Culture and Process of Change (Organizational Change)

Creating Culture for Change

According to some OB (Organization Behavior) scholars, a culture for the change should be created. Culture for the change can be created with the help of following two approaches:

1. Stimulating a Culture of Innovation 

An innovation is a new idea that applies in initiating or improving a product, process or service. Although there is no guaranteed formula, certain characteristics surface repeat when researchers study innovative organizations. These can be grouped as structural, cultural and human resources categories. Change agents should consider introducing these characteristics into their organization to create an innovative climate. 

2. Creating a Learning Organization 

Creating a learning organization is another approach that is used to facilitate or develop climate for the organizational change. Learning organization is an organization that has developed the continuous capacity to adopt the change. All organizations learn for their sustained existence in a competitive business environment. A learning organization has following characteristics on the basis in which climate for the organizational change can be created: 
  • People openly communicate with each other (across vertical and horizontal boundaries) without fear of criticism or punishment.
  • People sublimate their personal self-interest and fragmented departmental interests to work together to achieve the organization's shared vision.
  • People discard their old ways of thinking and the standard routines they use for solving problems or doing their jobs.
  • There exists a shared vision that everyone agrees on.
  • Members think of all organizational process, activities, functions and interactions with the environment as part of a system of interrelationship.

Process or Steps of Change 

Organization must maintain a viable relationship with a changing environment. To achieve long term viability, an organization must turn out good performance by managing changes in the environment intelligently. Modern organizations are learning to cope with changes. They are beginning to realize the importance of managing change in a planned way. Generally speaking, management of change involves a series of steps which is shown in the following figure.
process of change
1. Recognition of the Forces Demanding Change 

The first step in the management of change is the recognition of forces necessitating change urgently or over a period of time. Forces may be internal or external. External changes include changing technological levels, changing market situations, changing products, changing consumer tastes and preferences etc. Internal forces comprise launch of a new product mix, erection of a separate departmental unit, etc. All forces certainly do not demand change. At least some require careful attention from management. The concerned manager should find out the discrepancy between what is and what should be. He should also find out the real forces demanding change. 

2. Identifying the Need for Change 

There are many forces, many demands for change but all changes may not be important and possible. Therefore, management must try to analyze the reasons of demand for change accurately. In this connection, the help of external consultant or unconnected internal staff may be sought for objective analysis of the causes demanding change. In any way, management must come to know the need for change and its true causes. 

3. Diagnosis of the Problem 

Diagnosis leads to locating the specific problem areas and identifying of the source of problem/s. It also enables a manager to know which activities need further improvement and systematization. A manager may use various diagnostic techniques such as interviews, questionnaires, present observations, etc. Diagnosis helps the change agent to see what changes are needed in the structure, system or in people. Actually, the initial diagnostic focus of a manager is on the organizations variables rather than on the psychology of individuals. 

4. Planning the Change 

Change can be made from one of (or all of, or some of) the four ways – change in structure, change in task, change in people, change in technology. A change agent has to consider the following points during the planning phase: 
  • He should be in a position to convince the members of the benefits of payoffs from change and also alerts them to the negative consequences and adverse effects in the absence of change.
  • He should select appropriate strategy - whether to change structure or people or technology or task. Normally all the changes include the change in behavior of people.
  • He should try to involve the subordinates in decision-making.
  • He should enlighten the need for change to the organizations participants.

5. Implementation of Change

The next step in the process of change is to implement the change plan successfully. While implementing change, the change agent encounters resistance from members of organization. Research supports the view that creating and implementing change is more difficult than planning the change. In addition to the problem of resistance, manager also confronts the problem of control. Change disrupts normal course of events and during change, it is quite likely that organizations lose control and many activities easily. 

6. Feedback

To ensure smooth implementation of change in the given direction, it is necessary to make review and evaluation of progress made regarding implementation of change. Without proper feedback, management of change is rendered incomplete and useless. A manager or change agent must compare the standards present during the pre-change period with actual performance after implementing the change and ensure whether the change has been fruitful or wasteful.

