• What is group conflict

• The consequences of group conflict

• The causes of group conflict

• The solutions to group conflict

• Cultural dimensions in managing group conflict

1. The Ubiquity of Conflict

Conflict is a disagreement between two or more parties who perceive

that they have incompatible concerns

o Intrapersonal Conflicts

o Interpersonal Conflicts

o Intra-group Conflicts

o Intergroup Conflicts

o Inter-organization Conflicts

o Intra-racial Conflicts

o Inter-racial Conflicts

o Inter-gender Conflicts

o Inter-class Conflicts

o Inter-regional Conflicts

o Inter-cultural Conflicts

o International Conflicts

2. Two Views of Conflict

(1). Traditional View

Conflict is bad and should be avoided

(2). Contemporary View:

Conflict is neither inherently bad nor good but is inevitable

and structurally induced

3. Two Consequences of Intergroup Conflict

(1). Functional Conflict: Intergroup conflict that enhances

organizational performance

 Increased problem awareness

 Increased self- and other awareness

 Increased exchange of information and knowledge

 Improved decision processes

 Increased innovativeness and creativity

 Enhanced motivation and morale

 Decreased tensions

 Enhanced psychological maturity

(2). Dysfunctional Conflict: Intergroup conflict that leads to the

decline of organizational performance

General Organizational Consequences

 Increased stress and burnout

 Reduced organizational performance

 Reduced morale and job satisfaction

 Reduced loyalty to organization

 Waste of resources and time

Dysfunctional Changes between Groups

 Increased hostility and distrust

 Distorted perception

 Negative stereotyping

 Decreased communication

Changes within Groups

• Increased group cohesiveness

• Increased loyalty to the group rather than to the


• Rise in autocratic leadership

• More task-oriented

4. Why Intergroup Conflict Occurs

Goal Incompatibility

• Mutually exclusive goals

• Limited resources

• Reward structures

• Different values

Structural Interdependence

• Task interdependence

• Lack of substitution

• Power differentials

Different Perceptions

• Different goals

• Different time horizon

• Different role expectations

• Different information environment

• Different knowledge base

• Difference in information processing

Different organizing principles

• Autonomy v.s. Interdependence

• Analyzing v.s. Synthesizing

5. Cultural Dimensions of Group Conflict

(1) Locational Dimension

• National

• Professional

• Organizational

• Governance

(2) Value Dimension

• Power distance

• Uncertainty avoidance

• Individualism

• Masculinity

• Long-term

6. Managing Intergroup Conflict Through Conflict Resolution

(1). Five Strategies

• Dominating

• Avoiding

• Obliging

• Compromising

• Integrating

(2). Two dimensions

 Distributive Dimension: win-lose

 Integrative Dimension: win-win

(3). Differences in strategic choice:

o U.S: competitive conflict resolution

o Japan: cooperative conflict resolution

6. Managing Intergroup Conflict Through Organizational Coordination

The U.S. Japan

Explicit rules Implicit norms

Hierarchical Horizontal

Planning Relation-building

Command Consensus

Liaison Job rotation

Task forces Cross-functional teams

Specialization Integration

7. Managing Intergroup Conflict Through Elimination of its Causes

(1). Overcoming goal incompatibility

Commonly used methods

• Eliminate win-lose situation

• Reward organizational effectiveness

• Create a common enemy

• Expansion of resources

American focus: dividing values and goals

• Explicit division and clarification of responsibilities: job


• Formal hierarchical control

• Intrapreneurship: interfirm competition

Japanese focus: integrating values and goals

• Shared values

• Superordinate goals

• Norms of loyalty and identification

• Informal consensus building

(2) Overcoming structural interdependence

American focus: breaking interdependence

• Maintaining inventories and buffers

• Creating alternative suppliers

• Creating independent control units

• Partitioning tasks into autonomous units

Japanese focus: deepening interdependence

• Eliminating inventories and buffers

• Creating multiple interlinkages

• Eliminating independent control units

• Integrating tasks into interdependent units

(3). Overcoming differences in perceptions

Commonly used methods

• Seek and maintain common knowledge

• Increased communication

• Problem solving meetings

American focus: objective measurement

• Systematic collection of objective data

• Systematic and objective measurement of group and individual


• Independence of the above functions

Japanese focus: inter-subjective understanding

• Socialization

• Job-rotation

• Quality circle and consensus building

• Eliminating independent control and measurement units

8. Managing Intergroup Conflict through Stimulation: the building of

conflict-positive organization.

(1). Structural strategies

• Bringing outsiders into group

• Altering organizing structure

• Stimulating competition

• Making use of programmed conflict: devil's advocacy

(2). Process and cultural strategies

• Value diversity

• Seek mutual benefit

• Empower employees

• Build teamwork and trust

• Integrating for creative solution

9. Third party mediation

10. Negotiation

11. The Competitiveness Consequences of Different Ways of Managing

Intergroup Conflict

12. Conclusion

• Group conflict is neither good nor bad but is inevitable and

structural induced

• Group conflict has functional and dysfunctional consequences

depending on the amount of conflict and the way conflict is managed

• The most important causes of group conflict include

structural interdependence, differences in values, goals,

perceptions, and organizing principles

• Common conflict resolution strategies include dominating,

avoiding, obliging, compromising, and integrating.

• Americans tend to use dominating, obliging, and compromising

strategies, while Japanese tend to use avoiding, obliging, and

integrating strategies

• The American way of managing conflict includes: division of

responsibility, reduction of interdependence, and formal information

and control system.

• The Japanese way of managing conflict includes: shared

values, multiple interlinkages, integration, teamwork, and

28th December 2007 From Pakistan, Lahore

Previously conflicts were considered dysfunctional but today they are considered constructive and functional.The only point to remember is that disagreements must be civilized disagreements and at the end of the day inspite of conflicts one must arrive at a consensus.
good topic...
28th December 2007 From India, Bangalore
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