Managing Organizational Conflict

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About the Book

Conflict in business and personal relationships is inevitable—much of the success of companies depends on how well they respond to it. Developing rapport, collaboration and cooperation hinges on positive conflict management strategies that stimulate innovation and growth where companies can look for solutions to common issues and needs. Conflict management can address dysfunctional outcomes that result in job stress, less effective communication and a climate of distrust, where working relationships are damaged and job performance reduced. Organizations must minimize and resolve internal and external conflicts to remain vibrant and profitable. Drawing on examples from a wide range of corporate experiences, this volume provides role-playing scenarios, checklists, tables and research studies to help employees, managers and owners better comprehend the dynamics of conflict in every interaction.

About the Author(s)

Sam Blank is a member of the faculty of the American Management Association, teaching primarily in the areas of mediation, crisis management, conflict resolution, leadership skill development and organizational behavior. He is certified as an Alternative Dispute Resolution specialist by the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution and the State of New York, and as a violence prevention SAVE provider by the New York State Education Department. He lives in New York City.

Bibliographic Details

Sam Blank
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7892-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3790-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

Introduction 5

1. Aspects and Causes of Conflict in an Organization

Interests, Identities and Attitudes 9

Organizational Learning 10

Characteristics of a Learning Organization 12

Learning Ground Rules 14

Problem-Based Learning 15

Team Learning 16

Organizational Conflict 17

Work Group Role Expectations 20

Organizational Personality Dimensions 21

Organizational Development 23

Organizational Behavior 24

Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Conflict 27

Aspects of Trust in Conflict 28

Cultural Differences and Conflict 30

Gender Influences 31

Ambient Cultural Disharmony 32

Cross-Cultural Leadership 33

2. Conflict: Unavoidable Aspect of Organizational Life

Major Trends 35

Conflict Areas 36

Anticipating Conflict 39

People Issues 40

Employee Assessments and Social Exchange Theory 40

Sources of Conflict 41

Working Behaviors 42

Language and Styles of Conflict 43

The Cost of Organizational Conflict 45

Hidden Costs 47

Gearing Up for Training and Development 47

Leading Change 49

Redefining Leadership 51

Resistance to Change 52

Employee Resistance Is Challenging 53

3. Transformational Organizations

Why Organizations Fail 55

Transformational Leadership and Organizations 58

Leadership and Manager Differences 60

Exemplary Leadership 61

Differences Among Workers, Managers and Leaders 63

Organizational Measurement 63

Workplace Communication 64

Workplace Channels and Networks 68

Power and Influence 71

Personal Attributes as Leverage 74

Types of Leverage 75

Sharing Power in Organizations 76

Power and Politics 78

Managing Change and Stress 81

Implementing Dynamic Change 87

Using the Johari Window at the Workplace 91

4. Ethical, Moral and Human Issues in Organizational Conflict

Guidelines, Principles, Codes 94

Ethical Leadership 96

Values Conflict 98

Intellectual Capital 99

Conflict Management Styles 100

Individual Profile Styles 102

Motivations 103

Managing Differences 105

Group Thinking 107

Generational Differences 110

A New Mindset 113

Reaction to Crises and Catastrophes 114

Workplace Violence 117

Crisis Prevention and Management 119

Crisis Management Team 120

Organization’s Crisis Plan 121

5. Workplace Collaborations

Advantages of Collaboration 123

Group Purpose 125

Types of Collaborative Groups 126

Successful Groups 127

Collaborating and Not Competing 128

Functional and Dysfunctional Team Collaborations 130

Poor Collaboration 131

Positive Collaborative Efforts 134

Collaborating to Get More 135

Collaboration and Achievement 136

Virtual Teams 137

Six Thinking Hats 139

6. Conflict Resolution Approaches

Strategies, Purposes, Practices 143

The Flowchart of Conflict 145

Conflict Resolution Techniques 145

Negotiation 146

Receive and Then Deliver 148

Three Basic Negotiation Strategies 148

Competitive and Cooperative Negotiation 149

A True Negotiation Situation? 150

Team Negotiation 153

Framing in Negotiation 155

Questioning in Negotiation 157

Listening in Negotiation 158

Listening and Seeking to Understand Content and Feelings 161

Nonverbal Listening 162

Negotiation and Ethics 163

Smart Negotiators 165

Negotiation Obstacles and Deal Killers 166

What About Mediation? 167

­Third-Party Assistance/Arbitration 172

Types of Arbitration Used by Organizations 174

7. Confrontational Innovation and Design

Common Design Thinking Tenets 175

Engagement and Confrontation 176

Types of Dissent 177

Difficult Conversations 178

Competencies to Handle Confrontation 180

Unmanageable Levels of Confrontation 181

Turbulent Times in a Company 183

Dismissal and Termination 184

Preparation for Taking Action 185

Management of Opportunities 186

Assertive Confrontation 187

8. Conflict Management

Approaching Employee Conflict 189

Openness of the Manager 191

Management Productivity 191

Conflict Manager Focus 193

Two Messages 194

Manager’s Toolbox 195

Playing Fair 195

Taking Charge 196

Managers and Critical Thinking 197

Managers as Change Agents 200

Influencing the Future 201

Dynamic Network Theory 202

Imperatives for Effective Managers 204

Case Studies

Case Study 1—Noisy Neighbors 207

Case Study 2—Apple Bashing 208

Case Study 3—We Deliver 209

Case Study 4—Working in HR 209

Case Study 5—The Team Project 210

Case Study 6—New Boss, New Rules 211

Case Study 7—You’re Under Arrest 211

Case Study 8—The Melt—Hops and Wine Stop—Taki-Slow 212

Case Study 9—Hawaii Beachwear Project 212

Case Study 10—Oh, What a Feeling 213

References 215

Index 221