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Comparative Public Administration (CPA)

Comparative Public Administration is the theory of public administration applied to diverse culture and national settings and the body of factual data, by which it can be examined and tested. Comparative Administrative Group (CAG) was created in 1960 with the objectives of increasing the volume of research, improving teaching materials and stimulating the formulation and implementation of effective public policies.

It stresses the comparative analysis of system of public administration. Similarly, it also emphasizes on comparison as a method of study to better describe and evaluate the different administrative system of various nations with diverse ecological settings.

Factors of Comparative Public Administration (CPA) 

  • Revisionist movement in comparative politics 
  • The emergence of newly independent nations
  • Extension of American foreign aid program to third world countries
  • Exposure of the visiting American Administrative team to the diverse administrative system

Definitions of CPA 

  • At macro level
Comparative Public Administration is concerned with public administration in all countries. 

  • At micro level
Comparative Public Administration deals with comparing and contrasting different administrative agencies, jurisdiction, technique and administrators in a single nation. It may also take into consideration the description and analysis of societies widely in time from that under immediate consideration. 

According to Robert Jackson, "CPA can be defined as that facet of the study of Public Administration which is concerned with making rigorous cross-cultural comparisons of the structures and processes involved in activity of administering public affairs." 

According to Riggs, CPA is characterized by the following three trends.
  • A shift from normative to empirical studies.
  • A shift from Idiographic (concentrates on area studies and case studies) to nomothetic (seeks generalizations, laws, hypothesis that assert regularities of behavior, correlations between variables) studies
  • A shift in the focus from non-ecological (administrative system as abstract entities to be examined apart from environmental influence) to ecological studies.

Purposes of CPA 

  • to learn the distinctive features of a particular system of systems.
  • to explain the factors responsible for the differences in bureaucratic behavior.
  • to understand the strategies of administrative reform. 

Significance of CPA 

  • Cross-cultural and cross-national
  • It made to understand diverse administrative system in the world.
  • It helps to explain differences in the behavior of bureaucracies in different countries and made easy to generalize.
  • It is helpful to identify the various cultural, political and social factors that are involved in success or failure of administrative program in a country.
  • It is empirical. Therefore, it is helpful to identify bottleneck and suggest solutions.
  • It also identify whether the administrative practices in one country are applicable to other countries. 

Criticism of CPA 

  • American bias
  • Shifting own better values and norm by others
  • Indigenous vs Exogenous alternatives
  • Appointment of foreign consultants

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Approach to Overcome Resistance to Change

Change is a quite complex process. It is the nature of people that nobody instantly becomes ready to change. Resistance to change is the most baffling problem, which the manager has to face.

Related Topic: 

The following approaches or techniques are commonly employed by managers in order to overcome resistance to change. 

1. Education and Communication

The useful technique is to educate the employee who resists to change. The concerned manager should clearly explain what the change is, why it is likely to be introduced and why the changes is required. Likewise, they should give special focus to enhance the employee skill. For e.g. give basic computer training, interpersonal development, capacity building and so fourth. 

In other words, the useful technique of overcoming resistance to change is to educate the people who resist change about the advantages of introducing change and the limitations of not having it. The management mostly educates people about the need and objectives of change.
overcome resistance to change

2. Participation and Involvement 

Participation helps to give people involved in the organizational change a feeling of importance. It makes people feel that the organization needs their opinions and ideas and is unwilling to go ahead without taking them into account. Those people who are directly affected by the change should be given opportunity to participate in that change before the final decisions are reached. This technique calls for a dialogue with the resistors and allow them to participate in the change program. Participation ensures commitment from members. It also creates psychological ownership. 

3. Facilitation and Support 

Another approach to overcome resistance to change is to facilitate and provide support to the employees. This includes providing training in new skills, or giving employees time off after a demanding period of change. Similarly, manager can give emotional support by simply listening to the employees. The change agent listens to the subordinates, provides emotional support and gives training and skills to cope with the change. The agent through emotional support helps the resistors to adjust to the new demands. 

