Conflict Between Groups-sources-resolving Inter Group Conflicts

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Transcript of Conflict Between Groups-sources-resolving Inter Group Conflicts

Conflict between groups-sourcesresolving intergroup conflictsDijo Daniel S3 MBA

Conflict : the definition

Conflict is a state of unresolved differences within an individual, between individuals, an individual and a group or two or more groups.

Types of conflict

Intrapersonal conflict: An experience that takes placewithin an individual. Identifying the actual source of conflict and distinguishing between what one wishes to do and what should be done are two steps in managing inner conflicts successfully.

Interpersonal conflict: Conflict between individuals inthe same organisation. It exists whenever people interact in some ways to produce results or achieve goals.

Intergroup conflict: Conflict between groups in the sameorganization.

Sources of Organizational Conflict

Competition for scarce resources Inherent conflict Line-staff relationships Differences in goals and values Organizational ambiguities

Functions of conflict

Conflict establishes identity Conflict serves as a safety valve to hold the group together Conflict increases group cohesion Conflict tests the strength of individuals and groups Conflict spurs need change Conflict mobilizes change Conflict causes competition to improve performance Conflict enhances communication Conflict ends non productive associations

Dealing with conflict


A circumstance in which groups take antagonistic actions toward one another to control some outcome important to each. An overt expression of tensions between the goals or concerns of one party and those of another. Intergroup conflict requires actively setting up the in-group interests against the outgroup interests. It happens when the presence of an out-group directly challenges the value of belonging to an in-group. In-group members experience a threat to the value of their group, prompting them to protect their social identity and defend the value of the group.

Intergroup conflict within organizations can occur

Horizontally across groups, departments or divisions often occuring between manufacturing and marketing or internal auditors and the other business functions. Vertically between different levels of the organization such as between top management and first-level employees.

Sources of Intergroup Conflict

Competing Goals Competition for Resources Cultural Differences Power Discrepancies Assimilation Versus Preservation of Micro-Cultural Identity

Factors of intergroup conflict

Psychological Distance

Introduced by Lewin (1951) It make individuals feel less at ease with others they perceive to be different. The higher the level of psychological distance the greater the effort required to understand and effectively communicate with the other party and hence form a close working relationship. Occurs due to differences in education, values and attitudes, ethical and moral positions, status, management style, working practices, decision-making processes, tolerance for risk and language

Communication Openness

It is defined as the ease of talking to each other among the groups and the extents of understanding gained when communicate among the groups. It results in physical barriers, difficulties in synchronizing contact, lack of knowledge about one another or lack of interpersonal skills. Low level of communications openness among the groups will reduce the group effectiveness.

Leadership Style

Leaders may have the same defensive motivations as followers and because of their leadership position, may move their group to conflict with another group. Individual characteristics and situational factors each of which may also affect group performance and lead to conflict among the groups. The leaders functionality and the overall quality of the relationship can have an immediate impact on major conflict among the groups while it can escalate to the point that a working relationship becomes unmanageable and disintegrates.


Goal incompatibility exists when the goals of two or more groups are in direct opposition. Conflict occurs when parties exercise power in the pursuit of valued goals or objectives and obstruct the progress of other parties Attainment of common goals must be an interdependent effort without intergroup competition

Status and Power Differences

Unequal power in intergroup relationships occurs when parties who share a common condition induced by actions of a high-power group form an association as a way to improve their status. It is important that both groups expect and perceive equal status in the situation. Each group should have the opportunity for informal personal contact under equal status conditions so they can work cooperatively towards a superordinate goal which requires the efforts of both groups

Intergroup conflicts

Consequences of intergroup conflicts

As conflicts emerge among the groups, cooperative relationships are replaced by a win lose mentality in which victory becomes more important than solving the problem that may have caused the conflict in the first place (Hellriege & Slocum, 2007). Consequences can be

Positive Negative

Positive Consequences

Improvement It increases constructive debate, facilitates a more effective use of resources, and leads to better service provision.

Cohesiveness This common enemy effect occurring in organizations enhances the members of the group band together when faced with an outside threat.

Motivation and Innovative to Change Intergroup conflicts tend to have a motivational value by driving or energizing group to tackle a situation. Various talents and abilities come to the forefront in an intergroup conflict situation. Conflict not only leads to motivation and innovative to change but will also make the change more acceptable and even desirable.

Negative Consequences

Cost Increased Intergroup conflict has a largely unrecognized but major financial impact on an organization that can be measured in wasted time, bad decisions and health costs.

The cost of intergroup conflict is composed of direct costs productivity cost continuity cost emotional cost

Decreased Morale Low morale can result in high stress levels, active resistance, absenteeism, poor professional behavior and performance. Complaints and Blaming There may be strong clashes, highly emotional outbursts, shock resignations, verbal abuse, even threats of physical violence.