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DEPARTMENT OF MANAGEMENT STUDIES
SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
ANALYSIS OF CONFLICT MANAGEMENT STYLES IN TEAMS
Submitted To: Dr. R. P. Raya
KAMALAKKANNAN G GAURAV KUMAR ARVARIYA SUSHIL SHAKYA
Section – B
The successful completion of any task would be incomplete without
mentioning the names of the persons who helped to make it possible. I take
this opportunity to express my gratitude in a few words to all those who
helped me in the completion of this project.
I convey my sincere thanks to Dr. R. P. RAYA for giving this
opportunity to have such a study about Conflict Management.
I express my sincere thanks and deep sense of gratitude to Team leads Mr.
Mohan (CTS), Mr. Sathish Kumar (Wipro) and Mr. Sonu Dass (Syntel Inc.,) for
permitting us to conduct the study on their Organization. I sincerely thank my
friends for giving timely advice in all the aspects for the success of this project
S. No. TITLES Page No.
1. Executive Summary 1
2. Introduction 2
3. The Conflict Management Process 3
4. Strategies for Conflict Management 4
5. Ways People Deal with Conflict 6
6. Objectives 9
7. Research Methodology 10
8. Data Analysis 12
9. Correlation Analysis 15
10. Conclusion 17
11. Questionnaire 19
Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTS) Wipro & Syntel Inc are three
reputed organization in IT Sector. They provide Software Solutions, BPO works
in and around world. These MNC’s are playing a major part in US outsourcing
The Objective of the project is to identify and compare the conflict
management styles followed in the teams of each company. Computing
Correlation Analysis on the data collected on their Conflict Management Styles.
If the Conflict is managed in a way that brings out positive effect then
the productivity of the organization would be increased. It also increases the
self awareness about conflict modes, conflict communication skills, and
establishing a structure for management of conflict in your environment.
Conflict is a fact of life. Although many people think only of its ugly or
unfortunate results, some conflict is actually necessary and good. It all depends
on how a particular conflict is handled.
What is Conflict?
“A process that begins when one party perceives that another party has
negatively affected, or is about to negatively affects something that first cares
“Conflict occurs when there are two or more competing responses to a
“Is a process that begins when one party perceives that another party
has negatively affected, or is about to negatively affect, something that the
first party cares about.”
Conflicts must be perceived by the parties to it; whether or not conflict exists is
a perception issue. If no one is aware of a conflict, then it is generally agreed
that no conflict exist. Conflict can be a serious problem in an organization. It
can create chaotic conditions that make it nearly impossible for employees to
work together on the other hand; conflict also has a well known positive side.
THE CONFLICT MANAGEMENT PROC
What is conflict management?
Conflict may be defined as a struggle or contest between people with
opposing needs, ideas, beliefs, values, or goals. Conflict on teams is inevitable;
however, the results of conflict are not predetermined. Conflict might escalate
and lead to non-productive results, or conflict can be beneficially resolved and
lead to quality final products.
Therefore, learning to manage conflict is integral to a high
team. Although very few people go looking for conflict, more often than not,
conflict results because of miscommunication between people with regard to
their needs, ideas, beliefs, goals, or values. Conflict management is the
principle that all conflicts cannot necessarily be resolved, but learning how to
manage conflicts can decrease the odds of non-productive escalation.
Conflict management involves acquiring skills related to conflict
resolution, self-awareness about conflict modes, conflict communication skills,
and establishing a structure for management of conflict in your environment.
How do people respond to conflict? Fight or F
Physiologically we respond to conflict in one of two ways
ways—we want to
“get away from the conflict” or we are ready to “take on anyone who comes
our way.” Think for a moment about when you are in conflict. Do you want to
leave or do you want to fight when a conflict presents itself? Neither
physiological response is good or bad it’s personal response. What is
important to learn, regardless of our initial physiological response to conflict, is
that we should intentionally choose our response to conflict.
Whether we feel like we want to fight or flee when a conflict arises, we can
deliberately choose a conflict mode. By consciously choosing a conflict mode
instead of to conflict, we are more likely to productively contribute to solving
the problem at hand.
STRATEGIES FOR CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
Larson and Gray’s list of five strategies for managing dysfunctional conflict
provides a good summary of approaches.
The goal is to identify multiple possible alternatives and to mutually
select one that is acceptable to all involved parties and in the interest of
This strategy requires the project manager to provide a safe and
productive opportunity for the conflicted parties to air their disagreements.
