Organizational Behavior Conflict and Decision-Making in the Workplace Essay

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Organizational Bahavior: Conflict and Decision Making in the Workplace

Organizational Behavior: Conflict and Decision Making in the workplace

The workplace environment is quite dynamic in itself. This dynamicity comes as a result of the different skills, backgrounds, beliefs, views, ideologies and values that are borne by the employees of the companies or organizations, increasing consumer knowledge on the products and services being provided, increasing customer demand for quality goods and services. Other factors that make the workplace environment to be dynamic include increased competition from new market entrants or existing companies or organizations which shift their strategies to gain more competitive advantage. As a result, companies or organizations are finding themselves in the situation where they have to deal with conflict in the best way possible and to incorporate decision making methodologies which create the best way forward for the organization or company.

Conflict and conflict resolution

Conflicts are bound to arise in the workplace as a result of the diversity of the workers and their skills. Conflict also arises from the workers having different needs, values, ideas, goals and beliefs. It is inevitable and no matter how much is done to try to prevent the conflict from arising, conflict will always come up. Therefore, conflict resolution is an important process for giving a peaceful ending to each of the arising conflicts

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Conflicts may escalate to extremely high levels that cause the employees to be nonproductive as a result of not feeling the workplace environment to be conducive for them. However, with effective conflict resolution, the conflict can be resolved in a mutually beneficial way and thus lead to productivity of very high quality. Therefore, in order to maintain a high performance team, the skill of managing conflict is quite important

Essay on Organizational Behavior Conflict and Decision-Making in the Workplace Assignment

The employees or team members do not go out of their way to look for conflict with others. However, conflict usually arises as a result of miscommunication when the difference between the ideologies, beliefs, values, goals or needs of the employees or team members are challenged. Therefore, through conflict resolution, the management is able to establish a structure for managing the conflict in the work environment

. There are five different modes of conflict resolution that can be used

The first mode is competing. The competing conflict mode refers to high assertiveness and low cooperation. This mode of conflict resolution is best applicable when there is need for a quick action to be undertaken. Another situation where this mode can be used is when there is need to make unpopular decisions or when there are vital issues that need to be handled. Alternatively, this mode of conflict resolution can be used when trying to protect the parties' self-interests. Competing skills include arguing, debating, standing one's ground, using one's rank or influence inappropriately, stating one's position clearly, and asserting one's opinions and positions

The second mode of conflict resolution is the avoidance mode. This mode refers to low assertiveness and cooperation. This mode of conflict resolution is based on people's avoidance of engaging in a conflict in the workplace as a result of fear or lack of confidence in their own conflict management skills. This mode is used when there are issues of low importance in order to reduce any tensions between the employees or to buy some more time or when the conflict resolution expert is in a position of lower power. The avoiding skills include the ability to withdraw the conflict, ability to leave things unresolved, ability to sidestep issues and sense of timing

The third mode of conflict resolution is the accommodating mode which is one of low assertiveness and very high cooperation. The accommodating mode is appropriate when there is a need to show some kind of reasonableness in the resolution, to develop performance of the employees, to create good will between the employees or to maintain peace. Some people use the accommodating mode of conflict resolution when the issue or outcome of the issue is of low importance in their opinion. This can at times prove to be problematic especially when one uses the mode to maintain a tally of the wrongs done. Accommodating skills include the ability to yield more, a person forgetting their own desires and turning to selflessness and obeying orders

The fourth mode is the compromising mode which is one of moderate assertiveness and cooperation. This employs the use of compromise. This is where a person may give up more than they actually want to. Others may deem compromise as a situation where both parties are winning. Compromise as a mode of conflict resolution is applicable when the issues being dealt with are of moderate importance and when the person resolving the conflict has equal power status with those in the conflict or when the resolver has a strong commitment toward resolving the conflict. This compromising mode can also be used temporarily as a solution when there isn't sufficient time to resolve the conflict in other ways. Compromising skills include negotiation, assessing of value, finding a middle ground for the people in the conflict and making concessions

The last mode of conflict resolution is the collaborating mode which is one of high assertiveness and cooperation. Collaboration can be described as putting one idea on top of another and then another on top of another in order to find the best way to resolve the conflict. In this case, the best solution for the conflict is usually a creative solution to the conflict which would not have been generated by one single person. With this in mind, many people believe that collaboration is the best mode of conflict resolution

The disadvantage of collaboration is that it uses quite a great deal of energy and time to come up with the final solution to the problem. Therefore, this mode should only be used when there is sufficient energy and time to find the best solution for the conflict. It can also be used when the modes described above have failed on the first attempt. The collaboration mode of conflict resolution can be best applied when people are trying to construct an all-round solution to the conflict, when trying to merge the opinions and views of the parties in the conflict, when trying to improve relationships existing between certain individuals or when learning. Collaboration skills include active listening, nonthreatening confrontation, analyzing input and identifying concerns of the parties involved in the conflict

Decision making

Many organizations are currently finding themselves in a situation which they need to make decisions. These decisions need to be strategic and aligned to ensure the delivery of quality services and effectively manage the institution. This situation is fueled by the increasing demands of customers and other stakeholders such as investors and suppliers. Competitive forces from other organizations all over the world are also fueling this situation. What makes the situation worse is that the marketplace in which they need to make these decisions is highly unusual and there are many stakeholders. All these stakeholders are interrelated, and their relationship depends on the decisions made

. Therefore, an appropriate strategy needs to be devised to attempt to understand the real situation on the ground, as opposed to the perceived environment. This is to imply that it is a must for the decision makers to know what is happening on the ground rather than rely on what they believe to happen which may largely deviate from the actual situation. The quality of the decisions made will depend on the strategy that is put in place. The strategy should be set to drive the factors which lead to the success of the organization. Secondly, the strategies need to be focused on a specific element. Thirdly, the strategies should be efficiently linked to the potential of the organization and employees. Lastly, the strategy should be unique in a way that it is difficult to be emulated by competitors

In order to make a strategic decision, the organization must be able to conform to the dynamic environment. In simpler words, the strategy needs to be monitored and evaluated regularly to make sure it is still workable. The decision makers and other stakeholders need to evaluate the strategy often for various reasons. One is that the strategy can be rendered useless if a competitor gains a significant market share due to uprising competition or rivalry. Other factors that can render the strategy futile is if there is increased buying or selling power, decreased barriers to entry of new market players, the terror of replacements or ineffective management of resources available to the organization. In this way, the organization must be able to ingeniously foreshadow and reflect upon the recent activities which will affect or affected the decisions

. By doing this, they will be able to effectively manage resources, think about the past, look at the financial implications of the decision, motivate higher-ranking performance of staff and much more, all this in an effort to make strategic decisions and make the strategic decisions count

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