HRM624 Conflict Management Assignment 2 Solution Fall 2012

A multinational company is manufacturing soda ash in a remote area of Pakistan. The company is based in England and has wide-spread of operations worldwide. The company has also initiated societal marketing activity via its soda ash plant in Pakistan as it has been earning good revenue. Different social welfare activities of the company include establishment of drinking water filtration plants in the surrounding areas, a school and a free hospital for the community. The company is also ISO 14000 certified which is an environmental safety standard for the manufacturing organizations.
Even though, with all the societal marketing efforts by the company, local population, living around that industrial unit, is highly dissatisfied with the company’s methods of disposing waste water and chemicals. The company has some big pools of waste chemicals situated outside the industrial unit which are adjacent to the agricultural land of village. Pools are designed in a way that they have massive depth and designed for absorbing those chemicals. The elders of the surrounding local population are of the view that these pools of waste water chemical along with factory’s smoke is polluting their environment, drinking water and agricultural land; and their food and vegetables are impure now. The village elders have complained the organization’s management and discussed the matter with them in detail. But industrial unit has no other option than disposing its waste chemicals in the same way.

Even after frequent meetings of direct negotiation with the village representatives, the management has been unable to convince them. The villagers are still not satisfied and a negative buzz is spreading in the local community about the industrial unit. Top managers of the industrial concern are worried with this new dilemma because this dissatisfaction and negative buzz can damage the repute and business activity in future.
Now the chances of litigation are there from the villagers either at collective or at individual level; but there is also a realization for the joint resolution of the matter at both ends that they can find some peaceful settlement for a lasting relationship.

Answer following questions considering the above mentioned scenario.
1. How is it possible to avoid Autistic Hostility after the failure of initial negotiation attempts?
(7.5 Marks)


autistic hostility. You think you’ve been hurt by the other, you’re angry, you break off communication with the other, you don’t talk about it with the other, you ignore the other

for example

I have autistic hostility towards coffee. I don’t know why, but as long as I can remember I have had an aversive reaction to thinking about it. I, as a result, never drink coffee. I avoid any taste of coffee, like coffee ice cream. I may be mistaken about coffee. Maybe I would like it. Maybe if I experienced it, if I had contact with coffee. If I had communicated, so to speak. If I allowed to coffee to communicate with me, it would change my attitude. That’s one thing that happens sometimes in conflict. You maintain your hostility autistically, within yourself, without any necessary reactor.

Negative attitudes toward the other party tend to be perpetuated by three psychological mechanisms: selective perception, self-fulfilling prophecy, and autistic hostility. First, people tend to select those perceptions that tend to confirm their existing attitudes, and ignore or discount information that would disconfirm their existing attitudes. People also tend to see negative behavior as stemming from an adversary’s basic character. Self-fulfilling prophecies arise when a party’s expectations about their adversary cause them to act in ways that actually provoke the adversary’s “expected” response. The adversaries (provoked) response is then taken as confirmation of the party’s original expectation, and a vicious cycle ensues. Vicious cycles can also occur when the other party, who is unaware of our expectations, does nothing to disconfirm them, and so implicitly confirms our worst expectations. People tend to break off interaction and communication with those they dislike. When this happens people become stuck in autistic hostility, that is, their hostility is perpetuated by their refusal to communicate.

Structural changes in groups are perpetuated by group dynamics. Norms are self-perpetuating by their nature. Members rely on their groups for status and a sense of meaning. Struggle groups exist for the sake of pursuing a conflict. Members and leaders of struggle groups may then have a vested interest in continuing a conflict, in order to maintain their own positions.

Extreme Negotiations 

 knows how to use the bullet point take aways from Extreme Negotiations below.  it’s not enough to read about these techniques ~ you must practice practice practice practice.

Get the Big Picture

avoid assuming you have all the facts
avoid assuming the other side is biased but you’re not
avoid assuming the other side’s motivations and intentions are obvious and nefarious
instead, be curious (“help me understand”); humble (“what do I do wrong?”) and open-minded (“is there another way to explain this?”)
Uncover and Collaborate

avoid making open-ended offers (“what do you want”)
avoid making unilateral offers (“I’d be willing to . . . ”
avoid simply agreeing to or refusing the other side’s demands
instead ask “why is that important to you?”
proposed solutions for critique (“here’s a possibility – what might be wrong with it?”)
Elicit Genuine Buy-in

avoid threats (“you’d better agree, or else . . . ”
avoid arbitrariness (“I want it because I want it.”
avoid close-mindedness (“under no circumstances will I agree to – or even consider – that proposal”
instead appeal to fairness (“what should we do?”)
appeal to logic and legitimacy (“I think this makes sense because . . . “)
consider constituent perspectives (“how can each of us explain this agreement to colleagues?”
Build Trust

avoid trying to “buy” a good relationship
avoid offering concessions to repair actual or perceived breaches of trust
instead explore how a breakdown in trust may have occurred and how to remedy it
make concessions only if they are a legitimate way to compensate for losses owing to your nonperformance or broken commitments
treat counterparts with respect, and act in ways that will command theirs.
Focus on process

avoid acting without gauging how your actions will be perceived and what the response will be
ignoring the consequences of a given action for future as well as current negotiations
instead talk about the process (“we seem to be at an impasse; perhaps we should send some more time exploring our respective objectives and constraints.”_
slow down the pace: (“I’m not ready to agree, but I’d prefer not to walk away either. I think this warrants further exploration.”)
issue warnings without making threats: (“unless you’re willing to work with me toward a mutually acceptable outcome, I can’t afford to spend more time negotiating”)

2. What may be the logical reason of reactive devaluation in this situation? (7.5 marks)

Reactive devaluation is a cognitive bias that occurs when a proposal is devalued if it appears to originate from an antagonist Reactive devaluation happens when people try to create a mutually beneficial deal but find reasons to devalue the other party’s offer once the negotiation begins. The devaluation of seemingly reasonable offers creates a barrier to further negotiation and settlement. Reactive devaluation theory helps explain why once parties are in a negotiation or conflict offers are devalued. Research shows that offers from the opposing party are perceived differently because the offer is made in a negotiation rather than a neutral setting. In a negotiation, parties become suspicious – they look for the “catch,” assuming the offer does not match the value of the concession sought. Parties see each other as adversaries. They imagine that the other person is trying to “get something from me” or that there must be “something wrong” with the offer if the other party is willing to make it. Offers from the opposing party are often valued less than the same offer made by a neutral third party . Finally, as an offer moves from the hypothetical “would you accept” to the proposal “I’m offering” stage, the value of the offer decreases. People tend to place less value on what seems to be easy to obtain and more value on what they do not have or cannot get.

3. What may be the useful trust building measures from organization’s view for eliminating mistrust in this situation which would further create the possibility of ADR? (10 marks)