 Conflict is part of our human disposition; consequently, it is customary within organizations. “Left unanalyzed and unchecked, it can be a destructive force that consumes time, money and human resources. Learning the various ways that people resolve conflict and expanding their conflict resolution styles can lead to better results” (Sadri, 2012). Within organizations employees have personal beliefs, styles and attitudes, and backgrounds that at times can cause disagreements, inconsistencies and ultimately, conflict. It is the intent of this paper to examine the archetype of conflict as an organizational behavior, while also introducing resolution concepts. This paper will assess the components of conflict by analyzing a conventional organizational dispute while highlighting the sources and level of conflict, and describing the necessary steps for conflict resolution. Within the framework of organizational behavior, conflict “may be defined as a circumstance in which one party negatively affects or seeks to negatively affect another party” (Baack, 2012). Within an organization conflict can assume two forms, functional and dysfunctional. Functional conflict is ultimately for the benefit of a company and it “occurs when the organization's interests are served in some way, such as improvement in performance or greater cooperation among individuals or groups. Functional conflict is also called constructive, or cooperative, conflict” (Baack, 2012). This sort of conflict can aid an organization and strengthen cohesiveness among employees by working to promote the company by including the input of various staff members thus, making employees feel a sense of gratification and accord. Dysfunctional conflict within an organization is the polar opposite; this sort of conflict pursues arguments and dispute to tear down the ideas and motives of others while singlehandedly damaging the bottomline of an organization. Three categories of dysfunctional conflict have CONFLICT 3 been identified: task conflict (disagreement about the type of work that should be performed and goals), relationship conflict (relational disputes), and process conflict (disagreement about means of doing a job or performing tasks) (Baack, 2012). Not all conflicts are created equally and as a result, when dealing with organizational conflict it is important to understand what sort of conflict behavior is being demonstrated. According to the text Organizational Behavior (2012), the four levels of conflict are as follows: intrapersonal, or intrapsychic, conflict; interpersonal conflict; intragroup conflict; and intergroup conflict. By having an understanding of these different types of conflict organizational management will best be able to offer resolution. Intrapersonal conflict happens within an individual and is characterized by “ideas, thoughts, values, and emotions [that] conflict with one another. [i.e.], selling a product that you do not think has sufficient quality may create an intrapsychic conflict when you…recognize the need to make sales and generate personal income” (Baack, 2012). Interpersonal conflict is conflict between two or more people and within a work environment this conflict can include everything from racial and gender slurs to sexually inappropriate comments, even rejection and ridicule based on sexual preference. Intragroup conflict refers to disagreements between members of a group. Within an organization intragroup conflict could exist between employees working as a team or in groups, people who have the same work objective and work closely together, but face conflict as the result of differing goals, leadership responsibilities, or methods of operation (Baack, 2012). Intergroup conflict takes place between workplace group or team members, employees tasked with working on specific projects for the organization. These sort of conflicts develop when “disagreements about goals, differences of opinion about which group should be assigned a CONFLICT 4 project or task, or budget allocations become the focus of attention” (Baack, 2012). These four levels of conflict can be addressed differently within an organization dependent on the hierarchy of the company and the respective authoritative roles of management and the human resource department. Conflicts concerning leadership within the workplace typically happen when new owners, managers or supervisors come on board at a company and enact policies different from their predecessors. For example, if firstline staff at an organization are accustomed to combining their two 15minute breaks into their 30minute lunch break to make it longer, with the consent of management, but under new management breaks are no longer to be combined just taken separately, conflict amongst staff may ensue. For organizations and management, “being clear from the start about any changes between the old and new leadership can help resolve much of this type of conflict” (Gaines, 2014). Personal experience regarding organizational conflict as a result of leadership will act as the example for this paper. