Conflict Is The Antecedent Of Negotiation Commerce Essay

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Conflict is the antecedent of negotiation. Conflict is a process which begins when one party realizes that he or she been threat to their need, concern and interest. Conflicts occur when we seek to change someone's opinion who disagrees with our opinion. We seek to change someone's behavior that conflicts with what we want. We seek to cause someone to give us something or do something for us because something conflicts with our need. Therefore, it directly leads to negotiation approach. (Corvette, 2006). For example, a team member just focus to get the work done quickly, but another member care about how the work done which may arise the conflict between them and seek the negotiation approach subsequently.

Negotiation is a process in which two or more parties exchange goods or services and attempt to agree on the exchange rate for them. It is a conflict management strategy whereby people engage in give and take discussions and consider various alternatives to reach a joint decision that is acceptable to both parties. (Robbins & Judge, 2008)For example, if new management structure is implemented, the marketing department may fears losing power, top managers may negotiate with marketing reach a solution.


1.0 Conflict

Conflict may be good which is known as constructive or conflict may be bad which is known as destructive. Constructive conflicts helps and support the group towards the goals and improve its performance; these also known as functional conflict. For example, employees may have different idea and suggestion; it would be a competition among them to generate the best idea toward the effectiveness of organizations' goals. In contrast, destructive conflict that hinder group performance, block a group or individual reach to the goals. This also known as dysfunctional conflict. (Schermerhorn, Hunt, Osborn, 2005)For example, that would be two departments within same organization that are unable to work together. Suppose that marketing department tend to increase sale, while production department tend to achieve high quality products. Some situation may arise from disagreement between two department's heads.

Handling Conflict Management: Thomas Kilmann Model

According to (Kenneth W. Thomas and Ralph H. Kilmann, 1974) Thomas Kilmann model organizes 5 conflict management style bases on 2 dimensions which are cooperativeness, the degree to which the person intend to satisfy the other person's concerns and assertiveness, the degree to which the person intend to satisfy his or her own concern. These 2dimension of behavior can be used to define 5 methods of Thomas Kilmann Mode.


Competing is assertive and uncooperative approach to resolving the conflict a power-oriented mode. This person attempts to solve a problem by pursuing or controlling others to achieve his or her own goals. This approach is the 'win-lose' situation which means each parties attempt to get more benefits as they can, standing up for his or her rights, or simply trying to win. For example, Joe wants to study in SEGI whereas Wendy wants to study in Taylor. Joe convince Wendy study in SEGI with him.


Collaborating is both assertive and cooperative when a person attempts to work with the other person to find a way that fully satisfies all parties' concerns. In collaborating, person tries to clear out differences and issue to identify the concerns of all parties and to find alternative that meets all concerns and solve the problems. Collaborating seek to a 'win-win' situation that allows all parties' goals to be achieved completely. For example, Joe and Wendy had a disagreement between each other about choosing course to study. They decide to stay at home explore their disagree, generate alternative and seek the solution to satisfy each other.


Compromising is the middle in both assertiveness and cooperativeness. Each party to a conflict seeks to give up something. This is lose-lose situation where no party really get what they want, both parties may get something but not everything they want. In compromising both parties are willing to accept solutions that not fully satisfy to their concerns, separate the difference or exchanging concessions. For example, Wendy wants to go to Timesquare, her boyfriend Joe want to go to Sunway Legoond. In the end they agree to spend their whole day to Zoo Negara.


Avoiding is unassertive and uncooperative. These people tend to ignore conflict situation rather than face them directly or simply withdraw from conflict situation. When conflict arises, they try to ignore and play a joke or use other way to deflect to the conflict or try to change the topic. For example, Joe get mad at Wendy and throw his laptop to the wall, he might go out for a while to calm down before he tries to talk to Wendy about the problem.


Accommodating is unassertive and cooperative. The person ignore his or her own concerns to please other's concern and tend to sacrifices their own value, opinion, decision, idea in order to maintain smooth relationship. This type of person may fail to express their own opinion and feeling. For example, Joe likes to play online game and Wendy likes to watch romantic movie. In order to please Wendy, Joe buys couple of movie and watch together with Wendy at home.

2.0 Culture

Culture is the set of values, norms, guiding beliefs, understandings, the way of thinking and acting, custom, idea and behaviors that is shared among particular group of people or society. In which its people eat, dress, greet and treat one another, teach their children and student, the way solve problems. (Daft, 2010)

2.1 Organizational culture

An organizational culture refers a group of people learned and shared the way of thinking, value, behavior and acting. It is recognizing by dominant leadership style, language, symbols, procedure and fixed rule and definition of success that make organization unique. (Cameron & Quinn 1999) For instance, employees may be encouraged to dress casually to encourage comfort and productivity. Like Google culture, employees can do their laundry, take showers, go to the gym, play volleyball, get massages, leave the kids with the free child care, and even visit doctor. Organization culture can affect employees and organization's performance

2.2 Handy's dimension

Handy's dimension of organizational culture categorized into 4 major types that are:-