4. Negotiation and Agreement 

Another approach to deal with resistance to change is to negotiate to reach to an agreement for accepting a change. It means that management buys the acceptance of change with incentives. For example, management could offer the union a higher wage or no-layoff contract in return for a change in work procedure or a manager could be given an attractive job assignment if he accepts the change. When the group is resisting change in a strong way, negotiation and agreement will be helpful. The change agent offers incentives to resistors under this method in order to tackle the resistance problem. 

Negotiation particularly deals with a group of powerful individual who resists to change. For this specific reward package can be used to deal with a powerful individual. However, it increases the cost of organization but it is assumed that if powerful individuals are ready to avoid resistance to change, s/he convinced rest of his team mates.

5. Manipulation and Cooperation 

Manipulation is a way to decrease resistance to change. It involves selectively using information and events so as to have some desired effect on employees. For example, a manager may tell another manager "to look at the proposal as I've already gotten the potential go-ahead at the corporate level." Similarly, cooperation involves giving individuals a meaningful role in designing and implementing change programs. When all other techniques have failed, manipulation is usually resorted to by the change agent. 

6. Explicit or Implicit Coercion 

Under this approach, manager may use explicit or implicit coercion or force to handle the resistance to change. Manager may force employees to accept the change by threading with the loss of job, promotion, pay raises, incentives and big projects and so on. The change agent threatens the resistors with the loss of job, or status or promotion possibilities etc. or by actually firing or transferring them.

Last on the list suggests tactics is coercion. The organization as a last resort, can apply direct threats on the resistors to make them ready accept the proposed change. Threats of transfer, loss of promotion, negative performance evaluation, and dis-satisfactory recommendation are the example of coercion.

To sum up, though there are various ways to reduce resistance to change. Thus, above all, consensus, involvement and ownership should be encouraged for overcoming resistance to change.

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Reasons for Resistance to Change (Organizational Change)

Many people and organizations resist to change. Generally employees or individual and management or organization resist to change. Some of the possible reason for why people and organization resist change are as follows:

resistance to change

I. Resistance by the Employees or Individuals 

Individual is considered as the main source of resistance to change due to their perception, personalities and needs, because of the following reason individual resist the change. Individual employees or the trade union generally resist change for the following reason: 

1. Inconvenience or Love for Status Quo 

The introduction of a change in doing a job may disrupt the normal routine of employees. Thus, any change that interferes with the normal work routine is generally inconvenient and is resisted. 

2. Fear of Uncertainties 

Employees perform their job in a normal routine. They are aware of their duties, responsibilities and superior's behavior. Any change may create some uncertainties in the minds of the employees. Employees tend to speculate what would be their new roles and responsibilities and how their superiors will respond to them. Such uncertainties may result in some resistance to change. 

3. Fear of Economic Loss

These include the fear of technological unemployment, fear of reduced work hours and consequently less pay after change, fear of demotion and low wages, obsolesce of skills, etc. Whenever people sense that new machinery pass a threatening challenge for their existence, they resist change. For example, many managers in today’s industries are resisting the introduction of computers. Further, when people perceive any psychological degradation of the job that they are performing, they simply try to maintain status quo and resist change. 

Any change that creates a feeling of fear of economic loss among employees is likely to generate resistance to change. Change may create fear of economic loss due to the following reasons. 
  • Fear of lay-off or retrenchment or termination from the job.
  • Fear of reduced job opportunities due to change in technology.
  • Fear of wage cuts or reduced incentives.
  • Fear of demotion and consequently low monetary benefits and status.
  • Fear of more work-load due to automation and reduced monetary benefits.
  • For all or some of the reasons of fear, employees resist change. 

4. Social Displacement

Change often results in disturbance of the existing social relationships. People in work organizations develop some sort of information relationships and any change breaking these relationships will be strongly resisted. Group pressure also brings about resistance to change in individuals. 

