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15325 Negotiation And Conflict Management

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15325 Negotiation And Conflict Management

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Course Code: 15325
University: University Of Technology Sydney

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Country: Australia


Part 1
Choose to focus on one of the methods (conflict management, negotiation, mediation or arbitration). Critically review a selection of the literature on your chosen topic.
See the assignment folder on some readings on how to write a literature review. You can also find good resources on writing a literature review at http://www.lc.unsw.edu.au/onlib/litrev.html
Part 2 This part asks you construct a model to guide you in making decisions when confronting and managing situations that involve disagreement and/or disputes. The model/s will include references to the following –
approaches and tools available and/or suitable for use in the context/s being considered
people who are best situated to use them – e.g. would you bring in a professional or would you choose to use the model without such assistance? 
circumstances most appropriate for its use
cues or signs that a person using your model can look for, including e.g. physical, emotional and language
cues that you might look for – 2/3
‘Intrapersonal cues — your personal responses to disagreement/ conflict. For example – at the thought of conflict your stomach tightens, your forehead begins to sweat, your pulse rises, etc. To ‘find’ these you may have to think quite deeply about past conflict situations.
‘Interpersonal’ what will you expect to see in the other person in a face to face situation


Conflict is defined as a disagreement between two or more persons that renders the functionality of any mission ineffective (Thomas, 2002, p. 269). This occurs either in a conversation between people in the society or even in the working environment. The success of any objective between individual depends on the level of understanding between the partners. Where the individuals are able to listen to each other effectively and do what is required, then the success of the mission becomes easy. However, if the people in the workplace are unable to understand each other, a conflict may occur which renders ineffective performance of the work. This may, on the other hand, lead to delay or complete failure to complete the task. The workplace conflict may arise as a result of the actual perception or opposition of the feelings, values, ideas, attitudes, interest or needs between people in the same working environment and with the same objective. According to De et al. (2001, p.7), conflicts in the workplace may affect the level of production, lower the morale of employees and also lead to absenteeism among the workers. This, in turn, leads to low profit and slow growth of an organization.
Literature review
It is difficult for any organization to survive in a conflict working environment. However, it is a crucial aspect of any organization to employ effective methods of solving conflicts that do not endanger any of the employees, employers or the organization performance. For the best managers, this aspect is one of their qualities that ensure the survival of an organization (Aquino, 2010, p.173). Conflict is part of human life and there is the need to identify the best ways of solving when it arises. It is not only the task to the employers but the employees also have the responsibility of working in a free conflict environment by applying the best methods of solving the problem when it arises. Failure to handle the conflict effectively leads to the limitation of employees’ motivation, innovations, and creativity. The main engine that controls the effectiveness of working is the communication. Poor communication among the workers is associated with conflict while effective communication results into conflict free working environment. According to Costantino, & Merchant (2016, p.35), failure to understand and accept each other’s differences is the source of conflict and, therefore, workers should learn how to live with people of different characteristics peacefully.
In a well-structured organization that does not take conflict for granted, it becomes easy to detect a potential eruption or presence of conflict in the organization. An example is a sudden change in the employee’s behaviour which is an indication of lack of interest or annoyance and this may result into conflict. Moreover, lack of showing any concern when a crucial point is being discussed in an organization or in a meeting is also an indication of potential conflict (Anderson, & Coffey, & Byerly, 2012, p.788). The employees should remain honest in their workplace and avoid some attitudes of “never or always” statements.  These words are commonly used when an employee is annoyed and this is one of the indicators a good manager should notice which can result into conflict (Giebels, 2015, p.137). The managers should also detect the presence of conflict if they realize that there is an increase in the report cases associated with disagreement among the employees. A manager should be able to solve any problem that arises and therefore he should not assume or ignore any of the problems as it may end up in destruction (Neuman, & Baron, 2008, p.403).
Managers should intervene in any conflict that arises in the organization either interpersonal or management related problem. Failure to intervene may, in turn, affect the organization’s performance. According to Bodtker, & Jameson (2011, p.276), some of the interpersonal conflicts in the organization leads to lack of respect among the partners and this results in a poor working relationship among the partners. The management can play a crucial part in solving the conflict for the benefit of the organization and ensuring a good relationship and respect among the individuals (De Dreu, 2010, p.889). This creates awareness among the partners on the importance of working together and showing respect to one another. Managers should not ignore conflict with the hope that it will naturally disappear.  Unsolved interpersonal conflicts tend to burst out at their worst stage which could be difficult for the organization to solve (De, & Gelfand, 2008, p.888).
As a manager, while making a decision, it is important to make sure that all the involved participants are included in solving the problem. When two or more individuals in a workplace are faced with conflict, it is possible that a large number of the other workers are affected since those who interact with the conflicting individuals are also affected in one way or the other (Rahim, 2013, p.372). This leads to a hostile working environment which leads to division among the employees. As a result, a division in the organization in terms of duties, and socialism is experienced hindering effective production (Kenneth, 2012, p.265). For the organization to eliminate division among the employees, it must develop an approach that is effective in solving the problem. This aims at encouraging the employees to raise the issue affecting their working while avoiding enmity and confrontations. The employees feel free to approach anyone and address their issues. According to Pondy (2017, p.311), leaders are the determinants of the working environment in creating a conducive and reliable working environment where workers can thrive.
The managers should come up with a good conflict solution strategy to help solve the conflict in the organization.  Unmanaged conflict affects the organization’s profitability and sustainability. Determining whether the conflict has been successfully solved depends on the method applied in solving the problem and the extent of the conflict. According to Jehn (2015, p.259), for the instant, if the conflict was as a result of the disagreement, then a reduced number of reported cases associated with disagreement is an indication of resolved conflicts. The managers should, therefore, use the best alternative method in making a decision when confronted with cases of conflicts. The methods should be effective to the problem since the effectiveness of the functionality of decision-making methods differs according to the type of challenge to be solved. Some are specifically made for specific problems.
Decision making is a step by step process of identifying the problem, gathering information and finally making a vital and beneficial decision to a certain problem. The decision making is said to be well conducted if is done without favouring or relying on one side (Wall, & Callister, 2015, p.553). Its success in any organization depends on how the step by step process is utilized. Most of these decision processes apply to the majority of conflict-related issues. The processes are essential in ensuring that the decision made is effective for all the people involved without exerting more weight on one side. The best decisions making models consist of seven steps from the identification of the problem all the way to the final step of decision review. The model below is used in the workplaces in managing disputes or disagreement among the employees and their employers.

