Handling Conflict

INTRODUCTION: In this world every working organization is having its own conflicts and the way of managing that conflicts are also differ from others. Conflicts can become cause of stress for organization and for individual. There are different types of conflicts and several ways of resolving the conflicts. In this report, the conflicts of one working organization can be shown and the recommendations according to the “Blake and Mouton’s model of handling conflicts” to solve the conflicts of the organization. BACKGROUND OF ORGANIZATION:

The organization is called “International Media Cooperation” working as private channel since 1990. The organization is based in Pakistan and having one office in Dubai and one in United Kingdom. It broadcasts the transmission to different countries like Dubai, Pakistan, United Kingdom, and United States of America. There are different department in each office having large numbers of employees. There is one labor union to solve small issues of labors. Every department has a manager and an assistant manager. The organization is at the highest position in the market of Pakistan, with many competitors.

As other organizations, this organization is also having several conflicts and to keep the organization alive and at the top of others, the conflicts should be resolved. Before exploring the conflict of the organization, it is essential to understand conflict and its types. CONFLICT: Conflict is state of mind it usually arises between two parties and these two parties are aware of that conflict. In any national or multinational organization, every individual has separate values and interest, these values and interest become base of conflicts.

Conflict may arise among employees of the organization, between different departments, within working group and with shareholders. Within the organization there are many reasons which can create conflict like wages, equal opportunities, negotiations and employee involvement. CONTRASTING FRAME OF REFERENCING: There are four types of frame of conflict which are based on different characteristics made by ALAN FOX in 1966-1973. These frames are described as follow: 1. Unitarist 2. Pluralist 3. Interactionist 4. Redical • THE UNITARIST:

Stephen Ackroyd and Paul Thompson (1999) and Johnson (2000) have given the important points of the unitarist . According to Stephen and Paul, unitarist believes a commonality of interests between organization’s employees and the senior of the organization like managers. Unitarist assumes that manager is changing the behavior of the employees of the organization, having some conflict, by the help of conflict resolving methods. • THE PLURALIST: This frame of reference considers that organization is an assemblage and every group has dissimilar interests which may cause conflicts.

This frame refuses, that the employees and the management of the organization are both having same interest. According to the pluralist, the conflict is irresistible but not that much harmful. Conflict can be use as a positive energy by observing the bad points of the organization and to make changes for the betterment of the organization. • THE INTERACTIONIST: This frame of reference assumes that for the effective and impressive performance, the conflict can become one of the energetic and positive force.

The interactionist accept that the conflict is unavoidable should be promote whenever it comes forth in view. If there is peaceful environment in every department, the chances of groupthink will be increased as identified by Irving Janis in 1982 and by Coser and Schwenk in 1990. In order to make employees motivated and active, managers in the organization keep fear and conflict but minimum level. • THE RADICAL: The radical frame views that any organization or workplace is the platform where conflict usually arises between employees and manager.

This frame is established on the Karl Marx review of capitalism. Marx’s research has two basic elements, the first, “means of production” which refers to the raw material and machines and, the second, “organization of labour” which refers to the employees. CONFLICTS CAN CAUSE STRESS: In organization every employee has his own ideas and interests. These separate views can cause conflict and may become a reason to unpleasant environment in the organization. If an employee is in conflict with someone at work, then he can suffer from anger, fear and different psychological problems.

Conflict can act as a stressor. According to Landis and Umberson (1988), conflict has strong effect on any individual working in organization. CONFLICTS OF INTERNATIONAL MEDIA COOPERATION: The international media cooperation is medium size organization. It has different offices in different countries. In each office several employees are working at many levels in separate departments. Many senior managers with great experience engage with this organization but the problems usually arise which are uncontrollable for the managers.

Nevertheless, experience person in the organization, does effect the performance of the organization but this is the science and technology era which changes rapidly. In this organization abundant of conflicts exist which are becoming reasons of fall of performance and unpleasant environment of the organization. Some of the conflicts of this organization are described as follow. STAFF MANAGEMENT: The international media cooperation works is multinational company. Mostly, transfer of staff in this type of organization is very common.

If one experience manager of the east got transferred to the west, problems will create in managing staff of different culture. The communication between employees and the manager of diverse culture becomes arduous. Every country has distinct laws and it has strong influence on the organization. If the manager is not aware of laws of the country, management of employees becomes indurate. CONFLICT BETWEEN MANAGER AND INDIVIDUAL: Though, managers of the organization are skillful but unaware with the latest ways of management. The use of antiquated ideas and practices may become cause of misunderstanding.

The mangers of this organization are arrogant and do not want any employee to explore their qualities. In addition, managers become more concern about their jobs because of confronting capable employees of lower positions. Whenever, managers have to cope with multicultural talented employees, managers become impolite and because of this personal fear of managers, the communication gap between managers and employees is increasing steadily. CONFLICT WITHIN GROUPS: In 1997 De Drue and Van de Vliert assumed that the conflict in group or in the relation of individuals depends on the personal choice, style, preferences and opposing values.

In this organization every department has its own goals to achieve. Some departments make group of employees to handle certain situation. Everyone is different from others and has personal view and ideas. But in group working these personal views can be disliked by other employees. Few of the employees are over efficient and do not pin their ears back. Managers mostly do not interfere in these matters and give priorities to other work. Minor conflict within the groups can make organization far from its goal. STEREOTYPES: Some of the employees of different departments consider that they are unique and prestigious for organization.

