Unit 3C-5. Conflicts

In this section we will describe briefly conflicts in project environments. We will also spend  some brief time to talk about negotiations. Conflict management and negotiations are both important functions of a project manager. We will start with conflicts first.

Conflictis a process that begins when you perceive that someone has frustrated or is about to frustrate a major concern of yours.  Conflicts represents disagreements between parties or individuals. The rational view of conflict is that is bad and should be be avoided. However,

Conflicts Can Be Good

  1. Conflicts often produce important results, such as new ideas, better alternatives, and motivation to work harder and more collaboratively; thus conflicts enhance team building and can lead lead to development of better solutions to problems. This is the behaviorist  view of conflicts. The interactionist view takes this one step further and argues that conflicts can sometimes be injected into group processes to gain useful outcomes.
  2. Group-think can develop if there are no conflicting viewpoints
  3. Research suggests that task-related conflict often improves team performance, but emotional conflict often depresses team performance

Sources of Conflict – organization and interpersonal

Organizational
  • Reward systems
  • Scarce resources
  • Uncertainty
  • Differentiation


Interpersonal
  • Faulty attributions
  • Faulty communication
  • Personal grudges & prejudices

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