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Conflict Management Strategies

Conflict Management Strategies
Conflict Management – Conflict is a Part of Organizational Life Managers need to be alert to the presence of conflicts. Their focus should be oriented towards the goals to be accomplished. If there is a conflict, they should aim to resolve it smoothly by not over-reacting to the situation. They should take the help of persons who can best settle the issue, be ready to bargain and not issue orders. Their concentration should be on the problem and not on persons. True to the saying – Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?- President Abraham Lincoln Conflicts are Functional and Healthy: Conflicts in organisations are generally considered to be dysfunctional. On the contrary, many top executives of big companies view conflicts, as a means, to sufficiently analyse a problem and postpone decision making until all critical aspects of an issue are evaluated properly. Conflicts may occur within the individual, between individuals, between the individual and the group or between groups. There are many potential sources of conflict in today’s corporate organisations. The complex inter personal relationships and high degree of interdependence causes friction. Difference of Opinion: When many people must work together, conflict is inevitable, as it is human nature to clash and complain. Conflict is the personal divergence of interests between groups or individuals. The need to share scarce resources, difference in goals between organisational units, difference in values, attitudes and perception, ambiguously defined work responsibilities are some of the major sources of conflict. Functional Conflicts: Functional conflicts support the goals of a group, improve its performance and are constructive in nature. Dysfunctional conflicts hinder the performance of a group and are destructive in nature. It has not been precisely defined, as to what criterion demarcates functional from the dysfunctional. It is only the group’s performance and the delivered result or outcome that determines the nature of the conflict. Conflicts, irrespective of their type can bring these benefits to the firm: Bring hidden issues to the surface. Encourage creativity and innovation. Improves communication and make changes more acceptable. Increases group cohesion. Strategies to Resolve Conflicts: So, what kind of strategy do you think best suits in resolving conflicts? Avoiding or smoothing conflicts may be a temporary measure, only to bounce back in full force. Forcing might create undesirable consequences. The only option left is to confront the situation, face-to-face meeting of the conflicting parties for the purpose of identifying the problem and resolving it through an open discussion. Make Structural Changes to Lessen Conflicts:  By making structural changes, conflicts can be managed. The objectives of a group are modified and then integrated to suit the purpose. Also changes in the structure of the organization, that is, clarification of authority-responsibility relationship, improving the working atmosphere, ambience and work locations help in resolving conflicts. Proper Communication: Lack of proper communication, ego clashes between the people in line and staff positions, a superior’s autocratic leadership style, differing educational backgrounds, lack of co-ordination between inter-departments are all rich sources of conflict. These can be resolved with the right kind of attitudinal approach and an open mind from the management’s...
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Organizational Culture

Organizational Culture
Defining Organizational Culture Business is an integral part of the society; and it influences other elements of the social system, which in turn affect business. The entire sphere of business activities are influenced by the social structure and culture of a society. The social system is influenced by the way the business functions, innovations, transmission and diffusion of information and new ideas etc. Business activities have greatly influenced social attitudes, values, outlooks, customs and traits. However, it is very difficult and, in some cases, almost impossible to change many elements of the social environment in the short run. Hence, a business may have to anticipate and adapt to these uncontrollable external environments. Socio-cultural environment refers to the influence exercised by certain social factors, which are “beyond the company’s gate“. This includes attitude of people towards: Work Wealth Knowledge Family Marriage Religion Education Ethics and social responsibility of business. Belief System Influencing the Action: Culture is something that is evolved in a society over a long period and it represents the unified belief system of a large group of people. An organization can be distinguished from another by way of its culture, since organizational culture is unique in its perspective and methodology. When people from different social backgrounds are made to work under the same roof, a corporate organization acquires a distinct culture. Culture conveys a sense of identity for the organization. It facilitates the generation of commitment to do something noble than one’s own self-interest. Cultural Differences: As business go international, the need for understanding and appreciating cultural differences across countries is essential. Any move from one country to another will create a certain amount of confusion, disorientation and emotional upheaval. Especially, people form Asian countries that migrate to the west are subjected to what is called a “culture shock”, in terms of attitude, working style, language, way of life, dress codes and negotiating styles. Freshers may adapt to these changes quickly, since they are natural and easy to be trained. The problem arises with individuals who had been working under a totally different cultural setup from that of the new cultural environment; they will have to undergo the process of ‘unlearning‘, which is more like swapping old ideas for new ideas. This change process is what both the employees and the management find challenging; but ultimately what needs to be done has to be done. Culture Shock: Multi national and Trans national companies, which have business establishments in different parts of the world, must be prepared to cope with the culture shock. Since huge investments go into their projects, they have to think and analyze about the cultural and social aspects that have a definite impact on the working of organisations. For example, the work attitude of employees in the west might lay emphasis on services and results, oriented towards self-improvement; while that of the Asian counterparts may be patience and sacrifice rooted in emotions and loyalty. Business can be considered as a large social network serving to satisfy economic and social interests; culture acts as the social glue that helps hold the organization together by providing appropriate standards for the behavior of organization members. Slogans of Some Reputed Organizations in the Industry: Nokia: Connecting people Jet Airways: The joy of flying Reliance Industries: Growth is life Citibank: Your citi never sleeps The above cited examples give you a fair idea about what a particular company stands for. The orientation of these companies, expressed in the form of SLOGANS contributed to the successful conduct of their...
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Human Behavior