Power culture

Handy refers to this culture as a spider's web. Figure above which the spider in the middle controls what happens throughout the organization. All important decisions are made by focal person and they retain absolute authority in all matters. The strength of power culture depends on the strength of the center and the employees willing to listen to this power source. This culture relies on heavily on individuals rather than on group. For example, investment bankers used to be known as respectful of their clients loyal to their firms and chary of the financial system that allowed proposing. (n.a, 2012)

Role culture

Role culture like a Greek Temple as figure above is a business culture in which the business operates in a hierarchical style. Work is decided through rules and regulations, rationality and responsibility rather than by personal directive from the top. The work gets done by focusing on coordinating rather than controlling it. For instance, in an organization not just one person has control over the whole business even a manager, but a number of people who have important job positions will also have important decisions to make depending on their job role. For example, supermarket such as Tesco would have several different departments such as Human Resource department would be a manager that controls the department and delegates the work downwards to their employees. (n.a, 2012)

Task culture

It refers to a team working when people come together to form a team in order to work on a task. This culture emphasis on getting the job done and does not focus with personal power or hierarchy, but allocated the required resources to complete task effectively and efficiently. People in the team will have different skills to use or to use together in order to get the task completed. Team members have more freedom and flexibility, desire to creativity and innovation. For example, football team each of the 11 players on the football pitch at any time would need to work together in order to defend properly and score goals. As result, the team of players would need to work together in order to perform well and win trophies. (n.a 2012)

Personal culture

Personal culture is an unusual culture in which individuals believe themselves superior to the organization. It exists only to service the needs of the participating members. Individual person is the focus of the business and has the authority to make all decisions regarding specific tasks and activities. The person will be using their own expertise to complete his or her task. For example, doctor is his own boss and completes the work at this own pace, without being told what to do. Doctor is the central focus because without him there will be nobody to help treat and cure ill or injured patients. (n.a 2012)

3.0 Change management

Change management is a structured that transforms individuals, teams and organizations from a current state to a desired future state. It is organizational process aimed at helping employees to accept and embrace changes in their current business environment such as the change of mission, strategic, operational, and technological in an organization. For example, Johnson and Jonson Pharmaceuticals use bio simulation software that compels all known information about a disease such as diabetes or asthma and runs extensive virtual tests of new drug candidates. The world is changing fast, organization must change quickly too. Organization will be thriving if the change well handle, if not may struggle to survive. (Daft,2010)

Kurt Lewin Change Models is organizational change developed back in the 1940s, and still holds true today. Lewin developed the idea that if you want to understand a system, you must seek to change it. His model is known as unfreeze, change, refreeze, refers to the three stage process of change. (Daft, 2010)

3.1 Kurt Lewin Model


Unfreezing is the initial step must go through because most of the people naturally resist changing.  For example, people still habit performed the useless tasks without any questioning. Unfreezing stage help to create an awareness of how their day to day activities, attitudes, behavior, and their bad habit that affect organizational goals then develop a new plan to motivate people to reach their goals.


Once people are unfreezing which they have opened up their mind, they begin to start the stage of changing. Changing occur when people attempt to learn new behavior, skills, processes and the way of thinking to be used in the workplace. It is the time that most of the people struggle to overcome the uncertainty and fear to reach the new reality.


Once the changes have been made and became effectiveness and people have embraced the new way of working, the organization is ready to refreeze. The stage of refreezing is important to ensure that people do not revert back to their old behavior and old way of thinking.


4.0 Culture and Conflict

Society today shows many signs of wear and tear in social relationship. We experience difficulties born of racial tensions, gender gaps, and more. They reminder that culture and culture difference must be considered for their conflict potential. For example, United State is a short-term culture and Japan is a long-term culture. If people from United State try to work with people from Japan may arise a high conflict among them. If individuals who are not able to recognize and respect the impact of culture on behavior may contribute to the dysfunctional conflict situation.

By embracing conflict as a part of life, we can use it as learning or leadership opportunity and also opportunity to transform the situation into something better. Handy's dimension introduced organizational culture that help to understand different people will like or not like working in different types of culture and by Thomas Kilmann Conflict model approach which show how people face conflict in different culture by using Thomas Kilmann handling Conflict model.

4.1 Thomas Kilmann vs Handy's dimension

Thomas Kilmann model is a handling conflict management which may be using to handle different categories of organization culture in Handy's dimension.

In power culture, competing style and accommodating style are likely to adapt into this culture because in power culture the decision only made by the focal person. Competitors feel that they can be the focal person to make decision and self-confidence to solve a conflict. In the power culture, everyone will follow a person using the competing style of conflict management. As for accommodating style, the person who will be able to adapt because they prefer to create a harmonious environment and make a smooth relationship with the focal person thus there will be no conflict.

In role culture, the collaborating style and compromising style likely to adapt. Role culture has a high cooperative and high assertiveness it depends on the rationality of the allocation of work and responsibility rather than on individual personalities it suitable for people with collaborating style and compromising style, they are able to collaborate with others to come up with an alternative to meets all parties' concerns and solve problems and also develop a win-win situation. As people with compromising style they are able to work in role culture as their co-workers are willing to work with them.

