- Interdependence - Sharing of resources and activity interdependence.
- Incompatible goals between groups or individuals.
Conflict is defined as interference with another's ability to perform tasks, achieve goals, or get resources. In conflict reinforcement, it is differences that reinforce the conflict. Therefore, when resolving conflicts, emphasize similarities.
Personality characteristics contributing to conflict:
- Low self-esteem
These factors increase risk of conflict:
- Group expertise diversity.
- Lack of project manager power.
- Unclear project objectives.
- Undefined positional roles.
To help reduce conflict the weights of the reward system on employee evaluations may be modified to reward cooperation more. Matrix management must be carefully implemented since it may cause more conflict by breaking down lines of organizational authority.
Ways to resolve conflict:
- A higher level manager that holds common power of both parties involved makes the decision.
- An arbitrary judge resolves the conflict.
- Mediation - Allow each party to acknowledge injury to the other and compromise. Before this is done, it must first be known if parties are willing to communicate.
- Move personnel to another loaction or group.
- Negociation or bargaining.
- Restructure the organization to prevent conflicting task patterns.
- Set rules of confrontation to allow expression of conflict in positive ways.
- Use a coordinator between groups.
- Both parties must be cooperative.
- Concentrate on problems rather than demands.
- Long range objectives must be a priority over short term advantages.
- One sided settlements cause trouble. The settlement after World War I is an historical example.
- Stopping negociation at a proper time is important.
Various political methods are used to enhance individual power in the group. Most of these methods are negative. When they are employed negatively or are untruthful they usually hurt others or the organization. Some methods are positive but can be used negatively. Some of these methods include:
- Association with powerful people.
- Blame others for problems.
- Withhold information from others.
- Overwhelm others with information.
- Develop a favorable image for yourself.
- Develop a base of support and get strong allies.
- Praising others.