Human Behavior
Human Behavior- A Psychodynamic Approach In any organization, utmost importance is given to human resource management. Handling or manipulating other resources like physical, financial or production is at your discretion. When it comes to managing your employees, there you go! You start feeling the pinch. Man is like a “live wire” and if you don’t possess the mastery to understand and utilize the power behind his psyche, then you are at a loss and you are not capable of what is called “the wizard touch”. Maintaining the Employee Morale: The main problem with your subordinates or even with yourself might be boosting up of morale. Always keeping yourself in a cheerful proposition will take you to greater heights, as it helps you to achieve your goals faster. Human strength lies in self belief which is his reserved store of strength, the one which he never utilizes or not allowed to utilize to the fullest extent possible. A bureaucratic or autocratic manager should understand the fact that when human mind is given a chance to explore with full freedom instead of following orders it comes out with the greatest ideas; which may prove fruitful to your organization in a big way. Make Your Work-force Dynamic: If a person wants to become successful in a business venture, he should possess the fire of unfailing enthusiasm and the nerve to face the adversities that come in his way. Life is a game and so is business. You can play the game fearlessly when you are backed up by like minded individuals who will carry on your fire to the next level. So it is important on your part to prepare your subordinates to adapt to the different dimensions of the business atmosphere and make them more dynamic. Human mind has the power to grasp things faster than what we assume it to be. Even average performers can be transformed into star performers when, The work itself is appealing, yielding and useful The work has scope for independent activities The Work defines goals or targets The social atmosphere created by the manager is warm Innovative ideas are welcome Empathy on part of the manager The Power of Relaxation: Another important aspect for the betterment of human psyche is relaxation. A relaxed mind can achieve things hundred times better. People who are always on the run have the feeling that they have not accomplished much. If you keenly observe, only 8 hours of productive work is done every day. In order to accomplish whatever you have in your agenda, you definitely need to relax and plan. The art of resting the mind and the power to dismiss all worries and exhaustion is probably the winning formula. The employer who secures the goodwill of his employees can accomplish more with less effort and exhaustion. Try to bring out the creativity of your subordinates to make the climate of your firm cordial and the attitude...
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Decision Making

