... themselves. Third conflict style is "competition", it can be healthy and unhealthily at the same time for the team. In "competition, there will always be a winner and a loser, usually the member of the group with this type of style is out to prove their point is the right one, and this can be unhealthy for the group. In time of an emergency when a team has a short time frame in which to complete a project "competition" can be healthy for the group.

The fourth conflict style is known as "compromise", this is when team members agree that the goals of the team outweigh those of anyone member and members are willing to give and take on issues. The "compromise" style is best used when the group is at a standstill and cannot continue with the next issue due to unresolved issues. The final conflict style is called "collaboration", this is when members feel that the solution will satisfy everyone in the group, this is usually a time consuming style, but can be used by teams for a more Team Dynamics and Conflict Resolution in Work Teams 11 a more creative solution. It is common for one team member to use or experience two or more conflict styles while involved at work as a team member, but depending on the member choosing a conflict style is usually based on the following; Depends on the situation, amount of time and energy in which each person or that team wants to contribute to the team as a whole. An approach to conflict management can usually be resolved when a group can be open-minded, and willing to try to work together. When a group is ready to resolve the conflict at hand, first everyone needs to understand the reason for the conflict.

There are five different approaches that can be taken to resolve conflict in the workplace; The 4 Rs Method, The A-E-I-O-U Model, negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. In "The 4 Rs Method", the 4 Rs represent: reasons, reactions, results, and resolution. Look at "reasons" that cause the conflict, ask the questions "How is the group "reacting" to each other?"Will the "results" make the group reach their goal?" , and if a group can identify the actions of the conflict, then a "resolution" should be able to be made for the group. When a group does not understand the cause of the conflict, "The A-E-I-O-U Model is good to use; What each letter stands for is as follows: A - assume the other members mean wellE - Express your feelings I - Identify what you would like to happen - Outcomes you expect are made clear - Understanding on a mutual basis is achieved Team Dynamics and Conflict Resolution in Work Teams 12 When "negotiating", one may give up or give more in order to have a good outcome that will benefit the whole group.

"Mediation", has become a common practice that is used in today's workplace. A third party will be asked to come in known as the "mediator", who has not had any involvement in the conflict, takes no sides in the decisions, but helps both sides come to a conclusion that might solve the groups conflict. When all other approaches fail, the last resort is to use "arbitration"; it is almost the same way as "mediation" is conducted except a decision will be made after hearing the issues. One of the group solutions or one solution that the "arbitrator" has decided on maybe used to resolve the conflict at hand.

In a group "cohesion" is the mutual attraction that holds the members of a group together. Enhancing "cohesion" within a group can be accomplished by; Establishing the groups' identity and traditions, emphasizing teamwork, recognize and reward contributions, and respect each other in the groups. When "group cohesion" is found within a group, the work environment seems to go smoother. "Groupthink" describes the deterioration of the groups' effectiveness as a result of in-group pressure. The best way to prevent group pressure is to prevent it from happening in the first place. There are three major factors that make conflict more complex; Diversity among group members, cultural values, and gender differences.

One reason there maybe diversity among group members, is that each group member has a different cultural background. For this reason its group members easily tend to misinterpret other members by being "chauvinistic" and "displaying offensiveness". Among group members it is important that "diversity" is recognized within the group, failure to do so may result in Team Dynamics and Conflict Resolutions in Work Teams 13 the following actions: o Strikes and lawsuit so Low morale among worker so Less Productivity Higher turnover of employees Cultural values among group members play an important role in how a conflict can be resolved. Some members may have a sense of "conformity" which is when members are more acceptable to tradition and customs, and are more prone to be of the same opinion.

While other members value their culture as being "individualism", in which a member believes that their opinion is of great importance, it is valued more than "conformity". According to Thomas K. Cappozzili (1999) most American companies have an individual approach, due to a company being so competitive, this approach to resolving a conflict can be destructive for the group members. Gender among group members is another factor that determines hoe conflict may be resolved. Among women and men they both tend to have different approaches towards conflict, women prefer to not be involved, as to the point of resigning from the group. To ensure group effectiveness, conflict and cohesion have to balance. Members must be allow to vent their differences, never losing sight of their objectives.

Cohesion allows a group to be more effective and members are more comfortable with each other, it promotes efficacy within the group as well. Conflict should be ignored, but dealt with to benefit everyone among the group. According to Eisenhardt, Kathleen (1997), avoiding conflict is destructive, but conflict is present within a group, and cohesion is possible Team Dynamics and Conflict Resolution in Work Teams 14 between members. See "How Teams Argue but Still Get Along" below: How Teams Argue but Still Get Along Tactic Strategy Base discussion on current, factual information. Focus on issues, not personalities. Develop multiple alternatives to enrich the debate.

Rally around goals. Frame decisions at Inject humor into the decision-making process. achieving the best possible solution for the company. Maintain a balanced power structure. Establish a sense of fairness and equity in Resolve issues without forcing consensus. the process Eisenhardt, Kathleen M. Kahwajy, Jean L. Bourgeois, L.J. Source: Harvard Business Review; Jul / Aug 97, Vol. 75 Issue 4, p 77, 9 p, 1 chart Team Dynamics and Conflict Resolutions in Work Teams 15 Conclusion To recap what Learning Team 'A' has pointed out about "team dynamics", we defined what a "group" was, types of groups, and the function of group members.

Next, we focused on social changes in the workplace, group development process, group roles and norms which included; basic building blocks of group dynamics, the effects of group structure, and member characteristics on the group outcome. Secondly, we focused on "conflict resolution" in today's workforce; We defined what "conflict" means, explained three types of conflict in a group, constructive and destructive conflict, conflict styles, approaches to conflict management, group cohesion, adapting to differences, and finally balancing conflict and cohesion in work teams. Team dynamics and conflict resolution is any and everywhere, where there is more than one employee, it is an on going process, but with the proper tools used to resolve an issue, all team members will prevail. Team Dynamics and Conflict Resolution in Work Teams 16


Protch, O., (Oct 2002), Vol.
63, Issue 10, p. 14, 3 p, Supervision. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved May 19, 2005 from web University of Phoenix (2004).
Learning Team Toolkit. Retrieved on May 17, 2005 from web StartedKreitner, R.
and Ki nicki, A. (2004).
Organizational Behavior (6th ed. ). New York: McGraw-Hill / Irwin. Pp. 406-441. Stewart, G., Many, C., and Sims, H. (1999).
Teamwork and group dynamics. New York: Wiley. Pp. 406-441. Decision Making and Conflict ResolutionEngleberg, I., Wynn, D., and Schutt ler, R. (2003).
Working in groups: Communication Principles and strategies (3rd ed.) Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Pp. 146-170. Wisinski, J.T., (1993).
Resolving conflicts on the job". New York: American Management Association, pp. 27-31. Bourgeois, L.J., Eisenhardt, K.M., and Kahwajy, J.L. (1997).