Pondy's Model of Organizational Conflict - Explained
What is Pondy's Model of Organizational Conflict?
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What is Organizational Conflict?
Organizational conflict is between the goals of two or more internal groups in an organization, such that the behaviors or actions of one group in furtherance of its goals obstructs and thwarts the goals of another.
According to the Pondy's model, it is not necessary for every conflict to pass through all the phases described, but the evolution of the conflict can be avoided through its stages by controlling it in advance.
What is Pondy's Model of Organizational Conflict?
Louis Pondy (1967) proposed a model of organizational conflict identify five basic stages of conflict development.
LATENT CONFLICT: At this stage, there is no direct conflict, but there is a possibility of conflict due to a set of latent factors, the most important of which are:
- Competition for scarce resources: Competition among participants within an organization over available resources is the basis for conflict when their demands exceed available resources.
- Independence: The desire for independence and autonomy form the basis of conflict between participants when one of them tries to control the others.
- Subunit objectives variation: When two or more parties within the organization must cooperate with each other, and they cannot achieve consensus among themselves, conflict arises as a result of the difference in set aspirations and goals, besides how to achieve them.
PERCEIVED CONFLICT: This stage includes a cognitive orientation in the context of the evolution of the conflict. Here, the participants realize the conflict situation itself. At this stage, the conflict is in one of two forms:
- The conflict exists without the conditions of the latent conflict: In this case, the conflict is a result of the parties' misunderstanding of each other's true position, which can be resolved through improving communication between them.
- The conflict is the result of an latent conflict: In this case, the parties are not aware of the conflict's existence, i.e. the latent conflict fails to reach their level of awareness. That poses a strong threat to the organization's activity, because it is linked to the central value of the participants' personality.A situation like this is managed by following the mechanism of suppression, or the mechanism of concentration of attention.
FELT CONFLICT: In this stage, the parties feel the conflict, which differs from the awareness of the conflict in the previous stage. Because this means that the conflict is influencing the emotion of the parties, which is reflected through the expression of anger and tension, and the conflict takes a personal character among the participants. As a result, cooperation among the participants decreases, and what began as a small problem escalates into a massive conflict.
MANIFEST CONFLICT: Here the conflict takes a form of a conflictual behavior. It materializes through physical and verbal violence, something that is strictly prohibited by the rules within the organization.Therefore, and in order for the participants to avoid the negative effects of such behavior on them personally, the features of the conflict appear at this stage through certain tactics such as indifference, strict adherence to the rules that govern the organization.And to be a conflictual behavior, one participant should be engaged knowingly to frustrate or block other's goals; and such behavior must be perceived by both disputants as conflicted.
CONFLICT AFTERMATH: This stage expresses the effects that result from the conflict. Each of the previous episodes constitutes one of the chain of conflict between the participants in the organization.If it is resolved early in a way that satisfies all parties, this will be a basis for cooperation relations between the participants in the future, and will allow the conflict in its latent stage to be discovered and dealt with before its development.But if the conflict is suppressed without resolving it, this will be the basis for conflicts exploding in a more dangerous way for the organization.This legacy from the conflict circle is called "conflict aftermath".