Managing Conflict. conflict/ FR 10B2 Jose Herrera Andrea Morales Jennifer Ramsey

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1 Managing Conflict conflict/ FR 10B2 Jose Herrera Andrea Morales Jennifer Ramsey 1

2 Contents Conflict... 3 Background... 3 Conflict Styles and Their Consequences... 4 Analysis... 5 Discussion... 8 References:

3 Conflict Conflict is everywhere. It occurs within families, on the job, between various groups in our society, and is typically found right in the middle of most of our personal relationships. People can t be expected to agree on everything. We all have our own unique thoughts and feelings. The challenge comes in how we choose to deal with differences. Managing conflict is essential for us to understand and institute as students as well as in our professional roles. Conflict resolution begins with each individual. It is our responsibility to pro- actively and nonjudgmentally address conflict in our personal and work lives. Conflict is a situation where the interests, needs, goals or values of involved parties interfere with one another. Conflict is a common phenomenon that can occur almost anywhere in the workplace. Different stakeholders throughout the organization may have different priorities, which can lead to conflicts between team members, departments, projects, organization and client, boss and subordinate, organization needs vs. personal needs. More times than conflict is merely the result of individual perception. Most people would rather avoid conflict than deal with it because they only see the negative effects. We understand that avoidance is only one method of dealing with conflict. It is our position that conflict is not a bad thing. Conflict itself presents opportunities for growth and improvement. Therefore, it is important to utilize conflict resolution techniques to manage conflict. Background Now that we have established that conflict is everywhere and it is a normal part of the majority of our personal relationships, we need to focus on learning how to deal with conflict. When dealing with conflict it can manage correctly or incorrectly. When handled incorrectly, conflict can cause friction or increased tension levels in a relationship. When handled correctly in a respectful, positive way, conflict provides an opportunity to strengthen the bond between two people. By making an effort to learn skills for conflict resolution we can keep our personal and professional relationships strong and growing. 3

4 Conflict Styles and Their Consequences Examining the different conflict styles and consequences of different behaviors in different scenarios we can make ourselves better equipped to resolving conflict. Each style represents an individual s needs or wants in a disagreement and describes the impact on others. The Thomas- Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) is an excellent tool for us to understand and utilize. It explains how different conflict- handling styles affect interpersonal relationships and can affect group dynamics. With an increased knowledge we can empower ourselves to choose the appropriate style for any situation. Competing- This is a style in which an individual s needs are advocated over the needs of others. It can be viewed as a very aggressive approach. To operate with this style, there is typically little regard for developing or maintaining future relationships. It uses coercive power to accomplish individual goals. Those individuals who choose to use a competitive style tend to seek control tend to dominate the discussions. They fear that any amount of loss in control will result in solutions that fail. Accommodating- Is a style also known as smoothing, is the direct opposite approach than that of competing. Individuals who use this style surrender their needs or wants to that of others. This can be viewed as attempt to be diplomatic and yield to the greater good. Accommodators 4

5 tend to focus on the needs of the group, ignoring their own. The emphasis in this style is preserving relationships both present and future. Avoiding- Is the most common response and generally used by individuals who have negative perceptions of conflict. "Perhaps if we don't bring it up, it will blow over," is the general sentiment. Avoidance, generally results in pent up feelings and emotions that go unexpressed. Built up tension and animosity festers until it becomes too big to ignore and like a cancer. If not treated early it spreads until it eventually kills the relationship. Compromising- Is an approach to conflict in which people give and take in series of tradeoffs. While compromising can be mutually satisfactory, as individuals we each remain shaped by our individual perceptions of our needs and don't necessarily understand the other side very well. Collaborating- Is the collection of individual needs and goals as well as others to work united toward a common goal. Often this approach is referred to as win- win. " Collaboration requires assertive communication and most importantly cooperation in order to achieve the best solution. It offers the chance for consensus and true teamwork. With a thorough understanding of each style and the consequences associated with them, we can alter our behaviors in various conflict situations to achieve the desired outcome. For example, if we use a competing style, we may get our idea/solution accepted. However, it comes at a price and the acceptance may be accompanied by undesirable feelings by other, like fear and resentment. If we choose the accommodating approach we may develop or maintain our current relationship, but we may build up internal frustrations or animosity because our individual needs and wants are not being met. If we compromise, we may feel ok about the outcome, deep down we may harbor resentments that could fester and explode in the future. If we collaborate, we may arrive at a mutually beneficial solution, and develop a team mentality for the future. If we avoid discussing the conflict at all, then everyone loses and both parties may remain clueless about the real underlying issues and concerns. Analysis 5

