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Conflict, group strategies, merger and reorganization

Question 1 of 4:
Research strategies for moving parties away from egocentric perceptions of conflict and toward more mutually-held perceptions.

Question 2 of 4:
Consider the following team dilemma example: ¨A group of MBA students is working on a class project that counts for 50 percent of their grade. Some take a higher course load than others; some are taking the course pass-fail; some are second-year students who already have jobs. How should the work be divided¨. Report what you would choose to do in this situation. Look at your answer. Did you act in a way that preserves your own self-interest or the interest of the group? What strategies might you use (if you acted in a self-interested manner) to change your behavior to be more cooperative and less competitive?

Question 3 of 4:
Consider the list of common external roles for team members. Which of these roles do you think you play in your own team or group? Why? Give examples from your own experience about other types of roles played by other members in your group.

Question 4 of 4:
Do an internet-based research on how merger or reorganization has negatively affected a group or team. (Consider the teams or groups as each of two companies that merged - discuss the problems that occurred as a result of the merger) Prepare a response about how did the behavior of the team leader(s) affect or define the relationship between merging groups. Some of the recent mergers that you might want to explore include mergers in the airline and automotive industries..;)

Solution Preview

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Question 1 of 4:
Research strategies for moving parties away from egocentric perceptions of conflict and toward more mutually-held perceptions.

Epley and Caruso (2004) observed that people see the world through their own eyes, experience it through their own senses. This means that one's own perspective on the world is directly experienced, whereas, others' perspectives must be inferred. Because experience is more efficient than inference, people automatically interpret objects and events egocentrically and only subsequently correct or adjust that interpretation when necessary.

One possible explanation for these egocentric biases is that individuals generally hold (or are motivated to hold) positive views of themselves (Brown, 1986; Taylor, 1989; Taylor & Brown, 1988). People tend to believe they are more rational, healthy, honest, and cooperative than the average person-and feel the same about almost any desirable trait.

Epley and Caruso had this experiment:

"We tested these potentially deleterious effects in one experiment on MBA student study groups and in another experiment on author groups of academic journal publications (Caruso, Epley, & Bazerman, 2004). Among both groups, inducing individuals to think about their collaborators was successful at reducing egocentric judgments of responsibility. That is, those led to think about the contributions of each of their other group members reported doing less work than those who only reported their own efforts. However, the high credit-claimers who engaged in perspective taking actually reported being less satisfied with the group and less likely to want to work with the group in the future, whereas low credit-claimers showed the opposite pattern. No relationship was found between the amount of claiming and satisfaction or interest in future collaboration for those who did not engage in perspective taking."

What the experts suggest:

1. Egocentric biases in social judgment can be reduced by actively adopting another's perspective, but that less self-serving behavior does not follow as an obvious result across all contexts. Faced with the heightened accessibility of the contributions and entitlements of other parties, people's overall judgments should reflect less self-serving attitudes compared to a group that has not considered the situation from another's point of view. However, the same process of perspective taking may give rise to cynical theories about the likely behavior ...

Solution Summary

This solution gives ideas on research strategies for moving parties away from egocentric perceptions of conflict and toward more mutually-held perceptions. It also suggests strategies to implement to change group behavior to be more cooperative and less competitive. Another discussion in the effect of merger merger or reorganization negatively affected a group or team.

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