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Dr Joanna Crossman

Relationships, Emotions and
Individual Differences in Conflict &

Conflict research
tends to emphasise interpersonal and small
group conflict management
explores why some organisational cultures
foster a productive management of conflict and
others do not.
Well managed conflict cultures positively
influence cohesion, creativity and customer
Gelfand, Leslie, Keller & de Dreu, 2012, 5-3

Factors influencing conflict and
Trust and reputation
Culture and spirituality
Gender & Age
Physical and mental ability

Individual differences influence conflicts
and negotiations because they affect;
how people see the world
what they want and expect
positive dispositions towards negotiation
(think self-fulfilling prophecy)
how they are treated (observable
characteristics such as gender, age &
attractiveness alter responses).
conflict style

(Bell, Connerley & Cocchiara 2009, p. 598;
Negotiation December 2008; Ting-Toomey
& Takai 2006, p. 691).

How individual differences influence conflict and negotiation continued.
Intelligent negotiators sometimes claim less value
for themselves.
Creative people are often good at devising
innovative solutions
Sensitive people may walk away from a potentially
good deal if they feel criticised.
Few managers are trained in diversity and are often
ill-equipped to deal with the conflicts arising from
discrimination, harassment and inequality

(Bell, Connerley & Cocchiara 2009, p. 598;
Negotiation December 2008; Ting-Toomey
& Takai 2006, p. 691).

Individuals differ in ethical

Personality influences ethical behaviour.
Some normally ethical negotiators in favourable
conditions may adopt ethically ambiguous
behaviour in unfavourable conditions.
Negotiators behave more ethically when a long
term relationship is involved.
Less trusting individuals more likely to use
questionable tactics.
(Sobral & Islam 2013)

Spirituality influences approaches to
conflict and negotiation
Increasing research on how spirituality
influences workplace practices (Crossman 2007;
Dent, Higgins & Wharff, 2005).
Since Islamic teachings emphasise forgiveness
and compassion then conflicts tend to be
avoided or suppressed (Khalil & Abu-Saad 2009).
Jones (2009) found that mediators
incorporated spiritual issues into their work.
Managing diversity in negotiation
contexts tends to enhance;

access to a broader range of perspectives

Zanoni, Janssens, Benschop, & Nkomo,
2010, p. 12 5-9
How can you be distinguished from others in
ways that uniquely define you?
Exchange personal and defining descriptions;
I am a female, Anglo-Australian, baby-boomer
academic who values independence
and freedom and believes all life is
precious. I am a Christian but respect,
appreciate and learn from a variety of spiritual
and humanist orientations.

Common perceptual errors affect
relationships in conflict and
Halo effects
Selective perception

(Lewicki, Barry & Saunders

Perception effects continued..
Assigning attributes to individuals according to social, cultural or
other categories.
Once formed, are resistant to change
Humans need to reduce the complexity of the social world and
better anticipate behaviour.
Cognitively, its easier to see people as more or less alike.
Positive evaluations of a group affirms positive self identity.
Positive attributes in outgroups are attributed to external forces
(they were friendly because the boss forced them to behave better
towards us) (Jain et al. 2010).

(Jain, Triandis & Weick 2010; Lewicki, Barry & Saunders
2007; Zanoni, Janssens, Benschop, & Nkomo, 2010, p.

Perception effects continued
Generalisation about a variety of attributes
based on the knowledge of one attribute
Can be negative or positive
A pleasant person may be thought more
honest even though there is no real
(Lewicki, Barry & Saunders 2007; http://a4.l3-
d8574b/m.jpg accessed 21/6).

Perception effects continued..
Selective perception
The perceiver interprets information that
supports a prior belief but filters out
contrary information
An initial smile perceived as
cooperativeness leads to later rejections
that someone may be devious
An initial perception of a sly smile may lead
to subsequent smiles being perceived as

(Lewicki, Barry & Saunders

Perception effects continued
People assign to others the characteristics or
feelings that they possess themselves
We expect others to be like us and this
affects our perceptions
When people dont behave like us it can give
rise to frustration and anger (Corvette 2007, p.75;
p. 80).
Assume nothing - You may hate the idea of a
delay in a negotiation but the other party
may welcome additional time.

Corvette 2007, p.75; p. 80; Lewicki, Barry & Saunders 2007
accessed 21/6/11
Based on Freuds theory
that conflict is influenced
by intrapersonal states.
May explain
inappropriate responses
to conflict at work/home.

