2.6 Key Takeaways, Knowledge Check and Key Terms

Key Takeaways

In this chapter, we learned that:

  • The conflict process consists of four stages: frustration, conceptualization, behaviour, and outcomes.
  • Conflict can often escalate in similar patterns. Using self-awareness and communication, it is possible to de-escalate tense situations.
  • The Thomas and Kilmann model identifies five approaches to conflict based on commitment to goals and relationships. Each of these approaches to conflict can be in/appropriate depending on the characteristics of the situation and the parties involved in the conflict.
  • Ineffective conflict resolution strategies include nonaction, administrative orbiting, due process nonaction, secrecy, and character assassination.
  • Strategies for preventing conflict include (1) emphasizing organization-wide goals; (2) providing stable, well-structured tasks; (3) facilitating intergroup communication; and (4) avoiding win-lose situations.
  • Strategies for reducing conflict include (1) physical separation, (2) use of rules and regulations, (3) limiting intergroup interaction, (4) use of integrators, (5) confrontation and negotiation, (6) third-party consultation, (7) rotation of members, (8) identification of interdependent tasks and superordinate goals, and (9) use of intergroup training.
  • Negotiation is the process by which individuals or groups attempt to realize their goals by bargaining with another party who has at least some control over goal attainment.
  • Different negotiation strategies include the distributive approach (fixed-pie approach) and the integrative approach (expanding-the-pie approach).
  • Negotiation consists of five phases that include investigation, determining your BATNA, presentation, bargaining, and closure.
  • Research shows that some common mistakes made during negotiations include accepting the first offer made, letting egos get in the way, having unrealistic expectations, getting overly emotional, and letting past negative outcomes affect the present ones.
  • Third-party negotiators are sometimes needed when two sides cannot agree.
  • Legislation has been created over time to support both labor unions and the companies who have labor unions.
  • Collective bargaining is the process of negotiating the contact with union representatives. Collective bargaining, to be legal, must always be done in good faith. There are three categories of collective bargaining issues. Mandatory issues might include pay and benefits. Permissive bargaining items may include things such as drug testing or the required equipment the organization must supply to employees. Illegal issues are those things that cannot be discussed, which can include issues that could be considered discriminatory.
  • The collective bargaining process can take time. Both parties prepare for the process by gathering information and reviewing the old contract. They then set timelines for the bargaining and reveal their wants and negotiate those wants. A bargaining impasse occurs when members cannot come to an agreement.
    When a bargaining impasse occurs, a strike or lockout of workers can occur. These are both strategies that can be used to encourage the other side to agree to collective bargaining terms.
  • The grievance process is a formal process that addresses any complaints about contract violations. The grievance process can consist of any number of steps. First, the complaint is discussed with the manager, employee, and union representative. If no solution occurs, the grievance is put into writing by the union. Management then expresses its decision in writing to the union. If the union decides to escalate the grievance, the grievance may be brought to the national union for a decision. At this point, an arbitrator may be brought in, suitable to both parties, to make the final binding decision.
  • Grievances should not be taken personally and should be considered a fair way in which to solve problems that can come up between the union and management.

Knowledge Check

Review your understanding of this chapter’s key concepts by taking the interactive quiz below.



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Conflict Management Copyright © 2022 by Laura Westmaas, BA, MSc is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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