After careful attention and fully listening to each party, the project manager
should formulate, define, and provide a solution to the parties. This strategy is
based on the forcing approach to conflict described earlier. Arbitr
often be effectively combined with mediation by forcing an initial conflict
solution and then allowing the parties to negotiate to a more mutually
Based on the smoothing approach described earlier, this strategy seeks
to bring tension and emotions down to a level at which productive discussion
and negotiation can occur. Humour is often an effective tool, as well as the use
of temporary breaks or time outs in the discussions between conflicted
The decision can be made that the conflict consequences are negligible
relative to project objectives and, therefore, require no action. This strategy
carries significant risk of later escalation and should be combined with specific
plans for monitoring the situation to ensure that the conflict remains at an
Elimination: Finally, the elimination strategy is reserved for those conflicts that
have become so dysfunctional that the project can no longer tolerate any
impacts from them. Often a last resort, elimination involves the removal of the
conflicted parties from involvement with the project.
What factors can affect our conflict modes?
· Position (Power)
· Determining the best mode
· Communication skills
· Life experiences
The Conflict Management Process
WAYS PEOPLE DEAL WITH CONFLICT
There is no one best way to deal with conflict. It depends on the current
situation. Here are the major ways that people use to deal with conflict.
The Turtle (WITHDRAWING)
Turtles withdraw into their shells to avoid conflicts. They give up their
personal goals and relationships. They stay away from the issues over which
the conflict is taking place and from the persons they are in conflict with.
Turtles believe it is hopeless to try and resolve conflicts. They feel helpless.
They believe it is easier to withdraw (physically and psychologically) from a
conflict than to face it.
The Shark (FORCING)
Sharks try to overpower opponents by forcing them to accept their
solutions to the conflict. Their goals are highly important to them and
relationships of minor importance. They seek to achieve their goals at all
costs. They are not concerned with the needs of others. They do not care if
others like or accept them. Sharks assume that conflicts are either won or lost
and they want to be the winner. This gives them a sense of pride and
achievement. Losing gives them a sense of weakness, inadequacy and failure.
They try and win by attacking, overpowering, overwhelming and intimidating
The Teddy Bear (SMOOTHING)
To teddy bears the relationship is of great importance while their own
goals are of little importance. Teddies want to be accepted and liked by other
people. They think that conflict should be avoided in favour of harmony and
that people cannot discuss conflicts without damaging relationships. They are
afraid that if a conflict continues, someone will get hurt and that could ruin the
relationship. They give up their goals to preserve the relationship. They like to
smooth things over.
The Fox (COMPROMISING)
Foxes are moderately concerned with their own goals and their
relationships with others. They give up part of their own goals an persuade
others in a conflict to give up part of theirs. They seek a conflict solution in
which both sides gain something - the middle ground between two extreme
positions. They compromise; they will give up a part of their goal and
relationship in order to find agreement for the common good.
The Owl (CONFRONTING)
Owls highly value their own goals and relationships. They view conflicts
as problems to be solved and seek a solution that achieves both their own and
the other person's goals. Owls see conflicts as a means of improving
relationships by reducing tension between two people. They try to begin a
discussion that identifies the conflict as a problem to be solved. By seeking
solutions that satisfy everyone, owls maintain the relationship. They are not
happy until a solution is found that both satisfies everyone’s goals and resolves
the tensions and negative feelings that may have been present.
Conflict Management Style Productivity
Withdrawal / Avoidance Temporary
Smoothing / Accommodating (Fails to Resolve)
Forcing / Competing Provides Resolution
Problem Solving / Collaboration
Some Conflicts they face while executing a task:
a) Role conflict
b) Conflict in Selection of Ideas
c) Conflict in resource scarcity
The main objective of the study is to find the conflict resolution
strategies followed in 3 reputed concerns
Other objectives of the study are compare the strategies with other 2
companies of the same sector
Suggesting ways to handle the conflict efficiently
A research design is basic frame work or plan for a study that guides the
collection of data and analysis of the data.
The research design adopted here is Descriptive.
Descriptive studies, as their name implies, are designed to describe
something (Conflict Resolution Strategies)
Data : Primary data
Researcher design : Survey method
Researcher instrument : Questionnaire
Method of contact : Personal / E-mail / Telephonic
The Project Team
Three IT Companies in different location
Syntel Inc., Chennai
15 Team members
3 Team Leads
SCOPE & LIMITATIONS of the study
Scope of the study
Conflict in a team is directly proportional to the productivity of a
concern. Addressing those conflicts in a structured way will enhance the
efficiency of the functioning of the team. So study must be made in order to
increase the competitiveness of the firm in the fast changing market.
Limitations of the Study
The study was carried out with only 3 Teams
Sample size is limited to 15 Team members and 3 Team Leads due
to time constrains.
Conflict Management Style followed by a Team in COGNIZANT
Team Lead falls under COMPROMISING Category
Resolution process is well facilitated under a Compromising Person
Conflict Management Style followed by a Team in SYNTEL INC.