By working with each other employees develop certain patterns of social relations. They feel comfortable in communication and interaction with certain persons. This comfort makes work more enjoyable and helps to develop friendships. Any change in structure, technology or personnel may disrupt these social relations. Hence employees resist change. 

5. Fear of Obsolescence of Skills 

The knowledge is exploding at a fast rate. As a result, knowledge is any field that may become obsolete. When employees feel that the introduction of new technology in place of old one poses a threat of replacing them, they resist such change quickly and violently. For instance, when employees have fear of being phased out of their job by automation, or computerization they resist such change. In cases, when job security is at stake, even a minor change in policy and procedure may evoke resistance to change. 

6. Habits

Once we become habituated on anything, it will be difficult to change that habit. As human beings, we are creatures of habit. Changes in old work habits create resistance. Employees tend to respond in accustomed work. 

Every human being has his own habits. Habits are hard to break. They are sometimes serious constraints to change. Learning a new method of performing a job becomes difficult due to the habits. Hence, most employees do resist change due to their habits that have been developed over the years. 

7. Fear of Loss of Power

Employees may fear loss of job security, reduction in pay and increase in workloads. The cost of change may be higher than benefits of change. Sometimes, change may erode the power of the employees. They may lose some power and influence. Apart from it, the change may force to accept new power position. To enjoy new power position, they may be required to establish new relationship which may be in the time being difficult. Hence, employees resist change. 

8. Lack of Understanding / Clarification 

Some people resist change because they do not understand the nature of the change. It happens due to the lack of clarification or gap of communication. Hence, every person takes or understands the change in his own way. Some persons take the change as an indication of their poor performance on the job while some others may assume that their position would soon be abolished. Some others may take it as a measure of punishment for some personal reasons. Thus, lack of clarifications about the nature of change invites resistance from the employees. 

II. Resistance by the Management or Organization 

Organization itself is another source for resistance to change. Many times, the resistance to change is initiated by the organization as a whole or by the top management. Following are the main reasons for organizational resistance.

1. Resource Transfer or Reallocation

Organizational change usually invoices a huge expenditure and sufficiency of resource usually in a major constraint. In such a situation, change is resisted by the departmental heads and employees. This is true, when government forces the organizations to introduce certain technological, organizational or social changes but does not provide adequate human and physical resources, the organizations oppose such changes. Similarly when trade unions pressurize management to introduce certain changes for the safety, welfare and comforts of the employees, the management put resistance to such changes for lack of availability of funds. 

Sometimes, a change requires transfer of resources from one department to anther department. In other words, resources are reallocated to departments for implementing the change. Any department getting lesser or reduced allocation of resources than in the past would resist the change. 

2. Organization Structure

Some organizational structure has built in mechanism for resistance to change. For instance, in a typical bureaucratic structures when chain of command is clearly spelled out, authority, responsibilities and duties are clearly defined, flow of information is stressed through proper, channel and the entire pattern is highly mechanistic and rigid, and any changes in the organization structure or pattern would either be possible or strongly reputed. 

Some organizational structure has built-in mechanism for resistance to change. For instance, in a typical bureaucratic structure, where chain of command is clearly spelled out, authority, responsibilities and duties are clearly defined, flow of information is stressed through proper channel and the entire pattern is highly mechanistic and rigid and any change in the organizational structure or pattern would either be impossible or strongly refuted.

3. Non-cooperation or Threat by Experts 

Sometimes, a change results in the transfer of responsibility to perform a specialized task to a new individual or group of experts. The expert person or group loosing the responsibility for performance may resist the proposed change. Moreover, if the change is to be affected through the cooperation of those loosing experts, it would even be more difficult to affect the change successfully. 

4. Fear of Increase in Responsibility 

Sometimes, a change may result in increase in responsibility of managers. In such a situation, managers may oppose the change. 

