Essay: Leadership Chapter 10 Addresses Power

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[. . .] Conflict is defined as "a process in which one party perceives that his or her interests are being opposed or negatively affected by another party," (p. 328). Conflict is not necessarily a bad thing within an organization, as it can be used to leverage positive change. An emerging view on conflict is that constructive conflict can be healthy; whereas relationship conflict is generally detrimental to productivity. Constructive conflict occurs "when people focus their discussion on the issue while showing respect for people with other points-of-view," (p. 330). Relationship conflict focuses more on people than the issues, and refers to personality clashes. Three strategies that can be used to minimize personality conflict include promoting emotional intelligence, building a cohesive team, and supporting team norms.

It can be helpful to work with models of conflict. One conflict model identifies the sources of conflict, traces the escalation of the conflict, determines manifest conflict, and then analyzes conflict outcomes. Six main conditions that cause organizational conflict include incompatible goals, differentiation, interdependence, scarce resources, ambiguous roles, and communication problems. There are several conflict management styles, each of which has its merits in certain situations. Those styles include problem solving, avoiding, forcing, yielding, and compromising. The primary structural approaches to managing conflict include emphasizing superordinate goals, reducing differentiation, improving communication, reducing task interdependence, increasing resources, and clarifying rules.

Chapter 12 is about leadership in organizational settings. There are several theories and perspectives of leadership, including the competency perspective, the behavioral perspective, the contingency perspective, the transformational perspective, and the implicit leadership perspective. Organizations need to be aware of cross-cultural and gender differences in leadership.

Reference

McShane, S.L. & von Glinow, M.A. Organizational…

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