Introduction Almost every conflict situation consists of one party having more power than the other. When the power differential is significant, this usually has a major effect on both the matter and process of the dispute. In order for the outcome of the conflict to be fair, both parties must be relatively equal when it comes to power if resolution of the conflict is to be fair. If one side is far more powerful than another, they are more likely to impose their solution on the weaker party, who in turn will be forced to acquiesce, because they have no other choice. (Tost, Gino & Larrick 2013) argues that “when a formal leader experiences a heightened subjective sense of power, he or she tends to dominate group discussions and interactions, which leads other team members to perceive that their views and perspectives are not valued”. This perceived imbalance definitely hampers any attempt at managing workplace conflict. When employees feel that they have no authority or empowerment they tend to be disengaged, and disengaged employees effect productivity. Low productivity can be considered a form of dissatisfaction and thus labelled a conflict that must be addressed by both employee and manager. Conflict and Power The textbook definition of conflict is when two or more individuals or concepts appear to be incompatible, and in this case low productivity versus high productivity is the conflict that must be addressed between the employee and manager. Power on the other hand is the capacity to do something either by physical force or strength and in this case the employee perceives that the manager has all the power in this situation. This now becomes a power imbalance or struggle of major proportion as the employee perceives t... ... middle of paper ... ...etermine how efficiently and effectively the conflict is resolved. References Abigail, R. A., & Cahn, D. D. (2011). Managing conflict through communication. 4th Ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Fast, N., & Chen, S. (2009). When the boss feels inadequate: power, incompetence, and aggression. Psychological Science, 20(11), 1406-1413. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02452.x Greer, L. L., & van Kleef, G. A. (2010). Equality versus differentiation: The effects of power dispersion on group interaction. Journal Of Applied Psychology, 95(6), 1032-1044. doi:10.1037/a0020373 Wilmot, W., & Hocker, J. (2011). Interpersonal conflict. 8th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill. Tost, L., Gino, F., & Larrick, R. P. (2013). When power makes others speechless: the negative impact of leader power on team performance. Academy Of Management Journal, 56(5), 1465-1486. doi:10.5465/amj.2011.0180
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Teams are making a positive impact on many businesses and are proven to be very beneficial for accomplishing tasks within the organization more efficiently; however, there must be an awareness of how power plays an integral part when managing or leading these teams. Businesses are also recognizing that in order for their organization to be successful, effective leadership is vital to motivate, reward, and empower their employees; therefore, if leaders do not use their power in a constructive way, the impact on the infrastructure of the organization would be devastating. For example, morale is lowered, excessive absenteeism from work, and employee turnovers within the organization. A common problem found within organizations is the abuse of power. Individuals who abuse power, exhibits fear of losing that power due to a lack of confidence in job performance. Perhaps what most leaders do not understand is that the critical element in a company’s success is interdependence on one another. In other words, in order for the company to move forward, the leader must encourage, support, and i...
Look up the word conflict in the dictionary and you will see several negative responses. Descriptions such as: to come into collision or disagreement; be at variance or in opposition; clash; to contend; do battle; controversy; quarrel; antagonism or opposition between interests or principles Random House (1975). With the negative reputation associated with this word, no wonder people tend to shy away when they start to enter into the area of conflict. D. Jordan (1996) suggests that there are two types of conflict: good, which is defined as cognitive conflict (C-type conflict) and, detrimental, defined as affective conflict (A-type conflict). The C-type conflict allows for creativity, to pull together a group of people with different opinions or ideas, to combine and brain storm all thoughts to develop the best solution for the problem. The A-type conflict is the negative form when you have animosity, hostility, un-resolveable differences, and egos to deal with. The list citing negative conflicts could go on forever. We will be investigating these types of conflicts, what managers can do to recognize conflict early, and what strategies they can use to resolve conflicts once they have advanced.
As defined in the text, power is a fundamental concept in conflict theory. If only it were that easy to define or label power in conflict as "good" or "bad". Simply stated, in and of itself, it is both. Similar to "beauty being in the eyes of the beholder," Power is much the same way — it is in the hands of the beholder. The English word power comes from the Latin posse — “to be able”. Dictionary.com defines power as “a person or thing that possesses or exercises authority or influence.” Power has a number of meanings and means something slightly different to everyone, but essentially is gives us the ability to do something. It can enable us to have the capacity to affect change when faced with conflict. So in reality when we use our power
One of the essential tasks of the management is identifying and solving workplace conflicts which Bent failed to accomplish. Several sources of conflicts are organizational changes (e.g. layoffs and change in ratio), different values (employee priorities versus corporate profits), threats to one’s status (employees; beliefs that they deserve the bonus), contrasting perceptions (beliefs on how the Scanlon Plan should work and how the management should handle downturns), lack of trust (employees’ distrust in management), and workplace incivility (Newstrom, 2014, p. 290), all of which are present in Engstrom. Workplace incivility pertains to the lack of respect in the organization (Newstrom, 2014, p. 290). Consequently, unresolved conflicts have diverse individual and organizational impacts. Fusch and Fusch (2015) studied leaders' conflict resolution strategies in the production line and learned that poor conflict management contributed to lower productivity and performance. A manager who cannot resolve intrapersonal clashes and identify work conflicts can indirectly contribute to displace organizational performance and morale
Not all conflicts are bad and well dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner can result in a positive outcome as they can allow individuals to “clear the air” and provide growth and development with individuals and within teams. At the same time, when mismanaged or brushed under the carpet this can give rise to serious difficulties and problems within the workplace.
