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Conflict Management. Dr. Monika Renard Associate Professor, Management College of Business. Conflict. “A perceived difference between two or more parties that results in opposition.”. Conflict. “A perceived difference between two or more parties that results in opposition.”.

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Conflict Management

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Conflict management

Conflict Management

Dr. Monika Renard

Associate Professor, Management

College of Business



  • “A perceived difference between two or more parties that results in opposition.”



  • “A perceived difference between two or more parties that results in opposition.”

Causes of conflict

Causes of Conflict

Scarce Resources

Value differences


incompat- . ability


Task inter-dependence

Lack of peacemaking skills


Poorly designed reward system

Understanding conflict destructive effects

Understanding Conflict—Destructive Effects

  • What do you think of when you hear the term “conflict?”

  • How can conflict be destructive?

    • Competitive processesBlurred issues

    • Misperception and biasRigid commitments

    • Decreased communicationEmotionality

    • Magnified differences, minimized similarities

Benefits of conflict

Benefits of Conflict

  • How can conflict be constructive?

    • Aware of problems--Personal development

    • Org’l change--Psychological development

    • Strengthens relationships--Stimulating and fun

    • Awareness of self and others

  • What can be learned from conflict handled constructively?

Conflict and group performance

Conflict and Group Performance


Level of Conflict

  • Effects of conflict on group performance

  • Some conflict is beneficial

Conflict handling styles

Conflict Handling Styles




Concern for Other






Concern for Self



  • Ignoring or suppressing conflict in the hope that it will go away or not become too disruptive

  • Trivial, no choice, too much disruption, cool down, gather information, others can resolve.



  • Focusing on allowing the desires of the other party to prevail

  • You are wrong, issues are important to others, social credits, minimize losses, harmony.



  • Attempting to win at the other party’s expense. Win-lose

  • Quick action vital, unpopular actions, vital to welfare, against those who take advantage of noncompetitive behavior.



  • Having each party give up some desired outcomes to get other desired outcomes. Win some, lose some.

  • Not worth the extra effort, mutually exclusive goals, temporary settlements, expedient solutions under time pressure, backup to competing or collaborating.



  • Devising solutions that allow both parties to achieve their desired outcomes Both win at least their major issues.

  • Finding integrative solution, merge insights, gain commitment, work through feelings.


Ugli orange case

Ugli Orange Case

  • I am Mr. Cardoza. I will auction off all my Ugli oranges (in one lot) to the highest bidder in this room.

    • I will NOT accept less than $250,000 for the oranges.

  • Meet with the other firm’s representative and decide on a course of action. Then pick a spokesperson who will tell me:

    • What do you plan to do?

    • If you want to buy the oranges, what price will you offer?

    • To whom (one person) and how shall I deliver the oranges?

Discussion and conclusions

Discussion and Conclusions

  • What conflict management style did you use?

    • Competitive, Compromising, Accommodating, Avoiding, Collaborating?

  • Was there full disclosure? How much info shared?

  • Did the parties trust one another? Why?

    • What is the relationship between trust and disclosure of info?

  • How creative and/or complex were the solutions? If very complex, why?

    • How does mistrust affect the creativity or complexity of bargaining agreements?

Ways to manage conflict

Understand Conflict

Positive and negative

Use Correct Conflict Management Styles

Avoid, Accommodate, Compete, Compromise, Collaborate

Improve Communication

Listen Well

Speak Clearly

Understand Individual Differences

Men and Women, Ethnicity


Avoid Biases

Cognitive biases, framing

Use Negotiation

Win-win (integrative)

Win-lose (distributive)

Use Mediation

Ways to Manage Conflict

Escalating conflict

Escalating Conflict

  • Other people become involved and take sides

  • One or both parties feel threatened

  • No interest in maintaining the relationship

  • A history of unproductive, negative conflict.

  • An increase in indirect expression of anger, fear, or frustration.

  • Important needs not acknowledged/met.

  • Lack of skills necessary for peacemaking.

De escalating conflict

De-Escalating Conflict

  • Parties focus on the problem, not each other.

  • Anger, fear, frustration expressed directly, rather than indirectly.

  • Threats are reduced or eliminated.

  • Parties have cooperated well prior to the dispute.

  • Needs are openly discussed.

  • Parties are able to use theirpeacemaking skills.

Reducing and resolving conflict

Reducing and Resolving Conflict

  • Improve communication

  • Understand individual differences

  • Use negotiation

  • Use mediation or arbitration

Change situational factors

Change Situational Factors

  • Physical arrangement

  • Resources: more, reassigned

  • Task cooperation needed

  • Super-ordinate goals

  • Folly of rewarding A while hoping for B

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