Conflict Managment


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Conflict Management ­HRM624
Lesson 16
"There are two educations, one should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live" John
"Nothing is given to man on earth - struggle is built into the nature of life, and conflict is possible - the hero
is the man who lets no obstacle prevent him from pursuing the values he has chosen." Andrew Bernstein
Conflict is either Constructive or Destructive
Constructive Conflict
Transforming Competitive Conflict into Comparative Conflict
In this lecture we will try to examine the four components of Morton Deutsch's theory of constructive and
destructive conflict. Why Morton Deutsch thought that cooperation is more likely than competition to
produce constructive conflict? Why conflict has the amazing capacity to become what the disputants think
it is? Why it's easier for a cooperative conflict to become competitive than vice versa? What is the criterion
for assessing a conflict as cooperative or competitive? What are the strategies and tactics for turning a
competitive conflict into a cooperative one?
"Grief and disappointment give rise to anger, anger to envy, envy to malice, and malice to grief again, till the
whole circle is completed." How can we break this cycle? We will learn, cooperation is better than
Perception becomes reality in cooperation and competition ("Deutsch's crude axiom").
Morton Deutsch's Theory of Constructive and Destructive Conflict
Deutch's ideas about what makes conflict constructive and destructive are well summarized in his 1973
wok, "The Resolution of Conflict: Constructive and Destructive Processes".
1. Conflict is either cooperative or competitive.
2. Cooperation tends to be constructive, and competition tends to be destructive.
3. Cooperation and competition tend to be self-fulfilling prophecies: Perception becomes reality.
4. Cooperation easily turns into competition, but not vice versa.
Premises of Deutsch's Theory
1. Cooperative conflict
A conflict in which the disputants believe that, when one disputant helps him- or herself, the other
disputant is also helped.
2. Competitive conflict
A conflict in which the disputants believe that, when one disputant helps him- or herself, the other
disputant is humble or quite or less powerful.
3. Autistic hostility
A phenomenon in which hostile feelings promote a lack of communication, leading to negative attributions
about the acts, attitudes, and motivations of the other person is termed as autistic hostility. Because of the
lack of effective communication, neither disputant is able to correct misperceptions.
Conflict Management ­HRM624
4. Reactive Devaluation
A phenomenon present in escalating conflict, in which a suggestion made by one disputant, or members of
his or her team, is met with suspicion by the other disputant, or members of his or her team may be
described as reactive devaluation.
5. Meta-Conflict (meta-dispute)
An interpersonal conflict (dispute) over the way another interpersonal conflict is being handled.
Premises of Deutsch's Theory
How the conflict is characterized in the minds of the disputants.
Since a cooperative conflict is perceived as promotively interdependent, the disputant perceiving a conflict
as cooperative will tend to see the conflict as a joint problem to be solved i.e. if the problem is solved for
one disputant, it will also tend to be solved for the other.
Communication in cooperation and competition
Since the disputant in a cooperative conflict sees the goals of the other disputant as promoting his or her
own interests, it appears to be in his or her best interests to share as much information as possible.
Cooperation is characterized by open, honest communication of relevant information. In contrast, since the
interests of disputants in a competitive conflict are seen to be in opposition, competition is characterized by
efforts on the part of the perceiving disputant to avoid open and honest communication. In competitive
conflict, disputants tend to be suspicious of one another, fearing that information they share will be used
against them.
Coordination of Effort in cooperation and competition
Since a disputant who sees the conflict as cooperative believes that the other disputant's efforts will help
him or her, the disputant will tend to try to coordinate his or her efforts with those of the other disputants.
Efforts of the disputants on One Another's Behalf
Obviously, a disputant who believes that meeting the other disputant's interests will meet his or her own
interests has good reason to help the other disputantants: it will help him or her as well.
Responses to the Suggestions of the other disputant
The reactions of one disputant to suggestions by the other disputants are controlled by the attitudes
engendered by their perceptions in cooperative conflict, a disputant will tend to see the suggestions of the
other disputants as motivated by a sincere desire to help, since everyone's goals are perceived to be
complementary. Conflict, suggestions tend to be welcomed, approved of, or at least taken at face value
Feelings of the Disputants for one another
There is a great deal of evidence from social psychological research indicating that disputants in a
cooperative relationship tend to develop feelings of friendliness and positive regard for one another.
Effect of Cooperation behavior on the disputants' Egos
In a cooperative conflict, cooperating with the other disputant is a comfortable outgrowth of the self
interest of each disputant. The feelings of friendliness that tend to grow out of a cooperative relationship
further motivate the disputants to be helpful to one another.
Perception of Similarity and difference
The positive and negative regard that cooperating and competing disputants hold for each other have
indication for their perceptions about one another. People who like one another tend to focus on, and even
inflate, mutual similarities, while they tend to ignore differences.
Conflict Management ­HRM624
Task focus in cooperation and competition
The disputant who perceives a conflict as cooperative believes that he or she helps him or herself by helping
the other disputant; he or she tends to stay focus on the task at hand. Thus cooperation tends to be
characterized by task focus and efficiency.
Productivity, containment, and escalation of cooperative and competitive conflict
A cooperative conflict tends to be characterized by contained size and maximal productivity. There are
several reasons for this feature of cooperative conflict.
