Group Dynamics and Conflict Resolution in Teams

Factors That Influence Group Dynamics: Theory Description

Addressing the individual needs of staff members is critical, yet an HR manager also has to develop the framework that allows sustaining relationships in a team. Since the notion of the group dynamic is quite fluid in a diverse organizational environment, one will need to apply a specific framework for dissecting the subject matter and singling out the constituents of the team functioning process. For this purpose, one will need to take Tuckman’s theory of group dynamics as the foundation for the overview since the proposed theoretical framework allows grouping the essential elements compactly and describing the key processes succinctly (Kiweewa, Gilbride, Luke, & Clingerman, 2018). According to Tuckman, five essential items comprise group dynamics, which are forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning (Kiweewa et al., 2018). In the case under analysis, the presence of forming, storming, and performing was particularly prominent since the participants focus on addressing an issue directly and start searching for the available options for resolving it immediately. However, the lack of form, which manifests itself in the gaps in their understanding of the principal goals of the team and the values based on which the interdisciplinary dialogue takes place, gives reasons for concern. Similarly, team members need to introduce better cohesion into the storming process, which means that the conflicts caused by challenging the accepted perceptions of organizational and cultural norms have to be managed effectively.

Team Development: Theory Application

Applying Tuckman’s theory of group dynamics to the case under consideration, one will have to introduce balance into the process of decision-making by fostering homogenous values in participants as the platform for decision-making. The identified process can be seen as the forming stage, whereas the promotion of initiative in staff members through a reward system will enhance the storming process. In turn, the norming stage will require a cross-cultural dialogue, in the course of which the participants identify differences in their visions and seek the available compromises. Finally, performing and adjourning will involve implementing the selected decision and controlling the outcomes to infer critical information for further decision-making.

Conflict Resolution Methods/Models: Description and Application

Example 1. The introduction of cross-disciplinary techniques along with the focus on negotiation and compromise as the methods of communication are the pillars for building effective team dynamics. The TKI conflict resolution model will guarantee the effective management of a confrontation in the workplace in the selected setting. The accessibility of the model, which suggests that the participants do not have to possess any prior knowledge about it to implement it, makes the TKI framework especially helpful in the target environment due to the time pressure and the connectivity between organizational and production-related processes. Thus, by utilizing the TKI approach, the team will not slow down the supply chain management process and at the same time gain insight into their workplace relationships.

The rationale for choosing the model is rooted in the corporate philosophy geared toward peaceful conflict management and objective resolution of workplace issues. Allowing the participants to select between their preferred conflict management styles, the model also encourages to prioritize the use of the techniques based on compromise and collaboration (Shen & Benson, 2016).

Example 2. In addition to the model suggested above, one will need the support of a framework that will encourage cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary collaboration. Specifically, team members have to learn to approach the ideas that challenge their idea of the acceptable should be expanded. The described outcome can be attained by using Hofstede’s Theory of Cultural Dimensions (Beugelsdijk, Kostova, & Roth, 2017). Implying that one or more domains of cultural development are attacked during an inter[personal conflict, the theoretical framework in question helps to build a conflict management approach based on the analysis of the issues associated with age, gender, and other characteristics of the participants. Consequently, the needs and values of the target demographic can be identified more accurately, which leads to the selection of the optimum strategy for addressing the conflict.

In the case under analysis, acknowledging the participants’ emotions and encouraging them to use objectivity to approach a complex issue will help to imbue the process of conflict management with corporate philosophy and values. Thus, the outcomes of the conflict management process will lead to staff members focusing on resolving a work-related task rather than on engaging in interpersonal confrontations.

References

Beugelsdijk, S., Kostova, T., & Roth, K. (2017). An overview of Hofstede-inspired country-level culture research in international business since 2006. Journal of International Business Studies, 48(1), 30-47. doi:10.1057/s41267-016-0038-8

Kiweewa, J. M., Gilbride, D., Luke, M., & Clingerman, T. (2018). Tracking growth factors in experiential training groups through Tuckman’s conceptual model. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 43(3), 274-296. doi:10.1080/01933922.2018.1484539

Shen, J., & Benson, J. (2016). When CSR is a social norm: How socially responsible human resource management affects employee work behavior. Journal of Management, 42(6), 1723-1746. doi:10.1177/0149206314522300