5. Threat to Power and Influence

Managers occupying top, key and prestigious positions resist change when they perceive that the change may thereafter affect their position, power or influence. Introduction of new technology, reshuffling in organizations structure (levels, departments, authority or responsibility) or reallocation of resources may disrupt the existing power relationship and may adversely affect some of the top executives. They initiate resistance in order to safeguard their interest by maintaining status quo. 

6. Fear of Loss of Investment

In case when organizations have invested a huge capital in their permanent assets and training of employees, they are afraid of their capital being sunk, if they introduce a new technology. 

7. Group Inertia 

Sometimes, long standing group norms or group inertia may resist the change. In such a situation, an attempt to change the job of one individual is opposed by all group members. 

8. Chain of Effects

Sometimes, one change may lead to a series of changes. For instance, change in the data processing technique in accounting department may require change in data processing technique in all the departments. If the other departments are not willing to change, change in accounting department cannot be implemented.

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Functional and Dysfunctional Conflicts | Assertive Behavior

Functional and Dysfunctional Conflicts

Functional conflicts and dysfunctional conflicts are the two dimensions or the outcomes of the conflicts. Functional conflict has positive effects on the conflicts whereas dysfunctional conflict has negative effects. Both can be discussed with the help of following points: 

1. Functional Conflict: Positive Effects 

Functional conflict is also known as constructive conflict. Such conflict will have positive effects on individuals, groups and organizations. Such conflict is useful in order to solve problems related to individuals and groups. Functional conflict is important for effective performance due to the following reasons: 
  • It ventilates tension from the organization.
  • It increases individual's efforts at work.
  • It helps thinking analytically.
  • It provides foundation for organizational change and development.
  • It provides an individual a chance to think again, undertake self introspection and have a second look at the existing things, like procedures, policies, equipment, behaviors etc.
  • It leads to innovation and at times to new direction. It is, therefore, even necessary for the survival and growth organizations. 
  • It helps to seek classification and generate search behavior.
  • When conflict is developed, attention is immediately drawn to the malfunctioning parts of a system. It is an indication that the situation calls for improvement. Conflict is, therefore, an essential portion of a cybernetic system.
  • At times, it is also used as a means to certain ends and to create confusion or set subordinates against each other in order to maintain the interested parties own position. It may not be a positive outcome in the strict sense of the term from the organizational point of view, but it is certainly a management strategy toward of problems temporarily. It may be viewed as an unavoidable cost of the pursuit of one's aspirations. 
  • Long standing problems, which continue to agitate people's mind in surface, they are able to release their tensions and unburden themselves. They display creativity in identifying solutions and dealing with problems. 
  • It serves as a cementing force in a group and incredible unity is witnessed even in a heterogeneous group at times of tension.
  • It energizes people, leads to mild stimulation and one is at one's best in times of crisis. It helps them test their capacities. 

2. Dysfunctional Conflict: Negative Effects 

Dysfunctional conflict is also known as destructive conflict. Many times conflict may be detrimental and disastrous. Such conflict has negative effect on individuals, groups and the organizational levels. The effects might be diverting energies, hurting group cohesion, promoting interpersonal hostilities and creating negative working environment. Due to the dysfunctional conflict and its negative effects, employees become dissatisfied with the working environment and as a result, absenteeism will increase and productivity will decline. A few dysfunctional effects of rising conflict include: 
  • Increasing conflict will result in delays in meeting schedules, decrease in the quality of goods and services and finally will increase customer complaints.
  • It is undesirable if it creates a climate of distrust and suspicion among people, if some people feel are defeated and demanded and it develops antagonism instead of spirit of cooperation. 
  • In the absence of smooth communication at the workplace, there will be problems in coordinating activities.
  • With the increasing conflict in the organization, people start to divert themselves from the real work schedule and keep less interest and show less energy, and this will ultimately affect the achievement of organizational goals.
  • The increasing negative emotions at the workplace can be quite stressful.
  • When conflict does not lead to solution of a problem, it is unproductive and investment of time and effort goes waste.
  • As a consequence of conflict, there may be intensification of internalization of sub-unit goals which may result in the neglect of overall organizational goals.
  • It is seriously harmful if it distracts attention from basic organizational objectives and makes people work for their defeat. 
  • When management loses objectivity and treats disagreement as equivalent to disloyalty and rebellion, an opportunity for creativity should be deemed to have been lost. It may even pour oil over troubled waters, exploit differences to strengthen itself and weakens others, and accept resolutions capable of different interpretation. 