Understanding the nature of cooperative and competitive conflict is very important. It can help you
transform competitive conflict into cooperative or promotive conflict. It is your attitude which will make it
either of the two types of conflict. It is very easy for a cooperative conflict to evolve in a competitive
conflict. We can avoid that if we want to.
Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION TO CONFLICT:Dispute, Legal Dispute, Call the police
  2. DISPUTE RESOLUTION 1:Positive affect in Negotiation, Alternative Dispute Resolution
  3. DISPUTE RESOLUTION II:Adjudication, Litigation, Mediation-Arbitration
  4. PRECONCEPTIONS ABOUT CONFLICT I:Pedagogical development, Pressures against Innovation
  5. PRECONCEPTIONS ABOUT CONFLICT II:Cultural beliefs about interpersonal conflict, Why strategies of change fail
  6. CONFLICT DIAGNOSIS:Who Needs to Know About Conflict Diagnosis?, Steps in Conflict Diagnosis
  7. RECURRENT THEMES IN CONFLICT DIAGNOSIS I:The Seven Steps of Social Behavior, Seven steps to diagnose conflict
  9. DESCRIBING THE CONFLICT I:Description of Conflict, Identifying Interpersonal Conflict
  10. DESCRIBING THE CONFLICT II:Step 1 for Conflict Diagnosis, interpersonal or intrapersonal
  11. SOURCES AND CAUSES OF CONFLICT I:Main Sources of Conflict, Discussing major sources of conflict
  13. INTEREST ANALYSIS I:Analyzing your interests, Analyzing the other disputant’s interests
  14. INTEREST ANALYSIS II:What are interests?, Tips for Interest Trees
  15. INTEREST ANALYSIS II:Principles and values, Basic Human Needs
  16. ASSESSING THE CHARACTER OF THE CONFLICT I, Premises of Deutsch’s Theory
  17. ASSESSING THE CHARACTER OF THE CONFLICT II:Techniques to transform competitive conflict into cooperative
  18. TRUST AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE I:What is Mistrust,Trust and business,Three levels of trust
  19. TRUST AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE II:Advantages of high trust level, Building of trust
  20. ASSESSING IMPEDIMENTS TO RESOLVE THE CONFLICT I:Motivation to seek vengeance, Mistrust
  21. ASSESSING THE IMPEDIMENTS TO RESOLVING THE CONFLICT II:Disempowered Disputant, Unpleasant Disputant
  22. ASSESSING THE NEGOTIATING STYLE I:Dual Concern Model, Dominating or competition style
  23. ASSESSING THE NEGOTIATING STYLE:Dual Concern Model, Tactics Used In Integrating
  24. ASSESSING POWER AMONG DISPUTANTS:Conflict and Power, Kinds of power in the Relationship Domain
  25. ASSESSING POWER AMONG DISPUTANTS II:Sources of Relationship Power, Context and Power
  26. POWER, CONFLICT, AND BATNA III:Role of Third Party in BATNA, Dealing with Power Imbalance
  27. STEREOTYPES, DIVERSITY, AND CONFLICT I:Stereotyping, Stereotyping in Interpersonal Conflict
  28. STEREOTYPES, DIVERSITY, AND CONFLICT:Categories of Diversity Issues, Seven Mental Processes to Prove Stereotypes
  29. STEREOTYPES, DIVERSITY AND CONFLICT III:Individual Difference and Social Category, Cultural differences in values
  30. MEDIATION I:When is mediation required, Processes Related to Mediation, Product of Mediation
  31. MEDIATION II:Important distinguishing factors, More Advantages and Disadvantages of Pure Mediation
  32. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF MEDIATION I:Efficiency Consideration, Conflict Management and Prevention
  33. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF MEDIATION II:Quality of Consent, Effects on the parties to mediation
  34. PROCESS OF MEDIATION:Stages of Mediation, Facilitative tactics in mediation
  35. LAW AND ETHICS OF MEDIATION I:Characteristics of mediation, Confidentiality
  36. LAW AND ETHICS OF MEDIATION II:Role of ethics in mediation, 8 Dimensions of Ethics in Mediation
  37. ARBITRATION I:Ways to Resolve Conflict, Advantages of Arbitration, Disadvantages of Arbitration
  38. ARBITRATION II:Varieties of Arbitration, Process of Arbitration, Contents of Arbitration Act
  39. NON BINDING EVALUATION:Disadvantage, Varieties of Non-binding Evaluation
  40. NON BINDING EVALUATION II:Varieties of Non-binding Evaluation, Advantages and disadvantages of Non-binding Evaluation
  41. MIXED AND MULTIMODAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION:Six System Design Principles, Extensions of Dispute Systems Design
  42. POWER TOOLS AND MAGIC KEYS I:Introduction, Necessity of conflict diagnosis, Using conflict diagnosis
  43. POWER TOOLS AND MAGIC KEYS II:Proposed Contents of a Clients’ Interview, Impediments to use facilitative mediation
  44. PANCHAYAT, LOCAL GOVERNMENT SYSTEM, AND ADR, Definitions of Panchayat, Definition of Jirga
  45. SUMMARY AND MESSAGE OF THE COURSE:Definitions of conflict, Negotiation, Meditation, Adjudication