Arnold, J.A., Arad, S., Rhoades, J.A., &Drasgow, F. (2000). Theempowering leadership questionnaire: The constructionand validation of a new scale for measuring leaderbehaviors. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 21, 249–269.
As human beings, we experience conflict in our everyday lives. It is a natural phenomenon of our personal and professional existence, that it becomes an inevitable component of human activity. In today’s ever-changing business environment organizations, conflict resolution styles are seen as culturally defined event. The success and efficiency of channelling conflicts, whether in a positive or negative manner, can affect the nature of it as being beneficial or destructive to us. However, if it is properly managed, it can in fact ‘increase individuals innovativeness and productivity’ (Uline, Tschannen-moran & Perez, 2003) while offering ‘interpersonal relationship satisfaction, creative problem solving, the growth of a global workforce and domestic
It has been estimated in a study by the American Management Association that managers spend between 20% to as much as 50% of their times dealing with conflict among their employees (American Sentinel, 2012). When workplace conflicts are left unresolved they can lead to dissatisfaction, depression and other problems such as aggression and violence (Whitworth 2008). The negative, sometimes hostile, environment created by unresolved conflict has been recognized to be a hazard not only to staff, but also to patient care (The Joint Commission 2008).
According to Riaz and Junaid (2010), there are four levels of conflict evaluation: intragroup, intergroup, intrapersonal and interpersonal. Sources of intrapersonal conflict include inappropriate demand on one’s capacity, goal incongruence and mal-assignment. Mal-assignment rises in cases where an employee is allocated a task to which he or she does not have the right skills or knowledge, commitment or aptitude. The employee experiences an overloaded qualitative role resulting to role conflict. The employee is unable to satisfy the specified capacity even if he or she works to his or her capacity leading to quantitative ro...
In reality, most employees pretend to be non-assertive, let others make decisions but remain resentful to a resolution reached. Despite allowing the top management makes a vital decision on the conflict most team members remain aggressive. They use their powers to pass a clear stand that the autocratic interventions are non-satisfactory.
In the workplace, disagreement or arguments may arise due to several reasons. This can further result into a state of antagonism or opposition, resentment, avoidance, verbal assaults, and inability to work together. Such may arise due to personality clashes, differences in style, differences in leadership, interdependence conflicts and differences in the background or gender. With reference to the conflict between Norm and Norma, disagreement arose due to differences in styles. This is because Norma was after quick result from the initiated project while Norm believed he could work from home and still meet the expected standard. However, Norma expected full commitment from all the staff under her. For good working relations, conflicts should always be resolved and hence improve good working relationship among the employees both the juniors and seniors. Professionally, conflicts can be solved via two models; circle of conflict and triangle of satisfaction (Susan Holton, 1998).
The researchers hypothesized that effective conflict management affects employees’ performance in any organization. The purpose of the study was to determine the impact of conflict management on the performance of employees in a public sector organization. Notably, the researchers did not focus the study on the private organization; it may not have had any implication since the cause of conflict on both sectors may likely be the
As far back as history can be told mankind has struggled between balancing culture, power and politics. Many wars have been fought and many people have placed their lives on the line in order to stand up for what they believe in. The combinations of culture, power and politics have spilled over into the workplace. In today’s business environment individuals have much more to worry about than just completing their assigned tasks. Organizational culture, power and office politics influence day to day operations as well as govern the atmosphere within the organization. The amount of impact that power and politics have in the workplace, directly reflect the organization’s culture formally as well as informally.
Gross and Guerrero (2000) supported Rahim’s conflict management styles and identified that these styles are associated with organizational climate and culture, job satisfaction. Their research on 50 employees uncovered some facts include employees who were involved in unmanaged conflict end up in job dissatisfaction and subsequently their performance deters (p. 208). The competence-based model developed by Canary, Cupach and Serpe (2001) contrast with Rahim’s theory, where the effectiveness of conflict management styles is based on the situation and understanding of individuals (p. 81). They tried to find a resolution for the conflict instead of implementing the strategy to reduce tension by applying conflict management styles, resulting in inconsistent outcomes (p. 531).