Assertive Behavior 

Assertive behavior is the behavior which enables person to act in his own best interest, to stand up for himself without undue anxiety, to express his honest feeling comfortably, or to exercise his own rights without denying the rights of others. In other words assertiveness is the expression of one's feelings, beliefs, opinions and needs in a direst, honest and appropriate manner. Such assertive behavior will reflect a high regard for one's own personal rights as well as the rights of others. With a high level of assertive behavior, they will have the highest win-lose orientation. They believe in competition and authoritative command. 

Assertive behavior includes: 
  • Being open in expressing wishes, thoughts and feelings and encouraging others to do likewise.
  • Listening to the views of other and responding appropriately, whether in agreement with those views or not.
  • Accepting responsibilities and being able to delegate to others.
  • Regularly expressing appreciation of others for what they have done or are doing.
  • Being able to admit to mistakes and apologize.
  • Maintaining self-control.
  • Behaving as an equal to others. 

There are both positive and negative aspect of assertive behavior. 

1. Positive Assertive Behavior 

Positive assertive behaviors lead to win-lose strategies in which conflict can be minimized. Positive assertive behavior of a person includes: 
  • Empathies with others.
  • Can request other people to change behavior without any fear.
  • Feels confident, gains self-respect and values other people.
  • Expresses himself or herself directly and honestly.
  • When the situation becomes intolerable, expresses emotional reactions and feelings.
  • Offers problem solving opportunities and indicates the consequences. 

2. Negative Assertive Behavior 

Negative assertive behaviors fail to address the root causes of the conflict and tend to suppress the desires of conflicting parties. Negative assertive behavior of a person includes:
  • Refuses requests of someone else without having uncomfortable feelings.
  • Fights to dominate in win-lose competition (may humiliate other people sometimes)
  • Works against the wishes of the other party. Forces things to a favorable conclusion through the exercise of authority.

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Roles of a Manager for Managing Conflict

Behavioral guidelines for effectively implementing the collaborative (problem-solving) approach to conflict management are organized according to three roles. Guidelines for the problem-identification and solution-generation phases of the problem-solving process are specified for each role. Guidelines for the action plan and follow-up phases are the same for all three roles which are summarized below: 

1. Role of Initiator 

Step 1: Problem Identification 

1:1 Maintain Personal Ownership of the Problem 
  • Succinctly describe your problem in terms of behaviors, consequence and feelings.
  • Stick to the facts (e.g. use a specific incident to illustrate the expectations or standards violated). 
  • Avoid drawing evaluative conclusions and attributing motives to the respondent. 

1:2 Persist until Understood: Encourage Two-way Discussion 
  • Restate your concerns or give additional examples.
  • Avoid introducing additional issues or letting frustration sour your emotional tone.
  • Invite the respondent to ask question and express another perspective. 

1:3 Manage the Agenda Carefully 
  • Approach multiple problems incrementally, proceeding from simple to complex, easy to difficult, concrete to abstract.
  • Don't become fixed on a single issue. If you reach an end, expand the discussion to increase the likelihood of an integrative outcome. 

Step 2: Solution Generation (Make a Request) 
  • Focus on those things you share in common (principles, goals and constraints) as the basis for recommending preferred alternatives. 

2. Role of Responder 

Step 1: Problem Identification 

1:1 Establish a Climate for Joint Problem Solving 
  • Show genuine concern and interest. Respond em-pathetically, even you disagree with the complaint.
  • Respond appropriately to the initiator's emotions. If necessary, let the person "blow off steam" before addressing the complaint. 