Decision Making
Evaluating the Importance of Decision Making Successful decision making is one that is devoid of any ambiguity or #tentativeness. Although there is a wide range of choice and alternative techniques to arrive at a decision, timely decision making is what adds value to the decision. The objective is to execute the action plan immediately to avoid delays that might prove costly in terms of #productivity. Defensive #behavior of #managers: Managers who are the key figures to make decisions sometimes play defense to avoid action, blame or change. They exhibit a variety of defensive behaviors which is a wasted effort; this also makes the workers lethargic in their #attitude. Avoiding action is considered to be the best political strategy. Some managers always talk about the rules and regulations that have been followed for ages in that company and want every action to be rigidly adhered to the precedence and neither allows nor admits the need to consider the nuances of a particular case. Decision-making models for entrepreneurs #policies and #procedures: Policies and procedures are of course the prerogative of the top level management, but it is the duty of the manager to suggest reforms in those policies that are obsolete by bringing it to the perusal of the ultimate authorities. How long will you sing the same song “The rules clearly state that”!Also don’t try to pass the buck or play duals, that clearly showcases your inability to handle things and nobody nowadays is prepared to believe false pretense. #expectation of Sub-Ordinates from the Superiors: Subordinates look up to their superiors for support as well as quick solutions for problems of any kind that comes their way; only a person who is quick in reacting to situations with presence of mind and consideration is well liked by and approved of. If you distance yourself from problems or try to prolong a task in lieu of your inability to make a decision, in the short run it might prove helpful in covering up making you look busy and productive. But what happens in the long run? It leads to organizational rigidity and stagnation in terms of productivity and a sag in the #morale of the #employees. Fifty Models for Strategic Thinking  Playing it Safe is not Always Safe: Playing safe is not always safe. Some managers always like to lead a team that has taken up viable projects with a high probability of success. There is no pain but lots of gain. This tactics makes you devoid of risk taking -which according to me is the prime and supreme quality that a manager or a team leader must possess or at least try to develop. Also taking a neutral position in #conflict situations makes you a dull leader and not a person to be much sought after. Finance For Managers What is the result of Poor Decision Making? The first and foremost thing that managers have to understand and admit is that, poor decision making is the root cause of failed course of action. They should have the guts to admit and take up the responsibility for the negative outcome and not to seek some strategically helpless defense mechanisms. Making others a scapegoat for your helplessness doesn’t shield you for long but puts you in the defending territory forever. #defensiveness delays decisions, affects organizational success, sets a bad precedence, increased group conflicts, interpersonal tensions and leads to unreliable evaluations. The long and short of the discussion clearly highlights the importance of recruiting not only a qualified manager but a committed and reliable person who has the ability to take risks and tackle crisis situations with ease and steer the #organization smoothly...
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Power and Balance

Power and Balance
Power and Balance in Corporate Governance Power has the ability to disorient a person’s behavior and attitude. When properly used it leads to height of efficiency, when misused it calls for calamity and disorientation in the entire business firm. It is nothing but the authority that comes with your job which has to be utilized for constructive purpose and at the same time to ascertain that things are “going in the right direction.” Precise use of power leads to a congenial atmosphere in your business arena”. Otherwise in course of time you might have to tackle warfare with your subordinates and the “undercurrent of animosity” might ruin your business success. How it affects Inter-Personal Relationship: When we talk about POWER it usually fits well into the top level management cadre, as managers and senior managers are assigned with huge powers in order to lead the firm in times of crisis as well as maintain the consistency of the nature of the firm. So when there is abuse of power consciously or unconsciously, people create a space between themselves and that particular person who misuses the power. So the result would be a lack of interpersonal relationship between the manager and the employees. Managers generally acquire and use influence that has its impact not only on the behavior of the individuals, but also on the organizational effectiveness as a whole which in turn affects productivity. Use Power as a Constructive Tool: In fact, authoritative behavior is often misunderstood by most of the managers in the business setup; there is a need for the managers to skillfully use their power in order to extract work from their teams as well as to maintain a balance between the extent to which authority must be used and the tolerance level of the employees’ (mind set). So it is more of a psychology which involves much critical analysis on the part of the manager to understand the constructive aspects of his authority and how employees at a lower level will always look up to him for support and guidance and not indifference. Power covers and affects the following important aspects, Discretion Crisis management Dependence of employees Responsibility Leadership Governance Interpersonal relationship Change management Environmental influences Reward systems Collaborative management Success of the firm and so on. In order to maintain his own integrity as well as the organisations’ the manager must be able to appreciate the relevance of power in management just by not looking into the literature but act in accordance with the situation. A detailed analysis of power dynamics makes the manager more effective in dealing with behavior inconsistencies in the organization. Try to be more open in your communication and make your employees feel that “You are always there” to support and guide them. This in turn will make your “Boss to have a second look at you” for a promotional pay. This discussion is from the manager’s perspective and there is more to be discussed and considered from an employee’s...
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