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Conflict Resolution

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There are four principles in creating a high performance work system. When all four principles are practiced, you may have good performance in a team.

The four principles are:

1. Shared information

2. Knowledge development

3. Performance reward linkage

4. Egalitarianism

Within these four principles there are three of them that generally cause the most conflict in any team or company.

Shared information is one of the first ways to improve a team. A good example to use is a corporation, where the team is massive. The CEO along with the executives makes decisions and then passes the information to upper management, which in turn is filtered to middle management. The problem with the information is that it never reaches the people who are doing the labor and if the information reaches them, they do not understand how it can affect them. If the executives do a good job of communicating with employees, the employees are more likely to be willing and able to work towards the goals of the company.

On a smaller scale sharing information with in a team can also help the team because in a team there are always different points of views. "A picture is worth a thousand words" Everyone in the team has their own individual points of view. By sharing one article with the team, each member will pull out different information that could be of vital use. Each member in the team has their own individual skills and abilities that could be useful and is that not reason we use teams? Getting to know everyone is a critical step in any team or project to make sure we use everyone to the full potential. The CEO of a company in many instances does not know that within his labor force there are people with high level of education and experience that could be used to improve the whole company instead of one product.

Looking deeper in to conflicts with in teams, generally there are two types or forms of conflicts, Substantive conflict and emotional conflict. Substantive conflict is a fundamental disagreement over which ends or goals to pursue and how to achieve them. For example, a disagreement of company resources, power and rewards. Emotional conflict involves interpersonal difficulties that arise over feelings of anger, mistrust, dislike, fear, resentment, and so on.

In the example of a corporation, substantive conflict occurs within the shared information category. The best way to maintain this type of conflict is to use compromising methods to seek an optimal solution so the group is satisfied as a whole. Generally when a whole group is satisfied, then group dynamics will greatly improve. More of the different conflict management methods are listed at the continuum down below.

Conflict can be approached differently depending on how it is managed. There are generally two types of conflicts, dysfunctional and functional. In organizations, conflicts can be made functional if it is managed correctly. In figure 1.1, you can exhibit that there is a relationship between intensity of conflict and impact of performance. The diagram below shows signs of stress and the outcomes in various levels. The desired level of stress is in the middle of the diagram and contains positive factors which stress can cause.

Diagram A

P362 Conflict and Negotiation, Organizational behavior

A good definition of team dynamics is a group of individuals that changing to improve the productivity of the team. Productivity or performance is dependent

on motivation, environment and ability.

Diagram B

P15 Chapter 1, Managing Human Resources

Teams usually cannot change motivation or their environment but they can improve there abilities by selecting the proper roles for each member development.

An effective manager can use the five key points to manage conflict. If you refer to the table below, you can see the different scenarios a manager could use according to the situation. However, each situation can provide three possible solutions, A Lose-lose situation, a win-lose situation and a win-win situation. When nobody achieves what they want, it becomes a lose-lose situation. This is where the avoidance stage comes into play. When you have accommodation or competition, you create a win-lose situation, where only one party wins and the other one loses. The reason of this is because this type of conflict creates a high level of assertiveness and a low level of cooperation. The optimal situation would be a combination of high co-operation and high assertiveness. Win-win conditions aims to eliminate the reasons for continuing or reviving conflict by encouraging compromise, collaboration and problem solving. Reaching a win-win condition is the ideal solution to maintain and improve group dynamics. However, it is not always possible to have a win-win situation due to time or cost factors. For example: Collaboration and problem solving should only be used when time and cost allows this type of conflict resolution. Avoidance would be effective only when there are issues that need more insight or when people need to regain perspective. Authoritative command should be used when quick and decisive actions must be made or when unpopular actions must be implemented. Accommodation is ideal when there are issues more important to others than yourself. Finally, compromise may be used for temporary settlements



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