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Do conflicts management styles Affect group decision making - Annotated Bibliography Example

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Looking at past conflict resolutions, the conflicting parties have tended to focus more on the solution to the conflict rather than accessing and elucidating the method they used to arrive at that solution. They do this not realizing that their conflict resolution sets…
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Do conflicts management styles Affect group decision making
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Do Conflict Management Styles Affect Group Decision Making Do Conflict Management Styles Affect Group Decision Making? Evidence froma Longitudinal Field Study
Looking at past conflict resolutions, the conflicting parties have tended to focus more on the solution to the conflict rather than accessing and elucidating the method they used to arrive at that solution. They do this not realizing that their conflict resolution sets precedence and future conflicts are resolved in the same way, making their procedure vague at best. This is worsened by the fact that literature on the subject of the process of conflict management is wanting if not non-existent. The only literature in existence is on the different processes of conflict resolution. Conflict management style has been studied in this article while looking at three approaches; integrative, avoidance, distributive; focusing on conflict management rather than resolution because there is no ideal solution to a conflict, but the ability of the conflicting parties to work through their issues. (Tim Kuhn, 2000)
Group conflict management is an all inclusive process as it does not stifle the group members’ diverse perspectives, allowing for a range of alternatives that are possible outcomes of the process. These possible outcomes are looked into while assessing the quality of decisions with an emphasis on the performance and subjective outcomes of the decision making process. A decision’s functional theory is guided by group interaction leading to critical thinking thereby directly shaping the final choice of the group. (Tim Kuhn, 2000)
The article while analyzing the integrative, avoidance and distributive approaches, favors the integrative approach hypothesizing that the group using the integrative approach will have the highest level of effectiveness in their decision making process as opposed to the other two because it encapsulates several perspectives therefore fostering positive, subjective and objective outcomes. (Tim Kuhn, 2000)
The article examines task complexity vis a vis decision making capabilities while using a study method that incorporates both qualitative and quantitative procedures. The study design employs direct observation of established groups over a period of time. The study uses data from videotaped meetings of the group because of the sheer size and extent of the study. Out of the 47 episodes of data collected, 45 were on video tape and 2 on audio tape. The subjects seem self conscious at first owing to the presence of the video cameras but warm up to the idea of having them around and consequently relaxed. (Tim Kuhn, 2000)
Group conflict management style was identified by observing how conflict was handled looking at the degree of consistency in style exhibited over the period of the episodes. To ensure systematic analysis, the coding process was partitioned into three steps thus providing a more holistic and detailed account of conflict management than would be available by simply examining the proportion of conflicts resolved in a given manner. (Tim Kuhn, 2000)
Identification of four or more significant episodes of conflict
Coding the groups response to the conflict in each episode
Analysis of patterns in the coding across episodes to identify if group conflict management styles existed.
On task complexity, two independent observers rated the complexity of each task based on task difficulty, solution multiplicity, interest, cooperation, requirements, task novelty and ratio of mental to physical requirements. These were seen to be causes rather than indicators of task complexity; therefore, using Cronbach’s alpha was not an appropriate measure of reliability. Based on this factor, the study computed a percentage of the intercoder agreement for each of the questions. (Tim Kuhn, 2000)
The study concluded that groups with high tax complexity were more likely to develop an integrative conflict style, whereas groups working on low-complexity tasks managed conflicts non-integratively. Integrative conflict management styles are associated with decision making effectiveness for high-complexity tasks; non-integrative styles are more likely to lead to ineffective decision making overall. (Tim Kuhn, 2000)
On group conflict management styles, the findings can guide future analyses of group level constructs as stable conflict management styles dispute theories of group development that posit a deterministic progression toward integrative conflict management. The test for H1 indicates a significant relationship between conflict style and decision making effectiveness. Teams that manage conflicts productively also perform other communication functions that allow them to make decisions satisfying to members, facilitators and observers. (Tim Kuhn, 2000)
The results of the log-linear approach show that an organized decision path is more likely when groups are faced with difficult tasks and unfavorable group characteristics. The study disputed Poole and Roth (J, 1989b) who had posited that when groups meet with internal or external obstacles, members devote energy to structuring the group to achieve its goals because the two non-integrative teams that encountered highly complex tasks did not make decisions effectively, suggesting that they did not structure their activity as effectively as teams that managed conflict integratively. (Tim Kuhn, 2000)
The study concluded that it is not simply the objective input features of the task that makes a difference in decision making; rather, the way in which the group appropriates those features is a better descriptor of outcomes. Decision making effectiveness is largely determined communicatively, not merely through objective task inputs. This relationship is a recursive one as the outcomes of decision making loop back to influence exogenous variables and even communication processes.
Reference
J, P. M. (1989b). Decision developments in small groups V: Test of a contingency model . Human Communication Research , 15, 549-589.
Tim Kuhn, M. S. (2000). Do Conflict Management Styles Affect Group Decision Making? Evidence From a Longitudinal Field Study. Human Communication Research , Vol. 26 No.4 558-590. Read More
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