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Q1. Describe the five conflict management styles. What are the consequences when employees are inflexible in applying the relevant conflict style to the appropriate situations? Give examples to support your discussion.
Answer. The five conflict management styles were described by Thomas and Kilmann and are used as a tool for measuring the individual’s response to conflict (Chan et al., 2014). The situation of conflict arises due to incompatibility of 2 or more employees. For understanding various styles, we shall discuss it through the example of this case scenario, where two employees present with different ideas of advertising the product. Let’s say A decides advertising through email and B wishes to advertise through an expensive ad campaign. In The first style which is accommodating conflict management style the value of co-operation of one party will be higher. For example, A would consider the idea of B over its own idea. According to this working style the main goal of the team may suffer as it permits to allow the task to be conducted as per other’s wishes. Thus, it can only be seen as an effective when fostering good relations with the other party is a priority. The second management style is termed as ‘avoiding’ and it refers to avoiding the situation which causes the conflict. This is an effective approach only when there is no chance of winning or may cause greater expense. It may also be effective in situations which can resolve on their own but the it does not prove to be a long-term strategy.
For instance, both A and B do not decide on the type of advertisement and it leads to delaying of the task and the job does not get done. Next is the collaborating style which encompasses the aspect of assertiveness and resolves the conflicts through a win-win situation. It is a time-consuming effort as it requires brainstorming ideas which can lead to benefit both the parties. For instance, A and B decide to advertise via email as well as TV advertisements. The fourth style of management conflict is competing style and it is the opposite of collaborative style. It focuses on ‘win-lose’ approach and does not consider co-operation from the opposing party. For instance, A seeking to demolish to ideas presented by B because of reasons such as it is more expensive and time consuming and wins the deal. This style is effective in situations which require quick decision-making ability and both the parties to exhibit the understanding of the essence of time.
The fifth style is called the compromising style which succumbs to the ‘lose-lose’ scenario and neither of the party is successful in reaching their goals. This style is effective in case of situation where a quick fix or temporary solution is required. For instance, the moderate approach is taken via joint decision making. This style looks for an easy way out of handling the conflict and does not produce effective approach. It is vital that the employees have a clear understanding of all the fives styles of conflict management and employ each strategy according to the requirement of the situation. Therefore, they must exhibit flexibility in using all the approaches. For instance, when the conflict requires the task to be delivered within a specific time frame and there is a shortage a competing strategy may be used whereas, a collaborative strategy is used with a middle ground and new method which causes a win-win situation. Achieving the goal is the main priority in this case. Lack of flexibility may not resolve the conflict and the job will suffer and lead to poor professional outcomes and lesser growth and learning opportunities, because it is through tackling conflicts learning in enhanced (Albrecht et al., 2019).
Q2. Describe the challenges to developing a positive, cohesive culture. What can organizations do to increase their success rate in the face of these challenges? Provide examples to support your discussion.
Answer. It is necessary for an organization to have strong work culture and ethics. A positive work environment is useful in providing not only growth and development of the employee but also leads to growth and development of the organization as a whole. Many researchers believe and propagate the idea of investing in the employees and acknowledging them as an asset. This approach has led the organizations to undergo a paradigm shift from considering the financial gains and revenues as the only assets to thinking of their employees or the human resource as an important asset to the company. It underpins the statement that a happy and satisfied employee is reflection of a happy and growing organization. Many anthropologists argue that organizations who have an employee centered approach have maximized their gains and achieved productive outcomes as opposed to the organizations who have an autocratic approach in management of their employees (Moore et al., 2016). This approach contributes to a big hurdle in providing positive and a cohesive work culture to the employees.
There are various other challenges which hinder enablement of a positive work culture apart from autocratic approach and they are, lack of concrete code of conduct and code of ethics. In many organizations, many genders based, race-based as well as hierarchical harassments takes place. This causes lack of cultural safety within an organization. The company should severe penalize the employees who chose the path to racial, gender or role-based discrimination and legal actions must be re-enforced to set an example. Another challenge is lack of motivation and equal opportunities. It is imperative that the company presents different plans for increased employee benefits based on performances, free of any biases and prejudices. This enables the employees to be motivated and have a competitive spirit to achieve their individualistic targets (Chiniara & Bentein, 2018). The other way increases the rate of success in facing the challenges is to re-envision and re-iterate the main goal of the company through the organizational leaders, this will enable the employees to have team work and develop team spirit which is necessary for supporting a positive work environment. This is possible by effective leadership qualities to create a positive work-culture. Another way to face the challenge is to focus on employee engagement and satisfaction, and placing increased value on the human resource. The best example is company such as Google, the main focus of the company is providing highest amount of employee satisfaction (Tsitmideli et al., 2017).