1:2 Seek Additional Information about the Problem 
  • Ask questions that channel the initiator's statements from general to specific and from evaluative to descriptive. 

1:3 Agree with some Aspect of the Complaint 
  • Signal your willingness to consider making changes by agreeing with facts, perceptions, feelings or principles. 

Step 2: Solution Generation 
  • Ask for suggestions and recommendations.
  • To avoid debating the merits of a single suggestion, brainstorm multiple alternatives. 

3. Role of Mediator 

Step 1: Problem Identification 

1:1 Acknowledge that a Conflict Exists 
  • Select the most appropriate setting (one-on-one conference versus group meeting) for coaching and fact-finding.
  • Propose a problem-solving approach for resolving the dispute. 

1:2 Maintain a Neutral Posture 
  • Assume the role of facilitator, not judge. Do not be little the problem or berate the disputants for their inability to resolve their differences.
  • Be impartial toward disputants and issues (provided policy has not been violated).
  • If correction is necessary, do it in private. 

1:3 Manage the Discussion to Ensure Fairness 
  • Focus discussion on the conflict's impact on performance and the detrimental effect of continue conflict.
  • Keep the discussion issue oriented, not personality oriented.
  • Do not allow one party to dominate the discussion. Ask directed questions to maintain balance. 

Step 2: Solution Generation 
  • Explore options by focusing on the interest behind stated positions.
  • Explore the "whys" behind disputants' arguments or demands.
  • Help disputants see commonalities among their goals, values and principles.
  • Use commonalities to generate multiple alternatives.
  • Maintain a non-judgmental manner. 

Resolving Conflict through Negotiation 

1. Distributive Bargaining 

It is a negotiation that seeks to divide up a fixed amount of resources. Probably, the most widely cited example of distributive bargaining is labor management negotiations over wages. Typically, labor representatives come to the bargaining table determined to get as much money as possible out of management. Since every rupee more that labor negotiates increases management's cost, each party bargains aggressively and treats the other as an opponent who must be defeated. 

2. Integrative Bargaining 

In contrast to distributive bargaining, integrative problem solving operates under the assumption that there exist one or more settlements that can create a win-win solution between distributive integrative bargaining. 

Distributive versus Integrative Bargaining

Bargaining Characteristics

Distributive Bargaining

Integrative Bargaining

Available Resources

Fixed amount of resources to be divided

Variable amount of resources to be divided

Primary Motivations

I win, you lose

I win, you win

Primary interests

 Opposed to each other

Convergent or congruent with each other

Focus of relationships



It is a negotiation that seeks one or more settlements that can create a win-win situation. 

In terms of intra-organizational behavior, all things being equal, integrative bargaining is preferable to distributive bargaining because the integrative bargaining builds long term relationship and facilitates working together in the future. It binds negotiators and allows each to leave the bargaining, on the other hand, distributive bargaining leaves one party a loser. It tends to build animosities and deepen rifts and divisions when people have to work together on an ongoing basis.

Level of Conflicts in an Organization

conflict is a disagreement about the allocation of scarce resources or clashes regarding goals, values and so on, can occur on the interpersonal and organizational level. In other words, conflict has been defined as a process in which an individual purposely makes an effort to offset the efforts of another individual by some form of blockage that causes frustration to the latter in accomplishing his goals or furthering of his interests. 