Source: https://www.umassd.edu/media/umassdartmouth/fycmdecisionmaking.jpg
Each step of the model is associated with various activities such as:
Identifying the decision
This is the first step in decision making. To make any decision, one has to identify the problem facing the organization or the employees that need to be solved or the question that needs to be answered. The nature of the problem should be able to be solved by either of the decision-making processes.  If the problem to be solved is misinterpreted, then it may lead to loss of the decision-making track leading to an ineffective solution. The decision should, therefore, be clearly defined. According to Rahim, & Bonoma (2009, p.1327), the identification of the purpose of the decision is guided by the following questions:

What is exactly the problem?
Why should it be solved?
Who are the victims of the problem?
Does the problem have a specific timeline or deadline?

For the effectiveness of achieving the set goal for decision making, the decision should be timely and measurable to ensure that at the end of it, the goal has been achieved.
Information gathering
Once the decision has been identified, then it is clear in mind the kind of problem to be solved. It is now the best time to gather information relevant to the choice. This information can be obtained by carrying out an internal assessment or even seeking information from the outside sources such as online, books, and also seeking some opinions from paid consultants (Van, 2013, p.511). It is important to be aware of too much information that may complicate the effectiveness of the decision making. Try to identify the information needed and the best source of such information and finally how to obtain it. One of the best tools that can be used in information gathering is the check sheet. This is a document used for collecting either qualitative or quantitative data in real time and at the point where the data is generated (De, Weingart, & Kwon, 2000, p.331).
Identifying alternative
While collecting information, one will notice that there are several possibilities of alternatives or actions. These alternatives may in most cases be applicable in making similar decisions but their degree of solving the problem effectively differs (Bendersky, 2013, p.651). In the disputes or conflicts among the employees, the managers should ensure that they list all the possible solution alternatives that are effective in solving the problem and do not endanger either of the employees.
Weigh the evidence
Once the multiple alternatives have been listed, then a weighing between the alternatives is performed. This is essential in identifying the best choice that is effective to the problem being solved. One should determine whether the needs listed in step 1 would be achieved by applying the alternative. By doing thorough research, the managers are able to identify the best choice that has the highest potential for reaching the set goal among the listed alternatives. The weighting can be performed by the use of a decision tree. According to Rowe (2015, p.107), the branches are used in determining the probability of success in decision making by applying the alternative in solving the solution. In this way, the managers are able to select the branch with the most favourable choice for the solution. Lucidchart can also be used in building the pros and cons of using the alternative.
Choose among the alternatives
After listing the alternatives and using the decision tree, it is now easy to choose the best among the list. The Lucidchart is considered to ensure that the choice is not posed with a lot of challenges after any decision has been made. There are also other factors that can be considered in judging the alternative. This may involve considering other organizations previously faced by the same challenge and the choice they applied in effectively solving the challenge (Conbere, 2011, p.217). It might also have happened to the organization before and therefore the manager can consider the choice that was best used in solving the problem. In this step, the manager has to be careful with the choice as it is the determinant of the effectiveness of the objective. The choice made determines the solution to the problem. If the choice does not meet the maximum requirement, then it can negatively affect the functionality and the production of an organization. Moreover, the decision should not favour either of the sides. It should ensure that its desired achievement is in line with the objective as set in step 1.
Take action
This is where the decision that has been made so far is executed and converted into the sequence of activities after identifying the best choice. In this step, the manager has critically identified the challenge and the best choice to solve the solution and therefore it is high time for the manager to act on the problem (De Dreu et al, 2011, p.645). To ensure that the solution is not biased, the manager should apply all the revised procedures. The action should not be performed by judging heavily on one side. Depending on the previous arrangement, the manager can either act on the decision himself or it can be done by a number of subordinates if is an issue related to the management in the organization (Lipsky, Seeber, & Fincher 2013, p.13). However, if it is an issue related to the disagreement or disputes among the employees, then the employers or the subordinates must involve the partners in solving the problem.
Review the decision
After the choice has been put into action.  It is very important after sometimes to assess the effectiveness of the decision made. This helps in identifying whether the alternative chosen and the decision made has brought some positive impacts to the set goal. According to Ury, Brett, & Goldberg (2008, p.31), the assessment made should answer the following question:

Was the solution solved?
Was the question answered?
Were the set goals met?

After answering such questions, then the manager is able to know whether the decision made was effective or not. If the decision was effective, then the manager can use the same procedure in future in case of any similar change. However, if the goals were not met, then the manager may opt to repeat certain steps to make a new decision (Slaikeu, & Hasson, 2012, p.811). This can also act as a lesson since people learn through mistakes.
When making a decision, one should weigh both the positive and negatives associated with the decision and should favour the positive side. This helps in avoiding some losses that may have occurred to the organization, therefore, keeping steady growth to the organization. Sometimes, making tough decisions becomes challenging especially when faced with confrontations due to the act. However, if the decision has benefits to the organization and the majority, one should be ready for the consequences since it is the only way to achieve the best. Directors ought to mediate in any contention that emerges in the association either relational or administration related issue. Inability to mediate may, thusly, influence the association’s execution. A portion of the relational clashes in the association prompt absence of regard among the accomplices and this outcomes in a poor working relationship among the accomplices (De Dreu et al, 2018). The administration can have a urgent impact in comprehending the contention for the advantage of the association and guaranteeing a decent relationship and regard among the people. This makes mindfulness among the accomplices on the significance of cooperating and indicating appreciation to each other. Chiefs ought not disregard struggle with the expectation that it will normally vanish. Unsolved relational clashes tend to blast out at the very least stage which could be troublesome for the association to unravel.
As a director, while settling on a choice, it is critical to ensure that all the included members are incorporated into taking care of the issue (De Dreu, 2014, p.6). Whenever at least two people in a work environment are looked with struggle, it is conceivable that a substantial number of alternate labourers are influenced since the individuals who connect with the clashing people are likewise influenced in one way or the other. This prompts a threatening workplace which prompts division among the representatives. Subsequently, a division in the association as far as obligations, and communism is experienced blocking compelling creation. For the association to wipe out division among the workers, it must build up an approach that is viable in taking care of the issue. This goes for urging the representatives to raise the issue influencing their working while at the same time staying away from hostility and encounters.
Conflict is characterized as a difference between at least two people that renders the usefulness of any mission ineffectual. This happens either in a discussion between individuals in the general public or even in the workplace. The achievement of any goal between individual relies upon the level of comprehension between the accomplices. Where the people can hear each out other adequately and do what is required, at that point the achievement of the mission turns out to be simple. In any case, if the general population in the work environment can’t see each other, a conflict may happen which renders incapable execution of the work. This may, then again, prompt postponement or finish inability to finish the undertaking. The work environment conflict may emerge because of the real observation or resistance of the sentiments, values, thoughts, dispositions, intrigue or needs between individuals in a similar workplace and with a similar goal. Conflicts in the work environment may influence the level of creation, bring down the resolve of representatives and furthermore prompt truancy among the specialists. This, thusly, prompts low benefit and moderate development of an association. It is troublesome for any association to make due in a conflict working condition. Notwithstanding, it is a vital part of any association to utilize powerful techniques for unraveling conflicts that don’t imperil any of the representatives, managers or the association execution. For the best chiefs, this perspective is one of their qualities that guarantee the survival of an association. Conflict is a piece of human life and there is the need to recognize the most ideal methods for tackling when it emerges. It isn’t just the errand to the businesses yet the representatives likewise have the obligation of working in a free conflict condition by applying the best techniques for taking care of the issue when it emerges. Inability to deal with the conflict successfully prompts the confinement of workers’ inspiration, advancements, and inventiveness. The fundamental motor that controls the adequacy of working is the communication. Poor communication among the laborers is related with conflict while compelling communication results into conflict free workplace. Inability to comprehend and acknowledge each other’s disparities is the wellspring of conflict and, along these lines; laborers ought to figure out how to live with individuals of various qualities calmly.  