6 The factors that arise during mergers and acquisitions that are a source of conflict have to be combated by those who are in management roles begin with the individual employees. These factors are as follows: Stress Employees have initial, ongoing, and finalization stress related to company mergers. The employees can display or introvert feelings of insecurity and uncertainty about job security and longevity. Stress can be eased in the beginning by management by informing the employees of pending change and discuss outcomes. Anxiety Employees can suffer anxiety by the organization change itself but it can also be attributed to policy and personnel change. Anxiety can ultimately cause a general feeling of confusion. Conflict Employees experience conflict with current co- workers and newly merger co- worker, attempting to position themselves as the most valuable in order to keep their job. Anger When employees feel threatened or uncertain of their own abilities anger can cause conflict in a merging work environment. Integration When there are open lines of communication the employee retention rate increases. There are typically two groups of employees during mergers, either they integrate and adapt or they make plans to leave the company. The financial aspect of company mergers and acquisitions that those in the management role have to address with counterparts or upper levels of leadership in order to maintain low levels of conflict as are follows: Acquisition Price Tag The portions of management have to assess and conclude the efficient market price, evaluating information to value stock prices. The acquisition price should be close to the market price with an associated premium. Financing Management has to establish and justify financing of the acquisition in advance or simultaneously with negotiations. The best practice is to have financing already secured. Expenses The expenses associated with the investment brokers, lawyers, consultants, financiers, and advisors that helped make the deal possible have got to be negotiated and integrated into the acquisition cost, including financing adjustments. Also, poor maintenance of the expenses can increase the firm s financial risk Stockholders Management has to create an incentive for the stockholders to sell their shares. The opinion of the stockholders has to be maintained and monitored throughout the merger. 6

7 The strategic factors that a company analyses during mergers and acquisitions to direct the flow of conflict as are follows: Culture A negative impact can be present during a merger due to high turnover of employees and management. The firms need to attain a common culture. The acquired firm has developed a culture that employees to which employees have adopted. Trying to adapt an organic culture to one that is more mechanistic will be met with resistance and a host of difficulties. Employee turnover will be large, and integrating business processes will be difficult and time consuming. Moreover, innovation has been shown to decrease after acquisitions which can harm the strategic future of the firm. Employee Retention The combined leadership has to assess what employees have the best skills and knowledge. Once these employees have been identified, management has to take the steps to keep the talent. Current Operations When companies go through the acquisition/merger process, they can overlook the daily processes and the maintenance of operating capabilities. Management has to insure that the current operations are intact and hold to the future strategic plan. Diversification A company can lose sight of the overall strategic plan by implementing processes to diversify the company rather than improving on the factors that led to its competitive advantage. Ultimately, this could cause the loss of the core business and hamper the success of the firm. The employee factors are based upon individual perspective, each employee s opinion about the company merger. The conflicts associated with employees can be steered by those in management roles. With these employee factors attended to by management, they will be able to retain the best quality employees. The financial aspects of an acquisition and a merger can be very tough for those in a management role due to the knowledge of both companies at hand. Management has got to be well informed of the financial direction of the merger endeavor. The strategic aspect of managers is the most important; they have got to keep perspective of the current company and the future of the company at the same time. Counter Companies many not want to attend to the conflicts associated with employees. They may use this technique to weed out those that don t have the confidence or the skills to acclimate to the merger. The portions of an acquisition that are financial can be leveraged to create a group of leaders with similar cultural views and direction. When management is not able to strategically manage a merger they will not be retained after the merger because it brings to light inexperience and structural misunderstanding. 7

8 Discussion Managing Conflict is inevitable and will happen everywhere. We know now that it is something that needs to be accepted and dealt with. If the conflict is functional, we have an opportunity to make it a positive result. As discussed in the book, there are certain situations where people need to depend on other people to do their job right. When a production line of five people depend on the person before them and something goes wrong, the person that is next in line will not be able to perform the job. In order to make this better, each person needs to be hold accountable for their performance and quality. We need to separate people from the real issue at hand. Of course, our limitations happens when it s a 3 rd party causing the problems like shipping late supplies/products, forgetting to produce an item, or maybe decide to send us more than what we need causing us rework. Realistic positive results from how well one is on conflict resolution, one can create win- win situations which reach more of their interests or needs than they have lost. When AT&T manufacturing plant groups were blaming the other group before them, this created tension among themselves. When the Engineering needed the best quality supplies to reach the specifications they were selling to customer, Purchasing had other goals, thus creating new issues that will rise in the future. So the Purchasing group created themselves a positive result but realistically overall not completely positive since one group had a loss. Negative results are observed to find a solution that will aid the process in making it better. Sometimes, the result can be a false negative and by observing the process, we can determine the process was right therefore the results should have been positive. I would say that some of the hardest challenges to overcome are people. People are what drives the business but most important people drive other people. Working as a team is the key to accomplishing major tasks. Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude (brainyquote). Your personality is your make- up, it is who you are. Sometimes the job you are in right now is not the right one so you have to move on until you find one that you are comfortable in. 8

9 References: Conflict Management Techniques, Thomas- Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI), Conflict Management, Managing Conflict, Derek Good. conflict/ About Conflict. The Effects of Organisational Mergers on Employees, Lisa McQuerrey. organisational- mergers- employees html Business Strategies: Common Problems with Acquisitions, Gregory Steffens. Problems- with- Acquisitions.htm Zig Zigler. 9

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