Related Topic: 

Generally, there are three level of conflicts in an organization life which are as follows:

level of conflicts

1. Individual Level Conflict 

A person joins any organization basically to satisfy his varying needs. He faces a conflict within himself when he perceives that organization is not satisfying his needs in accordance with his perceived standards. The analysis of conflict may start at the individual level itself. Since an organization is composed of various individuals, many conflicts develop at individual level. The individual level conflicts may be analyzed in two ways: intra-individual and inter-individual or interpersonal. 

a) Intra-individual Conflicts 

Intra-individual conflicts arise within a person and are of psychological nature. Many times, the individual remain conflict-hidden, but he fails to perceive it. However, they may be latent or overt. Such conflicts are generally related to the goals a person wants to achieve or roles in the manner he wants to achieve. Hence, intra-individual conflicts are of two types: 

i) Goal Conflict 

Goal conflict occurs when two or more motives block each other. In other words, an individual in the organization faces a goal conflict when he discovers many alternatives of goals which he wants to achieve, being equally attractive, but actually exclusive. He is caught in his own web and faces a serious intra-personal conflict. 

ii) Role Conflict 

An individual performs a number of roles. Role conflict arises when a person has alternative ways of achieving organizational goals and he is asked a behavior which may ensure the achievement of goals. A superior is respected to get things done but he is internally in tension whether to apply autocratic, participative or free night technique of direction. 

b) Inter-individual Conflicts 

Inter-personal conflicts arise between two individual having competition for achieving scarce things, such as status, power, position, promotion or resources or they may pick up conflict due to their divergent opinions, attitudes or values. Disagreement among individuals in an organization may arise for variety of reasons such as: personal differences, value of interest differences, perceptual differences, power and position differences, resource constraints. 

2. Group Level Conflicts 

A group constitutes two or more persons who interact in such a way that each person influences and is influenced by others. Group level conflicts refer to the disagreement, competition or clash between two groups of the organization, say between supervisory staff and the workers or between management and trade unions. Group level conflicts further can be classified as inter-group conflicts and intra-group conflicts. 

a) Inter-group Conflicts 

Inter-group conflict arises out of the interaction of various groups. There are many factors in the organization which determine the inter-group relationship. Inter-group conflicts over authority, jurisdiction and resources are exceedingly common. Every group is in at least partial conflict with every other group it interacts with. Most of the departments in the organization compete for the allocation of scarce resources and power. They differ in goals, act, work activities, power and prestige. The seeds of inter-group conflict are shown in these differences. Research findings generally confirm the following sources of inter-group conflicts: 
  • Incompatible goals
  • Task interdependence 
  • Resource allocation
  • Competitive incentive and reward system 
  • Line and staff conflicts 
  • Differences in value and perception 
  • Heterogeneity of members 
  • Communication distortion 
  • Participative decision making 
  • Low formalization 

b) Intra-group Conflict 

Intra-group is the group consisting of a number of persons whose interactions at a given time generate a system of values, norms and sanctions appropriate to the nature of the task on which they are working, which has created a set of well defined role and status relations which are interdependent. Intra-group conflict may arise in three situations: 
  • When group faces a novel problem of task. 
  • Where new values are imported from the social environment into the group.
  • Where a person's extra-group role comes into conflict with his intra-group role. 

3. Organizations Level Conflict 

Conflict at individual level and at group level takes place within the organizational setting. Conflict at organization level may be intra-organizational and inter-organizational. Individuals in the organizations have many conflicting organizational cross pressures operating on them. The following examples indicate the source of potential conflict: 

The boss wants more production; subordinates want more considerations. Customers want faster deliveries; peers request schedule delay. Consultants suggest change; subordinates resist change. The rule book provides a formula; the staffs say it will not work.

Types of organization level conflicts are as follows: 

a) Intra-organizations Conflict 

The reasons of conflicts in an organization are many but mainly three kinds of internal strains can be identified: 
i. The Horizontal Strain: The competition between different functional sub-systems. 

ii. Vertical Strain: The competition between various level in three hierarchy for power, privilege or reward and 

iii. Line and Staff Conflict: Line and staff conflict further can be classified as horizontal conflict and vertical conflict. 

b) Inter-organizations Conflict 

The basis of inter-organizations conflicts are essentially the same as three basis of inter-group conflict. Most commonly cited reasons for inter-organizations conflicts like incompatible objectives, over status, prestige and money are present in inter-organizations conflicts also. In other words, inter-organizations conflict is more extensive, more diffusing than the conflicts amongst persons or groups.