Q3. Adams’ theory of inequity suggests that an employee’s perception of fairness in the workplace impacts their motivation. Briefly explain the theory and then give practical examples of how a person might implement four of the seven tactics Adams identifies if they perceive inequity.
Answer. The Adam’s theory of inequality defines inequality as, “Inequality exists for person when he perceives that the ratio of his outcomes to inputs and the ration of another person’s outcomes to their inputs are unequal” (Shaw& Hillel, 2017). The theory is embedded in the fact that an employee perceives its growth on comparing himself with others. This is a source of tension for an employee. The greater the feeling of inequality the greater level of dissatisfaction is felt by the employee. As per Adam’s theory, various types of inequality includes In terms of unequal opportunities, financial inequality, inequality in terms of rewards and recognition, as per the research of Shaw and Hillel, “Two broad classes of evidence have been used to demonstrate that people are averse to inequity: their negative reactions to inequity and their costly rejections of it. First, a large number of studies have demonstrated that people respond negatively to being paid less than others for similar work.” The second aspect is, costly offers of rejection. The fourth tactic identified by the Adam’s theory states that perceived inequity occurs also in terms of employee inputs (Li et al., 2018). If the employee feels disparity between himself and other employees of the same level or same work profile, he or she may decrease its input. It lowers the motivation of the employee and delivers less than his actual capabilities.
Q.4. Explain teamwork and teaming. What are the challenges and benefits of teaming? Using examples, discuss the reasons why teaming is required to get the work done in today’s global business environment.
Team work is a collaborative effort of each individual focused towards achieving a common goal. It is imperative that each organization has team building capacity in order to be successful (McEwan et al., 2017). The skill of teaming is an essential tool to help achieve the greater goal of the organization. It utilizes effective time management skills, following instructions, planning and guiding processes. It offers help to the individuals to take help from their peers for covering up for long learning graphs and inadequacies. Effective team work helps the individuals to work on each other strengths and weaknesses and leads to enhanced learning. It also helps to develop professional competitive spirit which permits each team player to exhibit their best potential and offers opportunities to showcase their talent in individualist as well as on the team level. As per the research done by Korner et al., (2016). It hones the following aspects, “communication, cooperation, coordination, responsibility, participation, staff satisfaction, patient satisfaction, and efficiency) were structured in line with the input–process–output model, and evaluated interventions, such as tools, workshops, and changes in team structure, were added to the model. The most frequently evaluated team interventions were complex intervention programs. All but one of the 14 evaluation studies resulted in enhancement of teamwork and/or staff-related, patient-related, and organization-related outcome criteria.” It also generates motivation and high rate of accomplishment of the task.
In today’s global environment requires effective team work is necessary because of multiple individual efforts are required for achieving the common goal. As people from different backgrounds and experiences can suggest ideas to combat the challenges which crop up during the task. The mixture of abilities of different individuals allow to help the task to be accomplished more quicker than the normal time. Brainstorming with different individuals with varied expertise can help in providing solutions to decrease the cost which will be incurred on the project and offer view points from different angles which increase the potential of achieving high success rate of the project and contribute to the development and the growth of the organization. It may even lead to innovation of new ideas and approaches to deal with the similar problems if occur in the future. The effective team work therefore, can significantly reduce the time consumption required to solve the task. It identifies various challenges by collaborating with team members. It also helps to improve the quality of the task. Multiple team members can figure out common issues which hamper the quality and work on them collaboratively to enhance the quality, produce cost -effectiveness. It also ensures equal partnership and ownership of the project on each team member rather then the entire pressure and responsibility on a single person (Bell at al., 2018).
It also leads to development of essential professional and organizational skills, such as communication skill, leadership skill, decision-making skill, problem-solving skill, critical thinking and analytical skills which are essential for the employees to learn and exhibit in an organization and professional environment. Therefore, team building activities must be encouraged for the growth and development of any organization.
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