Concepts and Terms
Discuss about the People and Organization Society.
This report is based on the subject area of people and organization. The primary discussion in this report is focused on the conflicts and negotiations in the business organizations. In this study, detailed literature review is done on the concepts of conflicts and negotiations and along with that the key theories and models are also evaluated. Appropriate examples are used to make the evaluation more clear. After that, the study analyzes the current capabilities of the two terms with the help of three diagnostic tools – Johari Window, The Big 5 and ESCI. A personal development plan is also provided based on the analysis and at the end a conclusion is derived by considering the overall findings.
Conflicts and negotiation are the two common terms in the present business world. In the words of Hjaila, Puigjaner and Espuna (2015), conflict refers to the serious disagreement between two or more people in an organization or other place. Conflicts among the people sometimes create critical issues in the business organizations. Arnold and Gillenkirch (2015) stated that conflict can take place within a group or between two or more group of people. The conflict that occurs within a particular group is considered as the intra group conflict. On the other side, if the conflict takes place between the members of two or more different groups, it is called as inter group conflict.
Brett and Thompson (2016) believed that intra group conflict takes place because of the disagreement between the members of the group regarding a particular matter or it can also takes place because of differences in the beliefs, thoughts or opinion. The group, where conflict is presented, cannot be considered as a united group (Caputo & Ayoko, 2016). This type of conflict negatively influences the performance level of the group. On the other side, De Dreu, Aaldering and Saygi (2015) mentioned that inter group conflict takes place because of organizational politics, high level of competition, differences in the point of views of the members of the different groups. Erlingsdóttir and Lindholm (2015) stated that inter group conflict is very harmful for the organizational growth. Due to the presence of inter group conflict, people in the organization more concentrate on the organizational politics rather than improving the organizational performance level. For example, in recent past, the performance level of Woolworths Limited declined because of intergroup conflicts or disagreement among the members of the organization (Woolworthslimited.com.au, 2016).
Theories and Models
On the other side, negotiation refers to the technique of managing the conflicts among the people (Hamzah et al. 2016). The business organizations can easily solve the problems of conflicts by implementing proper negotiation strategies. In the words of Harinck and Druckman (2015), negotiation is actually a process of bargaining between two or more people or group. Negotiation is done in order to bring an agreement among the people in a specific matter. Hjaila, Puigjaner and Espuna (2015) believed that the aim of a negotiation process is to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone.
There are several theories that describe and help to understand conflicts and the ways to solve the conflicts that is negotiations. Karl Marx was the first person, who developed a theory of conflict among people. After that many theories of conflict have been derived. Most common theories of conflicts are – Critical theory, Feminist theory and Postmodern theory.
Critical theory of conflict states that conflicts occur due to the social criticism. This particular theory is more focused on explanations and interpretations rather than the transformation of society. Jeong (2016) mentioned that the critical theory of conflict is originated from the critical social science. This theory suggests applying the principles and values of social science to solve a conflicting situation and bring the positive change. According to this particular theory, conflicts take place because of the differences in the social conditions (Kaplow, 2016).
Feminist theory suggests that the conflicts occur because of the equality of women to men in context of social, political and economic. This theory is basically the extension of the concept of feminism and this theory tries to understand and evaluate the gender inequality (Touraine, 2015). KneÅ¾eviÄ‡ et al. (2016) noted that the feminist theory has been developed by three waves – the first is suffrage, second is inequality between male and female and third is globalization. This theory mentioned that the conflicts take place between the male and female because of the security issues of female.
On the other side, postmodern theory describes conflicts as the criticism of the change or modernism (Saxena, 2015). According to this theory, conflicts take place due to the differences between the traditionalism and modernism. This theory is based on the cultural and philosophical reactions to the modernism convictions. This theory is actually a proposal from the philosophical perspectives that reality is the investigation done and actions taken by the people in the society and conflict occurs, when the disagreement happens between the investigations and actions of the people (Touraine, 2015).
Analysis through Diagnostic Tools
Like conflict, there are also some theories and models of negotiation and some of the theories and models are – Game theory, Bilateral monopolistic theory and Non-mathematical theory.
Game theory of negotiation emphasizes on the dynamic human behaviour and fixed-sum dilemmas. This particular theory suggests taking such a negotiation strategy that helps to minimize the maximum advantage of the opponent (Van Zant & Kray, 2015). This theory is based on the mathematics and due to that many people consider this theory as a difficult one. However, Wallensteen (2015) believes that proper application of this theory can bring best negotiation result.
On the other hand, the bilateral monopolistic theory focuses on the real or actual problem of negotiation. This theory suggests that the conflict takes place because of use of equal power by two parties and this situation can be solved by the interference of a third party, who can minimize the power of both of the parties in equal proportion (Kaplow, 2016).
At the same time, the non-mathematical theory suggests that better negotiation can be done by in-depth discussion. This theory is actually the combination of three different theories – system theory, transactional theory and exchange theory (Touraine, 2015). According to this theory, better negotiation can be done by using the existing knowledge of negotiation and detailed observations.
Therefore, from the above discussions, it can be said that conflicts can take place due to various reasons like, social disagreements or gender inequality. However, this conflicting situation can be solved by applying proper and in-depth knowledge of mathematics, detailed observations and minimizing the power of both parties.
The conflicts and negotiation in the business organization can be better understood with the help of different diagnostic tools like, Johari Window, The big 5 and ESCI.
