Conflict management refers on the way how we approach the other party in a conflict situation. There are main structural approaches such as emphasizing superordinate goals, reducing differentiation, improving communication and understanding, reducing task independence, increasing resources, and clarifying rules and procedures.
Emphasizing Supeordinate Goals
The first way to resolve the conflict is to seek and find the common goals. The emphasizing superordinate goals are common objectives held by conflicting parties that are more important than the department or individual goals on which the conflict is based. If the commitments to corporate wide goals increase, the employees will pay less attention to competing individual or departmental-level goals. So, it reduces their perceived conflict with co-workers. Besides that, they also can reduce the problem of incompatibility and differentiation by establishing a common frame of reference. For example, the most effective executive teams frame their decision as superordinate goals that arise above each executive’s departmental or divisional goals.
Besides that, another way for resolving conflict is to remove the sources of different values and beliefs that produce the conflict in the first place. When the employees think they have same backgrounds or experience with other workers, they will be more motivated to coordinate their activities and resolve the conflict. For example, move the employees to different jobs so that they come to depend on each others.
Improving Communication and Understanding
The third way to minimize the conflict involves by giving the conflict parties more opportunities to communicate and understand each other. By having the good communication, the employees can understand and appreciate each other’s views and opinions. It relates to contact hypothesis which is the more meaningful interaction we have with someone, the less we rely on stereotypes to understand that person. There are two warnings. First, apply communication or understanding after reducing differentiation. For example, when we interact with people who are quite different and have conflict with us, we tend to select information that reinforces that view. So, communication and understanding interventions are most effective when differentiation is sufficiently low. Second, people in collectivist and high power distance cultures are less comfortable with the practice of resolving differences through open communication. People in Confucian cultures prefer an avoidance conflict management style since it is consistent with face saving and harmony. Furthermore, direct communication is high-risk because it threatens the harmony easily.
Another way to minimize dysfunctional conflict may involve reducing the level of interdependence between the parties. It can occur by dividing the shared sources so that each party has exclusive use part of it in different times. Sequentially, interdependence task may be combined so that they can form a pooled or shared interdependence. Furthermore, buffers also can help to reduce the interdependence level among people. It includes resources such as more inventories could be added between people who perform sequential tasks. The organizations use human buffers as people who serve as intermediaries between interdependent people or work units that do not get along through direct interaction.
The dysfunctional conflict also can be reduced by increasing the amount of resource available. It also refers by duplicating the resources so that can minimize the conflict. Corporate decision makers might dismiss this solution quickly because of the costs involved. Nevertheless, these costs with the costs of dysfunctional conflict that arise out of resource scarcity must be compared carefully.
Clarifying Rules and...