Beham 2011; Cahn & Abigail 2007, p.135;
Leaptrott & McDonald 2011

Displaced conflict is acted out with the
wrong person or issue or to an
inappropriate degree.
Eg; Having a fight with the partner at home
instead of the boss.
Humans have a tendency to take things out
on weaker people.

Work/life conflict
Work-family conflict negatively influences job
performance (depression, stress, substance abuse).
Women tend to draw on support from colleagues
when experiencing work-family conflict.
More than one person should be involved in any
decision making given that at any one time an
individual manager may experience work/life
Proactive Individuals tend to cope with work/family
conflict better; less emotional exhaustion, burnout
(Jawahar, Kisamore, & Rahn, 2012).

Baltes & Zhdanova, (2011) ; Beham (2011) ; Leaptrott & McDonald (2011)

Social exchange theory
Devised by Thibault & Kelley (1959).
People evaluate their interpersonal
relationships in terms of their value.
What is the perceived effort (cost) invested
(pain, suffering, loss of self esteem, loss of
resources), compared to the rewards (money,
love, goods, property, status, time)?
Conflict can occur when the rewards are too
little in comparison with the costs.
Cahn & Abigail 2007, p.143-144

Consider a conflict within a relationship that
you have experienced and discuss with a
partner your appraisal of the costs and
rewards involved.
Was the social exchange balanced? Did any
imbalance contribute to the conflict ?
The benefits of positive relationships
Greater cooperation, problem solving & less
Improved decision making and greater intrinsic
A focus on positive outcomes for both parties
A focus on how parties work together
Parties will share information
Parties will persist in reaching positive outcomes.

(Lewicki, Barry & Saunders 2007; Mao, Hsieh & Chen 2012).

After brief discussion, suggest some names of
people who are universally well known.

What kind of reputation do they each have?

What would you expect about each of them as a
negotiating party or as someone with whom you
are in conflict?
Reputation affects conflict &
Reputation relates to personal
characteristics and accomplishments.
Perceptual and highly subjective in nature
Many and conflicting reputations are
possible at one time
Reputations develop over time and are hard
to change or repair.

(Lewicki, Barry & Saunders

Think of someone in a negotiation/conflict context;
What kind of a reputation do/did they have?
Are there differing views about the individuals
What evidence supports the reputation?
What kind of reputation do you have?
Would you negotiate differently if you heard
someone has a reputation for being tough,
fair or a walkover?
a 5-25

Trust affects conflict & negotiation
A psychological state acknowledging our own
vulnerability and the expectations of
anothers good intentions
Influenced by an individuals chronic
disposition towards trust, the history of the
relationship and the context
Trust leads to more ethical behaviour &
People approach new negotiation
relationships with high levels of trust

Haber 2006, p. 21; Kim, Dirks & Cooper
2009, p. 401; Lewicki, Barry & Saunders
Gender and Negotiation
Research into the relationship between
gender and negotiation has resulted in
mixed conclusions about how each gender
might be more likely to achieve success and
under which conditions (Faes, Swinnen & Snellinx,

Negotiation and Gender continued
Negotiation teams work best with a mix of
gender (not sex) roles, with a predominance
of female characteristics.
Men tend to use competing styles more often
and women a compromising strategy (Iglesias &
de Bengoa Vallejo 2012).
Women negotiate less favourable outcomes
than men but a more powerful position for
women, influences N. positively,
Men negotiate 30% better salaries than
women so not negotiating can be expensive.
Babcock & Laschever 2003 : Canet-Giner
& Saorin-Iborra 2007: Hong & van der
Wijst 2013; Lewecki et al. 2007

Gender & negotiation continued.
Womens voices may be heard less as they
tend to operate in listening mode (Tannen
Women tend to use more open
communication patterns (Faes, Swinnen &
Snellinx, 2014).
In a Swedish study, it was found that men
are more likely to initiate a negotiation than
women (Eriksson & Sandberg 2012).

Gender and negotiation continued.
Males tend to set higher objectives than women
who may aim only for mid-range goals (Faes,
Swinnen & Snellinx, 2014).
Research in computer mediated negotiations
reaps similar results. Eg; Males are more profit
orientated and females more relationship
orientated (Katz, Amichai-Hamburger & Manisterski, 2008).