Team lead falls under CONFRONTING type.
Confronting type values both resolving and relationships.
Negotiation of conflicts with the concern is his strategy (as per
interaction with him
Conflict Management Style followed by a Team in WIPRO
Team lead is partially Confronting and Smoothing
As per the category the leader might be valuing relationship a bit more
Negotiating conflict along with smoothing is the overall strategy of the
Xi Yi (X i - X) (Yi - Y) (X i- X) 2
(Yi- Y X Y
(Xi- )(Yi- )
1 3.3 3.75 -0.15 0.5 0.0225 0.25 -0.075
2 3.3 3 -0.15 -0.25 0.0225 0.0625 0.0375
3 3 3 0.3 -0.25 0.09 0.0625 -0.075
Total 10.35 9.75 0 0 0.135 0.375 -0.1125
Value of Cognizant = 3.3 , Xi = Company 1
Value of Syntel = 3.7 , Yi = company 2
Value of Wipro = 3.0
X = Mean of Xi , Y = Mean of Yi
r (Pearson’s coefficient of correlation)
(Xi- )(Yi- )
[√Σ (Xi - X) ] [√Σ (Xi - Y) ]
r (Pearson’s coefficient of correlation)
earson’s = - 0.5
The combination of the hypotheses to test the significance of r is shown below :
Ho : r = 0 ( the two variables are not associated.)
H1 : r ≠ 0 (the two variables are associated.)
The value of the t static to test the significance of r is computed below:
[√((1- r2) / ( n-2))]
The calculated value of t static (- 0.57) is less than table t static (12.706)
Hence, the null hypothesis is accepted .This means that the correlation
coefficient of the problem is not significant. Hence the association
between the two variables is not significant.
From the above calculation the following styles are obtained:
There is no Correlation between the conflict management styles
followed by any two teams.
The teams which we had taken as Sample Size are Successful in their
Organization. The Conflict Management Techniques followed by all the three
teams are different. There is no single solution to conflicts. Each one of them is
unique and has to be handled d
differently. But there are some general rules or
approaches to a conflict.
You need a wide variety of ways to deal with those who disagree
with you if you want to be effective.
You sometimes need to change your style or approach to work
with the person who disagrees with you.
Using collaboration or compromise as often as possible makes for
more effective decision making.
Monitor employees work to assist them to understand and coordinate
Encourage employees to approach you when they cannot solve difficulties
with co-workers on their own.
Clear the air with regular meetings that give employees a chance to discuss
Provide a suggestion box, check it frequently, and personally reply to all
Offer as much information as possible about decisions to minimize
confusion and resentment.
Use employee surveys to identify potential conflicts that have n yet
Listen carefully to employees to prevent misunderstanding.
“In an Alliance there is always a give and take policy
- by Kamal Nath
CONFLICT STYLES QUESTIONNAIRE
How do you act in conflicts?
The proverbs listed below can be thought of as some of the different strategies
for resolving conflict.
Read each of the proverbs and using the following scale score how typical each
is of your actions when in conflict.
1 - Never does this, 2 - seldom do this, 3 - sometimes do this 4 - frequently
do this, 5 - usually do this
1. It is easier to refrain than to retreat from a quarrel
2. If you cannot make a person think as you do, make him or her do
as you think
3. Soft words win hard hearts
4. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours
5. Come now and let us reason together
6. When two quarrel, the person who keeps silent first is the most
7. Might overcomes right
8. Smooth words make smooth ways
9. Better half a loaf than no bread at all
10. Truth lies in knowledge, not in majority opinion
11. He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day
12. He hath conquered well that hath made his enemies flee
13. Kill your enemies with kindness
14. A fair exchange brings no quarrel
15. No person has the final answer but every person has a piece to
16. Stay away from people who disagree with you
17. Fields are won by those who believe in winning
18. Kind words are worth much and cost little
19. Tit for tat is fair play
20. Only the person who is willing to give up their monopoly on truth
can profit from the truths that others hold
21. Avoid quarrelsome people as they will only make your life
22. A person who will not flee will make others flee
23. Soft words ensure harmony
24. One gift for another makes good friends
25. Bring your conflicts into the open and face them directly; only
then will the best solution be discovered
26. The best way of handling conflicts is to avoid them
27. Put your foot down where you mean to stand
28. Gentleness will triumph over anger
29. Getting part of what you want is better than not getting anything
30. Frankness, honesty and trust will move mountains
31. There is nothing so important you have to fight for it
32. There are two kinds of people in the world, the winners and the
33. When one hits you with a stone, hit him or her with a piece of
34. When both give in halfway, a fair settlement is achieved
35. By digging and digging, the truth is discovered