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Conflict management and developing an effective organisational «culture Essay Example

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  • Level:
    Undergraduate
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9CONFLICT MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPING AN EFFECTIVE ORGANISATIONAL «CULTURE

Conflict management and developing an effective organisational «culture

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction 3

32.0 Analysis: justification for choosing the communication areas

32.1 Conflict management

42.2 Organisational «culture

52.3 Training

63.0 Conclusion

74.0 Recommendations

95.0 References

1.0 Introduction

An organisation’s ability to coordinate activities effectively in a highly globalised business environment, where the organisational context is made up of employees from diverse cultures, may be held to question (Jehanzeb & Bashir, 2013). One reason for this is because employees are exposed to conflicting values and tendencies to deviate from the mainstream, organisational culture. This is the situation that EckoTours Australia potentially faces. As the company serves international tourists, such as from China, the company has to constantly improve its communication with the clients and within its teams. This report examines the two critical areas of communication that need improvement: conflict management and developing an effective organisational «culture.» The purpose of the report is to identify the means to improve communication skills in the organisation. To ensure this, it provides recommendations a training program that the organisation should implement.

2.0 Analysis: justification for choosing the communication areas

The selected communication areas include conflict management and developing an effective organisational «culture.» The selection is based on Jehanzeb and Bashir’s (2013) statement that communication training should e provided to employees to enable them to manage conflicts in the organisation and to align them to the organisation cultures. Additionally, it is generally believed that the organization has the responsibility of improving employees’ communication skills and abilities, particularly those required for their specific jobs, if it has to attain its performance goals.

2.1 Conflict management

Conflict management is specifically necessary for EckoTours Australia as it has a diverse workforce that is potentially exposed to conflicting values. The EckoTours workplace is essentially melting pot of diverse cultures, as the current employees originate from different cultures. Such level of diversity has the potential of creating conflicts in the organisation. Hence, the two areas of communication that need significance focus on include conflict management and developing an effective organisational «culture.» An underlying reason for this is because when people from different cultures work together in an organisation, they tend to have conflicting assumptions, beliefs and values. This also has a potential to create divisionary organisational cultures, which may make the organisation gruelling. A likely discord that may arise when the values, assumptions and belief s differ may be inconsistent with those of other individuals or groups block, as a result thwarting each other’s attempt to attain personal or organisational objectives.

Among the critical skills needed in the organisation include communication strategies for managing conflicts at work. As Brinkert (2006) earlier showed, communication among employees tends to be tricky circumstance where one of the parties in conflict does not want to participate in mediation. Such situations have specifically tended to be tricky for the organisation, as the current conflict resolution strategies centre on addressing situations where the conflicting parties have to be present during mediation. However, this is not unique for the organisation. In an earlier study by Tidwell (1997), it was observed that significant challenge for managing conflicts at workplace is making sure that all parties in the conflict participate in the mediation process, as the since the degere of anger and hostility may be so high to enable effective communication (Tidwell, 1997).

2.2 Organisational culture

The issue of the ability of diverse issues to change organisational cultures can be explained by Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA) framework, which strives to explain the manner in which employee and manager’s personalities potentially shape organizational cultures. For instance, when the managers recruit employees or train them to share some values and personalities that are similar, it creates shared values and team cohesion, although it may as well influence the employees to treat other people with conflicting values as outsiders (Jehanzeb & Bashir, 2013).

Jehanzeb and Bashi (2013) recommend that in such situations, effective communication training can enable the employees to develop skills that enable them to effectively manage conflicts and adopt constructive attitudes. As Jehanzeb & Bashir (2013) also observed in an earlier study of a highly diverse organisation, organisations with diverse cultures tend to witness situations where employees interfere with each other’s subjective opinions, hence causing diverse conflicts. As a consequence, instances of interpersonal conflicts are likely to degenerate into a dysfunctional organisation, and in some cases lead to a disintegrated team.

The interpersonal conflicts may also generate intragroup conflicts, which come about in a team, department or group of employees and have the likelihood of spreading across the entire organisation (Denison & Mishra 1995). According to Nicolaides (2010) ensuring that employees of diverse cultures work together is difficult as it may lead to friction and collision of cultures. Conversely, when the differences are effectively mitigated, it in turn strengthens team cohesion. Jehanzeb and Bashir (2013) also highlight that when the conflicts that threaten positive organisational cultures are effectively resolved, the organisation stands to realise significant benefits, including employee collaboration and teamwork. This has the potential to increase organisational performance.

