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Report on Long-Term Financing Policy

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Essay title: Report on Long-Term Financing Policy

Work Teams: Dispute Resolution

Dianna O’Garro

Human Relations and Organizational Behavior 502

Dr. Michael Lindsey

August 10, 2005


Can conflict among work teams or individual employees be avoided? This and other conflict resolution issues will be addressed in this paper along with a couple of hypothetical workplace disputes and the viable solutions that can be applied to resolve the conflict(s).

Work Teams and Conflicts

“The use of work teams has become a popular strategy for increasing productivity and worker flexibility in the United States. Seventy-eight percent of U.S. organizations report that at least some of their employees are organized into work teams. In those organizations that utilize teams, an average of 61% of all employees is members of teams” (Bishop, Scott, and Burroughs, 2000). “A team is a group of people who are interdependent with respect to information, resources, and skills and who seek to combine their efforts to achieve a common goal” (Thompson, Aranda, and Robbins 2000, p9).

In most cultures and most global organizations, individuals have been paired or grouped into teams that are required to work together towards the completion of set goals. Today’s employees come from diverse cultural backgrounds with diverse attitudes and values. This can be good in that it can provide an organization with new and innovative ideas for positive and profitable direction in a global economy that is dominated by many of the same types of businesses. However, when employees are placed in groups or work teams, conflict can, sometimes, arise.

Types of Hypothetical Workplace Disputes

Conflict can be good or bad for an organization. It is good or functional when it causes a team to perform effectively. However, conflict can be bad for an organization when it causes a group or team to perform inefficient and ineffective work that keeps the team from achieving its desired goals and objectives in the specified timeframe. Some conflicts support the goals of the group and improve its performance; these are functional, constructive forms of conflicts. There are also conflicts that hinder group performance; these are dysfunctional or destructive forms (Robbins 2001, p262-263).

What Causes Conflicts

Several factors can lead or contribute to the escalation of conflict among groups or teams in the workplace. Some factors include but are not limited to: communication barriers, lack of good interpersonal skills, and poor ethical behavior.

Desired Outcomes

“Conflict is constructive when it improves the quality of decisions, stimulates creativity and innovation, encourages interest and curiosity among group members, provides the medium through which problems can be aired and tensions released, and fosters an environment of self-evaluation and improvement” (Robbins 2001, p269). In essence, constructive conflict allows teams to work together and provides the medium through which new and exciting ideas can be used to add flavor or variety to the scope of team assignment(s). It also contributes to an organization’s high or increased profit margin. Teammates who maintain their individuality are able to question and provide workable solutions to traditional concepts and ideas that usually hinder the growth of an organization (stops it from diversifying). “…Commitment to the organization and to the work team is related to a number of desired employee outcomes” (Bishop, Scott, and Burroughs, 2000).

Conflict that is destructive can lead to the breakdown of the structure of the team which can result in the unrealized goals or objectives that the team was formulated to accomplish. At the extreme, conflict can bring group functioning to a halt and potentially threaten the group’s survival” (Robbins 2001, p269). Team members who lack good interpersonal skills and who operate in a vacuum (has tunnel vision) can exhibit behaviors that are offensive to other members of the team that can lead to the creation of conflict. That is why

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