Task culture likely to approach collaborating style, and accommodating style. Task culture is focusing on the teamwork and gets the job done; people like to assert their own view as well as listening to other's view comes up a best solution that meet all parties' satisfaction. Thus for the people in collaborating style are highly focus on working together for the best possible solution. As for people in accommodating style, they can quickly adapt to the team environment create a smooth relationship toward the priority goals.

Person culture seeks to approach competitive style as well as avoiding style. People in Person culture they are the one who hold all the authority on decision making as they believe themselves is superior and expertise. People in competing style are suitable to this culture if they are the only one who holding all the authority to make the decision. As for people in avoiding style, people tend to avoiding the conflict situation to maintain the relationship even though they are not agree with the decision makers.

5.0 Change and conflict

Every organization must change, not only to survive but also to maintain its relevance in a world competition, improving organization development and continuous change to become flexible and adapt quickly to environment changes. Change is necessary for growth but the change also brings conflict. Change in organization may cause to eliminate of their original jobs and they lack the expertise to do the new jobs.

Unfreezing lead to conflict

Unfreezing can create conflict because the people find it hard to stop the habit. These people are reluctant to cast a side their habit because of the fear that they are not be able to work out on coming change. For example, a person in designing department may reluctant to change to marketing department because they fear that they not be able to handle the marketing task.

Organizations have to well evaluate the ways of thinking, people, processes, old behavior, and organizational structure to show employees how is the necessary and urgent for change in organization and how is the benefit to the employees. Managers need to establish a sense of urgency to unfreeze employees and create an openness and willingness to change.

Change arise conflict

Change can create conflict because the people are not really having knowledge to implement the change. They are struggle to learn the new things and not comfortable with the new behavior and the new environment. For example, people struggle to use the email to send a letter instead of writing in an organization.

Successful change involves using emotion as well as logic to persuade people and empowering employees to act on the plan and accomplish the desired changes. For example, managers put together a bond of people with the will and power to guide the change, create a vision for change that everyone can believe in and communicate the vision widely and plans for change throughout the company. Employees should be remind that the reason of change and how it will benefits to them throughout the implementation of change.

Refreezing create conflict

On refreezing stage, conflicts arise because people tend to fall back into old behavior and old way of thinking. This is because they are far more used to old habits. When they start doing their old habits, they can revert back, therefore completely undoing the entire Lewin process they've undergone. Thus manager should plan to maintain the change for example; managers in an organization may provide update data to employees that proof positive change in individual and organization performance. Refreezing stage, changes are institutionalized in the organizational culture, so that employees begin to view the changes as normal things, complete part of how the organization operates.

Change of Dell was an example where Dell corporation was generating its first surplus which was the effect of the cost-cutting activities imposed by their management. This was the time when Dell corporation had also realized that the organization needs to pay attention on it customers services so as to ensure that the industry will continue to earn profit.

In order to initiate such change, Dell corporate consultants gather data about staff and customers attitudes. The result of such evaluation shows that there is an important gap between what the staff is providing and what the customer actually needed. Hence, another management initiative was the change of the system from staff-oriented to customer oriented industry through the creation of 'customer is king' culture within the organization.

6.0 Negotiation

Negotiation involve two categories integrative negotiation and distributive negotiation. Integrative negotiation required a problem solving orientation, all parties want to work together to find out a best solution and decision that can benefit for both sides. It pursuit to form a win-win strategies rather than viewing the conflict as a win-lose strategies. With integrative negotiation conflict are manage through cooperation and compromise joining together to achieve priority goals, it usually fosters trust and positive long-term relationships. (Daft, 2010)For example, employees request from boss to increase 20% of the bonus. The boss agrees to increase 20% bonus for workers if they increase their working hours by 4 hours per week. This benefit to both parties because workers get a good bonus if they work extra 2 hours, company increase work operation may lead to increase sale and profit subsequently. Therefor both parties get reach to win-win situation with integrative negotiation.

On the other hand, distributive negotiation where each parties attempt to maximize the benefit for themselves. Assumes that the 'size of the pie' is fixed and each party try to get as much as they can. Distributive negotiation is competitive rather than collaborative; one side wants to win, which means the other side must lose. With this win-lose strategies approach does not reach to positive long-term relationships. (Daft, 2010)For example, Joe and Wendy are having a big pizza and divided by 16 piece each of them can get 8 piece of pizza. If Wendy wants more, she must to convince Joe to give up some of the piece of pizza. This is win-lose situation where Wendy gain more piece of pizza and Joe lose some piece of pizza.


Conflict arise everywhere, every time, it happens on the job, among the group, within families, or even personal relationship. It is important to learn conflict management in order to well handle conflicts in the life. Conflict has never benefits anyone, negotiation is important not only in corporates, society but also in daily life. Negotiation is conflict management strategy help to avoid misunderstandings and lead to peaceful life.