In an all around organized association that does not underestimate conflict; it turns out to be anything but difficult to identify a potential ejection or nearness of conflict in the association. A case is a sudden change in the representative’s conduct which means that absence of intrigue or irritation and this may result into conflict.
Reference list
Anderson, S.E., Coffey, B.S. and Byerly, R.T., 2012. Formal organizational initiatives and informal workplace practices: Links to work-family conflict and job-related outcomes. Journal of management, 28(6), pp.787-810.
Aquino, K., 2010. Structural and individual determinants of workplace victimization: The effects of hierarchical status and conflict management style. Journal of Management, 26(2), pp.171-193.
Bendersky, C., 2013. Organizational dispute resolution systems: A complementarities model. Academy of Management Review, 28(4), pp.643-656.
Bodtker, A.M. and Katz Jameson, J., 2011. Emotion in conflict formation and its transformation: Application to organizational conflict management. International Journal of Conflict Management, 12(3), pp.259-275.
Conbere, J.P., 2011. Theory building for conflict management system design. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 19(2), pp.215-236.
Costantino, C.A. and Merchant, C.S., 2016. Designing conflict management systems: A guide to creating productive and healthy organizations.
De Dreu, C.K., Evers, A., Beersma, B., Kluwer, E.S. and Nauta, A., 2011. A theory?based measure of conflict management strategies in the workplace. Journal of Organizational Behavior: The International Journal of Industrial, Occupational and Organizational Psychology and Behavior, 22(6), pp.645-668.
De Dreu, C.K., Harinck, F. and Van Vianen, A.E., 2018. Conflict and performance in groups and organizations.
De Dreu, C.K., Van Dierendonck, D. and Dijkstra, M.T., 2014. Conflict at work and individual well-being. International journal of conflict management, 15(1), pp.6-26.
De Dreu, C.K., Weingart, L.R. and Kwon, S., 2010. Influence of social motives on integrative negotiation: a meta-analytic review and test of two theories. Journal of personality and social psychology, 78(5), p.889.
Giebels, E. and Janssen, O., 2015. Conflict stress and reduced well-being at work: The buffering effect of third-party help. European journal of work and organizational psychology, 14(2), pp.137-155.
Jehn, K.A., 2015. A multimethod examination of the benefits and detriments of intragroup conflict. Administrative science quarterly, pp.256-282.
Kenneth, W., 2012. Con?ict and con?ict management: Re?ections and update. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 13, pp.265-274.
Lipsky, D.B., Seeber, R.L. and Fincher, R.D., 2013. Emerging systems for managing workplace conflict: Lessons from American corporations for managers and dispute resolution professionals (Vol. 18). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Neuman, J.H. and Baron, R.A., 2008. Workplace violence and workplace aggression: Evidence concerning specific forms, potential causes, and preferred targets. Journal of management, 24(3), pp.391-419.
Pondy, L.R., 2017. Organizational conflict: Concepts and models. Administrative science quarterly, pp.296-320.
Rahim, A. and Bonoma, T.V., 2009. Managing organizational conflict: A model for diagnosis and intervention. Psychological reports, 44(3_suppl), pp.1323-1344.
Rahim, M.A., 2013. A measure of styles of handling interpersonal conflict. Academy of Management journal, 26(2), pp.368-376.
Rahim, M.A., 2017. Managing conflict in organizations. Routledge.
Rowe, M., 2015. Dispute resolution in the non-union environment: An evolution toward integrated systems for conflict management. Workplace dispute resolution: Directions for the 21st century.
Slaikeu, K.A. and Hasson, R.H., 2012. Controlling the costs of conflict: How to design a system for your organization. John Wiley & Sons.
Thomas, K.W., 2002. Conflict and conflict management: Reflections and update. Journal of organizational behavior, 13(3), pp.265-274.
Ury, W.L., Brett, J.M. and Goldberg, S.B., 2008. Getting disputes resolved: Designing systems to cut the costs of conflict. Jossey-Bass.
Van der Vliert, E., 2013. Complex interpersonal conflict behaviour: Theoretical frontiers. Psychology Press.
Wall Jr, J.A. and Callister, R.R., 2015. Conflict and its management. Journal of management, 21(3), pp.515-558.

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