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Conflict in Teams - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Conflict in Teams. Chapter 7. Is all conflict bad? What happens when there is not enough conflict?. Functional (Task) Conflict. Disagreements about task @ hand (work related) Ex: debate, difference of opinion, constructive criticism Benefits?. Dysfunctional (Relationship) Conflict.

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Functional task conflict
Functional (Task) Conflict

  • Disagreements about task @ hand (work related)

  • Ex: debate, difference of opinion, constructive criticism

  • Benefits?

Dysfunctional relationship conflict
Dysfunctional (Relationship) Conflict

  • Disagreements based on personalities & social issues unrelated to work

  • Ex: back-stabbing, gossip, slander, emotions

  • Consequences?

Process conflict
Process Conflict

  • Disagreements on task strategy & delegation of resources & duties

  • Good or bad?


Proportional Conflict

The relative amount of each type of conflict (in proportion to one another)

Creates different team experiences

Ex: 70% task

20% process

10% relationship

Perceptual Conflict

The degree to which team members perceive levels of conflict (compared to one another)


Promoting task conflict
Promoting Task Conflict

  • All members need to agree on common goal or shared vision

  • Create a time & place for task & process conflict (plan for it)

  • Provide training in task conflict

    --”Psychological safety” leads to trust & respect

Approaches to a dispute
Approaches to a Dispute

  • Interests-based approach*

    Attempt to learn others’ needs, desires, concerns

  • Rights-based approach

    Focus on fairness, precedent, legal issues

  • Power-based approach

    Use threats, attacks on character, rank or status

Team dilemma
Team Dilemma

  • Cooperate or compete?

  • Pursue group or self-interests?

    Triggers self interests…

    Triggers group’s interests…

  • Members are interdependent, yet have incentives to free ride!

Promoting cooperation
Promoting Cooperation

Build strong team identity

  • Link compensation to team performance

  • T-shirts, name tags, gold chains, straw hats, slippers…

  • Present outside challenge

  • Recognize individual efforts

  • Continuity in membership

    Team contracts

  • Clarifies goals

  • Commitment

  • Accountability.

Voting to resolve conflict
Voting to Resolve Conflict

  • Promotes democracy

  • When a group agrees to vote, they must be willing to accept the outcome!!

  • Problems?

    • “Losers” perceive injustice

    • Have to agree on method

      Majority rule- problems?

      Consensus- problems?

    • Ties do not yield a decision

    • Masks disagreement (temporary fix).

Drawbacks to voting
Drawbacks to Voting

  • The winner of a vote depends on the order in whichalternatives are proposed (arrow paradox)

  • Inability to combine preferences in a way that trulyrepresents group preference (impossibility theorem)

  • Manipulation of the order alternatives are voted on (strategic manipulation)

Integrative negotiation win win
Integrative Negotiation (win-win)

  • Group’s outcome must be more attractive than your other alternatives (BATNA)

  • Overcome fixed-pie fallacy

  • Build trust, rapport & information sharing(friends?)

    --Focus on commonalities

  • Understand underlying interests

  • Discuss issues simultaneously (choices)rather than sequentially

  • Contingency contracts

  • Renegotiate negotiated agreements

  • Be consistently fair to build trust.

Escalation of conflict
Escalation of Conflict


  • Excessive competition

  • Perception coercion will resolve conflict

  • Aggression when perceive being coerced

  • Different beliefs of what “fair outcome” is

  • Belief you are more fair & less biased than others

    How do we resolve it?