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1

Define conflict

“…incompatible activities, that is, the actions of one person…interfere, obstruct, or in some ways get in the way of the actions of another…” (interpersonal conflict)
Conflict is the process in which one party perceives that its interests are being opposed or negatively affected by another party

2

Interpersonal conflict

when two interacting people have incompatible needs, goals, values, or approaches

3

intragroup conflict

when two or more people have incompatible needs, goals, values, or approaches for group goals, activities, leadership or processes

4

intergroup conflict

When two or more groups have incompatible requirements for resources, tasks, processes, or information
e.g., departments in the same organization; management and unions

5

international conflict

between states at the global level. Can include incompatible requirements for power and resources, but also contrasting values

6

Sources of conflict

incompatible grops
scarce resources
poor communication
competitive reward system
different expertise
vale differences (political, moral)
Differing personal styles
Differing cultural practices

7

task conflict

(also called substantive conflict)
may arise over task outcomes or processes
Sometimes positive: small amounts may increase innovation

8

Relationship conflict

negative judgements about people’s personal styles, values, tastes
is almost always negative

9

How does task conflict and relationship conflict overlap?

Task conflict may be taken personally, leading to relationship conflict

This is more likely where…
- trust is between people is low
- discussions are loud and robust, suggesting stronger emotional involvement

10

When can conflict be positive?

conflicts are positive only under very narrow conditions

1. Conflicts are task-related
2. Conflicts are not (or do not become) about relationships
3. Task-related conflicts should be at most moderate (not strong)
4. Each party’s initial position/view is sub-optimal. i.e., there is a better solution that the conflict might uncover
5. Trust and psychological safety are high
6. Parties take a problem-solving approach to conflict
7. Positive effects are restricted to innovation and decision quality in that setting
- not considering longer-term effects, e.g., for later interactions
- not considering other effects, e.g., for participants’ health and wellbeing

11

attribution theory

explanations for why people act the way they do
involves correspondent inference bias and actor-observer effect

12

Correspondent inference bias

(“fundamental attribution error”)
We tend to attribute behaviours of others relatively more to personal factors than to situational factors

13

Actor-observer effect

We tend to attribute behaviours of others relatively more to personal factors, but our own behaviours relatively more to situational factors

14

Social exchange theory

Perceived unfair balance of rewards and costs in relationship

15

Equity theory

lack of distributive justice
lack of procedural justice

16

what is a lack of distributive justice in the equity theory of conflict?

perceived unfair allocation of resources

17

what is a lack of procedural justice in the equity theory of conflict?

perceived unfair process for allocation of resources
perceived unfair opportunities for views to be heard and considered

18

accommodating; yielding

high Concern about relationship and/or
others’ outcomes AND
low Concern about task and/or own outcomes

19

Collaborating; Problem-solving;

high Concern about relationship and/or
others’ outcomes AND
high Concern about task and/or own outcomes

20

Competing;
Forcing

low Concern about relationship and/or
others’ outcomes AND
high Concern about task and/or own outcomes

21

Avoiding;
Withdrawal

low Concern about relationship and/or
others’ outcomes AND
low Concern about task and/or own outcomes

22

Compromising

medium Concern about relationship and/or
others’ outcomes AND
medium Concern about task and/or own outcomes

23

Accommodating/
Yielding is suitable when

- You want to prevent chances of conflict escalating
-Your position is weak (e.g., the other party has more power)

24

disadvantages of Accommodating/
Yielding

-Increases expectation you will yield in future conflicts

25

Compromising is suitable when

-Time pressure
-Similar power and lack of trust

26

disadvantages of Compromisiing

-Makes the search for more creative and valued options less likely

27

Competing/ Forcing is suitable when

-You have strong convictions about an issue
-Pressing time constraints
-You have greater power

28

Disadvantages of competing/forcing

-May damage longer-term relationships
-Impasse if others adopt same style

29

Collaborating/ Problem-solving is suitable when

-There is trust between parties
-Issues are complex

30

Disadvantages of Collaborating/ Problem-solving

-The other party can gain advantage from information