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





(2) Value Dimension

Power distance

Uncertainty avoidance




6. Managing Intergroup Conflict Through Conflict Resolution

(1). Five Strategies






(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



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

Teaching-professor [hr]
Recruitment Consultant

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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