Johari Window is actually a method that helps to understand the relationship of the people with others as well as with themselves. Johari Window is a four quadrant model that states about four types of human relationships in an organization or in other place (Saxena, 2015). The diagram of the model is as under:
Known to others
Known to self
Not known to self
Non known to others
Figure 1: Johari Window
(Source: Hamzah et al. 2016)
KneÅ¾eviÄ‡ et al. (2016) stated that the conflicting situation in an organization depends on the relationships among the employees. For example, in an organization, if the relationship among the employees is at arena quadrant of Johari window, then it can be said that the chances of conflict is minimum because the employees are known to each other. However, the chances of conflict is high if the relation is facade because in this quadrant the people are known to self but not known to others, due to which they are more conscious about their own aim or will, which creates conflicts. In case of unknown and blind spot relationships the chances of conflict is moderate.
The big 5 model is a technique that helps to know the five personality traits of human beings. These five traits are openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neutroticism (Touraine, 2015).
Figure 2: The Big 5 Model
(Source: Hjaila, Puigjaner & Espuna, 2015)
This model states that the conflicts between the people depend on the level of five personality traits, which are shown in the above diagram. For example, in an organization, if the people are having the above-mentioned personality traits at high level, then the chances of conflict is less and the process of negotiation is easier. However, it the opposite happens then the chances of conflict are high because at low level of these traits then people are more selfish or self-oriented and they are less bother about the other people.
ESCI or Emotional and Social Competency Inventory model helps to understand the difference between the highly efficient leader and an average efficient leader. The handling of thee conflicting situation depends on the quality of the leader (Touraine, 2015). If the example of Bulla Dairy, Australia is used, then it can be identified that at Bulla Dairy, the conflict or internal problem between the employees is less, which indicates that the conflict is less (Bulla.com.au, 2016). At the same time, Wallensteen (2015) mentioned that it also indicates that the management or leaders are aware of the emotional aspects of the employees, which helps them to avoid any kind of conflicting situation in better way.
If the comparison is made between the diagnostic tools and the literature review, it can be identified that I have some strengths that can help me in solving or handling a conflicting situation. However, at the same time, I have also understood that I have some weaknesses in some areas that I need to recover. The comparison between the literature review and diagnostic tools has indicated that in order to solve a conflicting situation, it is important to build a strong relationship with the other people in the group.
If I analyze my strengths and weaknesses, then I can say that I am friendly with the people, which help to build good relationship with the people. Therefore, in case of solving the conflicting situation, it is my strength that I have the ability to build and maintain a strong relationship with the other people in the group. The literature review and the diagnostic tools also suggested that in order to manage the conflicting situation, it is very important to explain the need of change to the people in the group. This is again one of my strengths that I can explain the things in better way. So, if any conflicting situation takes place due to change, then I can explain the need of change to the members of the group or in the organization.
However, the comparison also indicated that solving a conflicting situation requires the knowledge about the different personality traits of the people. However, I am not fully aware of the different personality traits of different people and due to that many times I fail to understand the interests of different people. At the same time, I am confused whether modernism is good or traditionalism is good. Due to this, I face problem in selecting the method of negotiation. However, I can recover my weaknesses and improve my strengths by a systematic way, which is shown in the following personal development plan.
Studying the theories and other existing literature regarding conflict management strategies
In order to solve any problem, it is very important to have a theoretical knowledge on the particular area. Therefore, by studying the theories and other literature, it will be possible to have some strong knowledge regarding the ways of managing the conflicting situations. At the same time, the theoretical knowledge over the conflict management strategies helps to manage any conflicting situation in a better way. Hence, theoretical knowledge is essential.
Regular conversation with the classmates and family members
This activity will help to understand the other people in better way. Regular conversation will allow more time with the other people, which ultimately helps to know the emotional aspects of others. At the same time, the personal traits like, agreeableness and neuroticism can be improved.
First 3 months
Taking part into the group activities
Helps to understand the reasons for which conflict takes place in a group. However, taking part in the group activities helps to improve the personal traits like, extraversion and conscientiousness.
4th and 5th months
Play the role of a leader in a group activity
In a group activity, the role of leader is to manage the whole work properly and in this role, the conflict management is an important part. In a team or group, there are various types of people and it is most possible that conflict takes place between the group members. Therefore, the role of a leader is played and then it will be easier to learn and understand the way to manage the conflicting situations, which will help in future, when bigger problem or conflict at the workplace will need to be solved.
Last 1 month
Practice to listen and understand others’ point of views
Properly listening to the other people actually helps to understand the needs and point of views of the other people. This ultimately helps to identify the ways to solve the conflicting situation. Better strategies of negotiation can be taken by listening and observing the people.
Last 3 months
Practice to provide proper respect and importance at the time of working with other people
This is very important to show proper respect and importance to every people, while working in an organization. Moreover, showing respect and importance helps to make the negotiation process easier. People cannot be rude or angry is they get respect from the other side, which reduces the chances of conflicts between the people.
Throughout all 6 months
Table 1: Personal Development Plan
(Source: Created by author)
In this study, it has been identified that conflicts are the results of different views of the people and conflicts can be managed through proper negotiations. Conflict can takes place within the same group or between two or more different groups. If the conflict is within the same group, then it is intra group conflict and if it is between the two or more group, then it is inter group conflict. However, both types of conflict create negative impact on the performance level. Better negotiation can be done by understanding the personality traits of the people. The theories and models of conflict and negotiation suggest that the conflicting situation can be solved by understanding the needs of other people and improving the personal traits. However, for this regular practice of group work and detailed conversation with the people are very effective.
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