Discuss the extent to which your personal
experience as a male or female resonate
with the video and Babcocks paper?

What did you learn that you didnt know

Are there any implications for changing
your own future practice?
Gender and Negotiation Video Clip

The dynamic, developing system of an
individuals distinctive emotional, cognitive
and spiritual attributes (Budjac Corvette 2007).
Stable, mental structures and processes that
affect how individuals interpret and
emotionally and behaviourally respond to,
their environment (James & Mazerolle cited in Baltes,
Zhdanova & Clark 2011)

Mixed findings about how personality
influences negotiation but some personality
factors are more important than others
(Negotiation 2008; Zhenzhong, & Jaeger 2005).
Individuals tend to attribute personality traits
(often negative ones) to counterparts rather
than considering the situational reasons for
behaviour (Morris & Larrick 1999).

Personality and negotiation continued.
No better or worse personality but knowing
your own and considering how it affects
others relates to negotiation success (Budjac
Corvette 2007, p.75; p. 80; LaBrosse 2008, p. 105).
However even when negotiators try to
evaluate the personality of other parties, they
often get it wrong! (Morris & Larrick 1999).

Personality influences responses to
conflict and negotiation in terms of..
Confidence, emotional stability & self esteem
Preference for collaboration/competition & aggression
The need to achieve
How prepared one is to take risks
Intelligence & conscientiousness
Openness & straightforwardness
Type A or B personality
Locus of control
Learning style and right/left brain

(Corvette 2007; DeRue, Moon, Conlon & Willaby, 2009, p. 1032
Lewicki, Barry & Saunders 2007; Negotiation 2008a; Rhinehart & Closs 1991, p.127; Ogilvie & Kidder 2008, p. 134).

People with an internal locus of
control tend to
use a problem solving conflict management
strategy more often
experience less psychological strain in cases of
workplace conflict.
(Dijkstra, Beersma & Evers 2011, p. 167)

Culture and extroversion
Personality traits such as extroversion can help
or harm you depending on what country you
are negotiating in.
Negotiation December 2008 5-37
lg.jpg 21/6/11
Personality Types
Carl Jung 1920s
Swiss psychoanalyst

Thinking /Feeling

No one is a pure type but we
have dominant leanings
Judgers like information organised and
structured and seek closure
Perceivers prefer flexibility and new and
exciting ideas, tend to procrastinate
Thinkers prefer objectivity, logical arguments,
reasoning, detached
Feelers personalise things, subjective, values
Sensors are practical and prefer to be hands-on
Intuitors holistic, think about many things at
the same time
Budjac- Corvette 2007
For example, do you see the wood
or the trees?
Based on Carl Jungs work, Sensors see details,
intuitors prefer abstraction & generality and may
find details annoying (Budjac Corvette 2007, p. 75).

Accessed 17 December 2009
Why does this matter to negotiators?
Sensor negotiators are more likely to argue
over each issue one at a time and concede
less as if each issue is the most important.

Those who see the big picture will concede on
less important issues as long as key issues are

Budjac-Corvette 2007; Pruitt cited in
Henderson & Trope 2009, p. 402.
Are you an extrovert or introvert?

Verbalise what you say
and think?
Energised by people
and action?
Get tired when alone?
Rather talk than listen?
Prefer group work?
Like affirmation from
Like to talk until a
solution comes to them
Tend to keep opinions
to yourself?
Energised by thoughts
and ideas
Drained by prolonged
interaction with others
Prefer listening over
Think before talking
Rejuvenate when alone

Budjac-Corvette 2007, p. 21 5-42
Type A
Eat/walk quickly?
Aware of time
Find relaxation
Evaluate success in
terms of earnings
and possessions?
Do you try to do
more than one thing
at a time?
Type B
Relax without guilt?
Feel ample time to
accomplish goals?
Rarely discuss
Do you rarely think
in terms of time
Budjac-Corvette 2007 5-43
Right brain/left brain dominance
Right thinking
Big picture
Subjectivities &
emotions valued
Feeling and touching
Good sense of
spatial relationships
Left thinking
Value logical thinking
and objectivity
Good with numbers
Like to plan

Budjac-Corvette 2007, p. 27 5-44
Discuss the case study in terms of;
what the conflict is about
the stage of the conflict
strategies adopted
how individual differences might be influencing the

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