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, workplace conflict as a result of leadership tends to occur when new staff, or staff persons in new more authoritative positions, use management styles different from their predecessors. For my example, a new property manager was hired at a building where I served in management for a different, though interrelated department. Prior to the hiring of the new staff person the programming, budgeting, and overall running of my department was controlled unilaterally, amongst all middle and top line managers. Once ideas concerning programming and budgets were agreed upon, each respective manager was to implement fiftypercent of those ideas within their department, along with fiftypercent of programming and budgetary matters that they personally proposed. Upon CONFLICT 5 the arrival of the new property manager, almost immediately, all department concerns, budgeting issues, and programming were to be approved by the new manager without the input of others. As one can imagine, this manager’s new management and leadership style rubbed many in the building the wrong way. After being accustomed to a very specific and democratic method of management for all departments within the building, to a new, less desirable autocracy, left many employees unhappy, some even seeking new employment. Resolution for this leadership conflict was unanimously agreed upon for the various building managers; it was imperative to us that our concerns, areas of expertise, and collective voices be heard and respected by this new manager. This new manager aligned herself with a specific conflict style: contending/competing, this style “occurs when one side fully pursues its outcomes with no regard for the outcomes of the other side. Strong tactics, such as threats, intimidation, and unilateral action, appear. Other terms associated with contending include ‘dominating’ and ‘forcing’” (Baack, 2012). The new property manager refused to hold oneonone meetings with managers to discuss their concerns nor did she offer understanding to staff in response to their concerns. In the end, a handful of managers and firstline staff people resigned as a result of the new management. The vast majority of managers, myself included, remained in our position and continued to perform our job duties per the new regime, unfortunately what was lost was our enthusiasm, and sense of appreciation and validation which as many know, is not necessarily an absolute when working for another person. The specific steps employed to resolve the leadership conflict issue were as follows: each department manager emailed the new property manager in an attempt to meet oneonone and introduce themselves while also having the opportunity to discuss how their respective CONFLICT 6 departments have been managed in the past. Next, the quarterly property management portfolio’s from the previous year (which detail programming, facility usage, budgetary issues, and upcoming events) were compiled by the property manager’s new assistant (a person in the same position for nearly ten years), on behalf of the respective department heads, to provide a quantitative and qualitative resource for the new manager concerning how the building has functioned and thrived prior to their arrival. Lastly, a seasoned department manager suggested to the new property manager that visiting each department, and meeting with the department head during her first 30days to garner an understanding of how each department is managed. In the end, none of the resolution suggestions were honored thus, leading to more internal employee conflict. The aim of conflict resolution is to have an “agreement, stronger relationships, and organizational learning. Agreement is achieved when both sides believe a settlement was fair or equitable. Stronger relationships emerge when both parties try to build trust and goodwill for the future” (Baack, 2012). Potential outcomes for the aforementioned scenario involving the new property manager include: the leadership conflict could help introduce muchneeded change within the organization; it is possible that some of the previous managerial ways were antiquated and with the addition of some of the new manager’s ideals coupled with some of the best practices from the old management, a new and better building management could ensue. Next, the ongoing leadership conflict could trigger creativity and innovation on the part of long standing department managers; being forced in a sense to develop new ways in which to run a department as a result of the new property manager could incite department heads to think outside the box and develop new, more transformative ways to manage for the furtherance of the CONFLICT 7 entire building. Finally, conflict resolution may foster increased communication in the future; a scenario in which so many employees are unhappy and seeking validation, empathy, and egalitarianism, could eventually strengthen the communication of all employees in all departments, for fear of being overlooked or undervalued. It was the intent of this paper to examine the archetype of conflict as an organizational behavior, while also introducing different resolution concepts. This paper assessed the components of conflict by analyzing a leadership conflict dispute while highlighting the sources and level of conflict, and describing the necessary steps for conflict resolution. CONFLICT 8 Reference Baack, D. (2012). Organizational behavior. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Gaines, M. (2014). Types of workplace conflict. The Houston Chronicle: Chron. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/typesworkplaceconflict2833.html Limbare, S. (2012). Leadership Styles & Conflict Management Styles of Executives. Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, 48(1), 172180. Retrieved from http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.proxy library.ashford.edu/eds/detail/detail? vid=4&sid=3635cbde4b7844c0ba0e c5695e2f1a53%40sessionmgr4005&hid=4202&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3 #db=bsh&AN=83403386 Sadri, G. (2012). Conflict’s here. What now? Industrial Management, 54(3), 2025. Retrieved from http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.proxy library.ashford.edu/eds/detail/detail? vid=1&sid=3635cbde4b7844c0ba0e c5695e2f1a53%40sessionmgr4005&hid=4202&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3 #db=bsh&AN=75332322 CONFLICT 9
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