2.3 Training

Training is crucial as it would improve the skills of employees in managing conflicts and aligning themselves to the organisational cultures. According to Ojambati et al (2012), training refers to a systematic and planned effort intended to improve employee’s present and future job performance by advancing their work skills and competence. In the context of communication at EckoTours Australia therefore, training could be seen as referring to the process where the employees are assisted to attain requisite knowledge, skills, in addition to attitude and behaviours to enable them to perform work effectively. In respect to organisational cultures, it is observed that the training would enable employees to synchronize their values and beliefs with that of the organisational culture.

3.0 Conclusion

Conflict management is specifically necessary for EckoTours Australia as it has a diverse workforce that is potentially exposed to conflicting values. Such level of diversity has the potential of creating conflicts in the organisation, which may in turn encourage employees to drift from the mainstream organisational culture. Hence, the two areas of communication that need significance focus on include conflict management and developing an effective organisational «culture.» An additional rationale for the choices is because when people from different cultures work together in an organisation, they tend to have conflicting assumptions, beliefs and values. This also has a potential to create divisionary organisational cultures, which may make the organisation gruelling. A likely discord that may arise when the values, assumptions, and belief s differ may be inconsistent with those of other individuals or groups block, as a result thwarting each other’s attempt to attain personal or organisational objectives. Hence, it is expected that the outcome of effectively managing conflicts and organisational cultures at EckoTours Australia is augmented group cohesion, capability to work collaboratively and capacity of the employees to have mutual respect. Employees are also bound to appreciate each other’s values and beliefs.

4.0 Recommendations

EckoTours should undertake training on interpersonal communication and cross-cultural management training to its employees. Nicolaides (2010) advices that in situations where organisations with employees from diverse cultures face conflicting situations that have a potential to generate into interpersonal or intragroup conflicts, the organisation should make efforts to promote personal communication in as well as among team. To this end, the training content has informal learning of cultural beliefs and values or even sign language. Nicolaides (2010) clarified that a major reason for such training content is because in diverse cultures, cultural difference as regards the perceived body language may be misunderstood by the co-workers.

EckoTours Australia should also initiate high performing value-driven culture that is rooted in diversity. As a consequence, the needs to initiate career development programs, including training to the employees, where they are taught to recognise that each worker has to be treated equally and be provided with equal career development opportunities. It is suggested that an effective organisational culture that EckoTours should implement is one that encourages fairness and equality among the employees, regardless of their diverse cultures. Hence, within the context of managing organisation cultures in the organisation, the training content should focus on ensuring general race, work experience, acceptance among employees that the workforce consists of diverse co-workers, in terms of age, ethnicity, culture, gender, and disability. Rijamampianina and Carmichael (2005) explain that when the differences become harnessed, an outcome is a productive work environment (Rijamampianina & Carmichael 2005).

Managers and supervisors should be trained on conflict management through coaching of employees. Nicolaides (2010) also observes that in order to integrate the diversity policy and plans effectively in an organisation, intensive training of the employees has to be ensured, such as by hiring training consultants who can conduct the training or engaging an in-house expert, such as the human resource manager. Alternatively, EckoTours Australia should begin by first training its managers and supervisors on diversity management and coaching on conflict management, how they can form diverse teams, pursue equality in hiring and recruiting a new workforce and conflict management linked to overseeing diverse workforce. Cultural diversity training is necessary as it creates awareness of diverse values, and ensures that employees implement constructive behaviour change (Nicolaides (2010).

Training should focus on employee development and attaining organisational objectives. As explained by Jehanzeb and Bashir (2013), an effective employee training and development program should consist of various elements like career development, knowledge, and goal-setting. Such approaches are likely to benefit the training program, hence ensuring it becomes helpful for the organization and individual employees.

5.0 References

Brinkert, R. (2006). Conflict Coaching: Advancing the Conflict Resolution Field by Developing an Individual Disputant Process. Conflict Resolution Quarterly 23(4), 517-228

Denison, D. & Mishra, A. (1995). Toward a Theory of Organizational Culture and Effectiveness. Organization Science, 6(2), 204-223

Jehanzeb, K. & Bashir, N. (2013). Training and development program and its benefits to employee and organization: a conceptual study. European Journal of Business and Management, 5(2), 243-252

Nicolaides, A. (2010). Cultural diversity training programme development for hospitality and tourism industry enterprises. International Research Symposium in Service Management, Le Meridien Hotel, Mauritius, 24-27 August 2010

Ojambati, T., Akinbile, B., & Abiola-Falemu, J. (2012). Personnel Training and Development: promoting financial soundness and innovation in the industry. Int. J. Production Economics 1(1), 1-9

Rijamampianina, R. & Carmichael, T. (2005). General Issues in Management; A Pragmatic and Holistic Approach to Managing Diversity. Problems and Perspectives in Management, 109-117.

Tidwell, A. (1997). Problem Solving One. Mediation Quarterly 14(4), 309-317