Conflict Management - University of Texas at Austin

Conflict Management - University of Texas at Austin

Conflict Management Definition of Conflict Common themes Perception of conflict Opposition or incompatibility Interaction A process that begins when one party perceives that another party has negatively affected, or is about to

negatively affect, something the first party cares about 3 Schools of Conflict Thought 1. Traditional View (1930s and 1940s) 2. Human Relations View (late 40s to mid 70s) 3. Interactionist View (current)

Functional vs. Dysfunctional Types of Conflict Conflict and Unit Performance EXHIBIT 14-9a

!CONFLICT! Its Inevitable...and necessary 1. Causes of team conflict 2. When to call the boss 3. Conflict management styles Causes of Team Conflict: External Issues Competing for scarce resources

Lack of information sharing Lack of clear direction Others working on same issue Lack of buy-in with recommendations Causes of Team Conflict Team Member Issues Performance issues Behavior problems

(absenteeism, late work, not doing what promised) Work quality problems Causes of Team Conflict: Team Member Issues Interaction/Communication Issues Schedule conflicts One member taking over

Conflict between members Disagreeing over responsibilities Differing values, attitudes, or personalities Conflict: When to call the boss External issues - almost always Team performance issues use strategies for conflict management and attempt to

resolve if no immediate and sustained improvement, ask the boss for facilitation assistance Conflict: When to call the boss Team interaction/ communication issues require immediate

facilitation, inform boss and discuss next steps together Conflict Management Styles EXHIBIT 14-2 Which Conflict Style Is Best?

Use avoidance When an issue is trivial To temporarily delay, allow emotions to cool Use accommodation When you find you are wrong As a favor, build relationship

Use competition When quick, decisive action vital When dont trust opponent Use compromise When goals are important but not worth the effort/disruption of

more assertive approach Use collaboration When concerns are too important to be compromised When objective is to merge insights, gain commitment When have the time

Conflict Management Techniques Focus on compromising, collaborating styles Focus on (superordinate) shared goals requiring cooperation Use communication

skills Use problem solving/ decision-making skills Expansion of resources Smoothing Altering human variable Altering structural variables Bringing in outsiders Restructuring the

organization Appointing a devils advocate Authoritative command Example: Apollo 13

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