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Folger, Poole, and Stutman. "Working through conflict."

In the book of Folger, Poole, and Stutman "Working through conflict," describe the three stage models for understanding conflict: Rummel's model, Pondy's model, and the Negotiation model. Address the following question:

1. Analyze an intergroup conflict you are familiar with using one of the models.
2. How did reciprocity and compensation affect this situation?
3. What role did social identity play in this conflict?
4. How did power operate as conflict tactics were employed?

Solution Preview

1. Analyze an intergroup conflict you are familiar with using one of the models.

Pondy's Five-Stage Model consists of the most common conflict in organizations. Pondy's model evaluates conflict from the minimal phases to the most complex. There is the beginning stage, which is referred to as the "Latent Conflict" in which parties can agree that a conflict exists. Unfortunately the source of the conflict is undetermined at this stage.

The second phase of conflict according to Pondy is "Perceived Conflict" in which management or parties involved may search for a primary cause of the conflict. Oftentimes this conflict escalates and an individual's anger may spin out of control.

"The word conflict is frequently associated with fighting, anger, and hostility. Conflict does not have to involve negative emotions. When treated as an expression of legitimate differences, conflict can improve group problem solving, promote cohesiveness, increase group knowledge, enhance creativity, and promote the group's goal" (Engleberg and Wynn, 2010).

The third stage is "Felt Conflict," which is the most emotional stage in Pondy's model. This is the stage in which people fail to cooperate and are argumentative and ineffective as an employee or team player.

The fourth stage is "Manifest Conflict;" this is when retaliation takes place. Each conflict has the potential for a resolution unfortunately once a resolution is reached it is possible that the other party may feel the resolution is unfair which may lead to retaliation. Retaliation however, often occurs before a decision is even reached. For example, in my previous organizational experience there were two employees who worked in the same organization but in two different departments. One employee (we'll refer to her as Amy) dislikes the other employee (we'll refer to her as Sarah). Amy would continue to make Sarah miserable. She would berate Sarah in front of staff members and customers. She would eat lunch on Sarah's desk and leave trash on her workspace. Amy broke the back of Sarah's chair so she would fall backwards as she sat in the chair. Amy would find different reasons to complain about Sarah's performance to her immediate supervisor. Until one day Sarah was fed up and confronted Amy in a negative manner. Needless to say, Amy's tactics contributed to the processes, which lead up to Sarah's termination. This scenario brings us to Pondy's fifth stage of conflict, the "Conflict Aftermath." The Conflict Aftermath depends upon whether or not the conflict is resolved. If the conflict is resolved the relationship between team members may be strengthened thus resulting in good future relationships. On the other hand if ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines Folger, Poole, and Stutman for "working through conflicts".

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