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.
Review your understanding of this chapter’s key concepts by taking the interactive quiz below.
Key terms from this chapter include:
In the KTI model this approach to conflict demonstrates a low commitment to goals and high commitment to relationship. This approach is the opposite of competing. It occurs when a person ignores or overrides their own concerns to satisfy the concerns of the other party. See Section 2.2 Approaches to Conflict
The arbitrator is a neutral third party, but the decision made by the arbitrator is final (the decision is called the “award”). Awards are made in writing and are binding to the parties involved in the case. See Section 2.4 Negotiation
In the KTI model, this approach to conflict demonstrates a low commitment to both goals and relationships. This is the most common method of dealing with conflict, especially by people who view conflict negatively. See Section 2.2 Approaches to Conflict
When the two parties are unable to reach consensus on the collective bargaining agreement. See Section 2.5 Labour Relations
BATNA: stand for the “Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement”, which can be taken as a measure of the objective strength of a party’s bargaining stance. See Section 2.4 Negotiation
This is a conflict approach that demonstrates a high commitment to goals and also a high commitment to relationships. See Section 2.2 Approaches to Conflict
Collective bargaining is the process of negotiations between the company and representatives of the union. The goal is for management and the union to reach a contract agreement, which is put into place for a specified period of time. Once this time is up, a new contract is negotiated. See Section 2.5 Labour Relations
A compromising approach strikes a balance between a commitment to goals and a commitment to relationships. See Section 2.2 Approaches to Conflict
A conciliator is a trusted third party who provides communication between the negotiating parties. See Section 2.4 Negotiation
A consultant is a third-party negotiator who is skilled in conflict management and can add their knowledge and skill to the mix to help the negotiating parties arrive at a conclusion. A consultant will help parties learn to understand and work with each other, so this approach has a longer-term focus to build bridges between the conflicting parties. See Section 2.4 Negotiation
Distributive bargaining is “win-lose” or fixed-pie bargaining. That is, the goals of one party are in fundamental and direct conflict with those of the other party. See Section 2.4 Negotiation
Occurs when the negotiator continues a course of action long after it’s been proven to be the wrong choice. See Section 2.4 Negotiation
The grievance procedure outlines the process by which grievances over contract violations will be handled. As you have probably already identified, the grievance procedure is a formalized conflict. See Section 2.5 Labour Relations
In this approach, both parties look for ways to integrate their goals. That is, they look for ways to expand the pie, so that each party gets more. This is also called a win–win approach. See Section 2.4 Negotiation
A labour union, or union, is defined as workers banding together to meet common goals, such as better pay, benefits, or promotion rules. See Section 2.5 Labour Relations
A mediator is a neutral, third party who helps facilitate a negotiated solution. See Section 2.4 Negotiation
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. See Section 2.4 Negotiation
A common error in negotiations in which a negotiator makes a high offer quickly and it’s accepted just as quickly, making the negotiator feel as though he is being cheated. See Section 2.4 Negotiation