In this organization, mostly the employees working in human resource management, finance and production assume that they are superior to other employees of different department. Some of employees are from rich background and do not want to assist person of middle class and steadily lead to the conflict. When an employee from one country goes to different country offices to work, sometimes, has to face stereotype employees of diverse culture. An organization is the place where one spends most of the time and whenever one has to work with stereotype employees then it becomes difficult to focus on the goal.

CONFLICT WITHIN VIRTUAL TEAMS: According to Yuhyung Shin (2005), Virtual teams are the group of employees which are geographically scattered and use technological modes to achieve the goal of the organization. In this organization, employees have to coordinate with of other countries employees, with the help of telephone and information technology. For instance, when a transmission officer has to broadcast any program to other countries, he has to coordinate to the employees of that country office. Furthermore, employees usually are unable to understand the information and instruction by technological modes.

It becomes difficult for the employee to receive guidance and elucidate the task when the manager or senior is not physically present. These misunderstanding between employees of diverse culture and different background create conflicts within virtual teams. LACK OF COORDINATION: Coordination is obligatory when the organization has divided the task into groups. In this organization, groups are there within departments to accomplish the small tasks and then there are virtual teams to coordinate and to bring good performance.

Because of arrogant managers of the organization, stereotype employees and mismanagement, the coordination among employees of the organization becomes atrocious. Lack of coordination leads conflicts and less hierarchy or harmony in the organization. TIME MANAGEMENT: Time management is very essential in this organization. If any program has to be on air then everyone has to be cautious of time. In different cultures people act in dissimilar ways. If the time is important for employees of one country, it is not necessary has the same importance for the other country employees. Some employees in some countries do linger work.

In addition, lack of coordination cause delays of work and mismanagement of time effects on employees and the organization performance. CONFLICT MANAGEMENT: It is necessary to resolve the conflicts to achieve the goal of the organization and to make better performance. There are myriad ways to manage the conflicts in the organization. It depends on the organization which theory they want to apply to solve the conflicts. Several theories can be found on conflict management but the effective one is of Blake and Mouton theory of Leadership Grid. BLAKE AND MOUTON LEADERSHIP GRID:

Robert Blake and Jane Mouton invented a theory in 1964 which is known as “The Blake and Mouton Leadership Grid. Many of the companies in America, Japan and England accept their view that the main hindrance in way of success is the planning and communications. With the help of Blake and Mouton model one can identify the conflicts and recuperate the management style of the organization. According to this model, there are two important aspects of management style. The concern for production is the first one, which involve task achievement, unit of output, quantity of good ideas and the burden of work.

The second concern is for people, which involves employee needs, commitment, job security, obligations and interactive associations. The four styles of Blake and Mouton Leadership Grid are as follow: • Impoverished management: This style is based on belief that conflict can be resolve if a person takes neutral position. A person should eschew with those people who are avoiding conflict. Avoiding involve passive stance. This avoidance is become lose situation. One cannot avoid the importance of conflict in the organization. • Authority-compliance management:

This style assumes that controlling of employees is essential. It believes that employees of the organization will perform well when they feel controlled by someone. Managers are more concern for the production of the organization instead of employee feelings, attitude and ideas. This forcing, confrontational style creates win-lose situation. • Country club management: This style assumes that performance will be better if managers keep friendly relations with employees. This can reduce the conflicts in the organization. This accommodating style creates lose-win situation. • Middle of the road management:

It is based of belief that whenever there is conflict, it is essential to compromise. It is good to accept others ideas and to cooperate with other employees of the organization. It will be beneficial for the organization if one employee helps other employees and understand others situation. • Team management: This style based on belief that there is no conflict between employees and the organization because needs of both are congruent. This seems the most effective style of the model. It concern for both, employees and for management. This style creates win-win situation.

RECOMMENDATION FOR INTERNATIONAL MEDIA COOPERATION: International media cooperation is confronting with several conflicts. It will be beneficial for them to use “Team management” style of Blake and Mouton model. Team management style focus on that the management and the employees need are interconnected. It satisfied both, the employees and the organization. It involves exchange of information and gives priority to good ideas. Moreover, managers have to understand employees and give chance to explore their ideas. Managers’ aim is to build team work for that it is necessary to resolve the conflict.

There will increase in productivity and performance if the conflicts resolve by managers. Coordination will become better if one starts understanding others point of view and put one’s self in others shoe. Communication will be reduced and conflicts can be resolved if one give chance to other to present idea and keep one similar objective in mind. ACTION PLAN: This is a duty of managers to observe the working style of each employee. Managers should be more energetic and concern for the organizational objective. Training is necessary for everyone in the organization.

If the organization is medium size, then it should give training to managers and then managers can transfer their knowledge to other employees by doing workshops. Coordination can become better if managers give right instructions to the employees. Managers have to make employees believe, that the organization objective is similar to the employee. CONCLUSION: In every organization, some conflicts do exist. Sometime conflicts arise among individual, sometimes between employees and organization. The major conflict arises because of the communication gap or miscommunication.

International media cooperation is also facing some conflicts. There is always a solution of the problem. Many conflict theories are there to resolve conflict but the best one is of Blake and Mouton of leadership grid. The international media cooperation should adhere to the conflict management theory of Blake and Mouton. Nevertheless, it depends on the organization to choose one of method of conflict management but in “team management” everybody is going to win. Reduction in conflict will be effective for the environment of the organization and for the performance.