Due Date: Feb 9, 2016

Marks: 10


A conflict was raised between two engineers over the functioning and handling of a new machine at the workplace. No one was ready to step back from his stance. Ultimately, both decided to go to their head to get information about it. The head listened to both of them and resolved conflict by informing them about the functions of machine. After reading above scenario, answer the following questions by using your knowledge of Conflict Management.

Q1. The manager possesses which type of power to resolve the conflict? Justify your answer.

5 Marks (Max. Word limit: 50 -75)

Q2. Does power influence the process of negotiation in positive, negative or in both ways? Justify your stance.

5 Marks ( Max. Word limit: 50 -75)


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Replies to This Discussion

Read lects 24 & 25 in handouts.

Kinds of power in the Relationship Domain
Many types of relationship power are available to disputants and their teams. An effective conflict
diagnostician must think “outside the box” when it comes to considering the impact of power in a conflict.
1. Coercive Power
2. Reward/Exchange Power
3. Referrent Power
4. Normative Power
5. Expert Power
6. Ecological Power
1. Coercive Power
Coercive power is the type of power we are all mostly familiar with: the power to impose negative, damaging, or unpleasant consequences on someone else. Coercive power includes the power to kill or injure someone, to damage someone’s property, to irritate someone, to create expensive outcomes, and so forth.
Coercive power often carries the greatest potential for immediate influence, particularly when the threat of harm is severe. However, coercive power also damages the ability of the disputant wielding the power to use other, more positive sources of influence later.
Hence, an over-reliance on coercive power actually disempowers the user, by denying him/her the ability to exercise any other types of power. Such a phenomenon has occurred in the Middle East. The process of engineering a lasting peace between the Israel and the Palestinian people has been seriously compromised by the use of coercive power by both sides, with the Israeli government relying on institutional military and
police power and selected Palestinian groups using terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians.
2. Reward / Exchange Power
Reward/exchange power is the flip side of coercive power. Reward/exchange power is the ability to influence people by offering them something they value. Thus, a father offering his daughter money or a special treat in exchange for a good grade is exercising reward/exchange power. So, disputant who offers to dismiss a law suit in exchange for a favorable settlement.
Coercive a reward/exchange power go hand in hand. Often, disputants in a conflict engineer situations that carry the threat of coercion, only to offer to withdraw the threat as a reward for a favorable outcome (as with the disputant who offers to dismiss his or her lawsuit).
When reward/exchange power is wielded as threat withdrawal, it often creates the same problems that
coercive power does. Offering a child a bribe for cleaning room, for example, tends to work a few times, but typically more and more money has to be offered to produce the same behavior.
Reward/exchange power is very effective when there is a rational basis for concluding that the amount and type of reward is a just and fair exchange for items given up by the person being rewarded.
3. Referent Power
Referent power is the power, held by attractive, charismatic people, to persuade and influence others. It is
the power that drives the giant industry of celebrity product endorsement. For example, the hundreds of millions of dollars paid to sports stars such as Tiger Woods, and rock stars such as Briteny spears to appear with products as diverse as soft drinks, mutual funds are a testament to the immense power of personal attraction.
Of course, not everyone possesses referent power, and, of those who do, their appeal is not to every audience. Thus, referent power must be used with some judiciousness. Also, referent power used in an illegitimate manner not only fails to persuade but also can undermine the power of the referent.
4. Normative Power
Normative power is the power of moral rectitude. Being on the “right” side of a moral issue gives the user the ability to convince others to serve the norm.
For example, if I am your supervisor and you come to me, arguing that an employee of the opposite gender, of equal qualification and performance, is getting paid more than you, my commitment to gender equity is likely to convince me to increase your salary.
Normatively powerful people tend to acquire a certain degree of referent power by virtue of their noble or heroic positions with individuals or communities.
There are two sources of normative power, individual and group norms. If you try to convince someone to comply with your wishes based on that person’s individual moral stance on an issue, you are using an individual-norm source of normative power.
But, to wield normative power it is not essential that the other disputant share the norm you are depending
on, only that a large and influential group of people do so.

5. Expert Power
Expert power is the power of knowledge. Expert power is effective when the wielder has considerable
knowledge and the person he or she is trying to influence comes to accept this degree of knowledge.
It is critical for legal professionals and other dispute resolvers to be familiar with the expert power, the power of knowledge.
Expert power, used honestly to persuade others, is considered the least likely form of power (1) to disempower the person exercising the power and (2) to result in conflict escalation.
Expert power can be used illegitimately, and this misuse can create a sense of alienation in the person
against whom it is used- for example, a daughter whose father requires her engage in some action “for her own good,” when in fact, it obviously serves the father’s interest, will cease to believe the father’s honest views of expert power. The illegitimate or dishonest use of expert power disempowers the wielder by creating the belief, on the part of other disputant, that the claimed superior knowledge is a lie.
Conflict Escalation.
The United States gained a lot of expert power throughout the twentieth century in such arenas as conflict resolution (as when it acted as a mediator in international conflicts), public health, and agricultural science and technology.
Expert power can be used illegitimately, and this misuse can create a sense of alienation in the person against whom it is used.
6. Ecological Power
Ecological power is the power to manipulate the environment. For Example, imagine a dispute between two neighbors.
Although some social scientists list ecological power as separate type of power in the relationship domain,
in fact, it functions in the environmental domain as a means of exercising various types of powers.
Ecological power tends to be harmful as the type of power it is used to impose.
Disputant often use ecological means to exercise coercive power. Ecological power used to coerce and
ecological power perceived as illegitimately used by other disputants tend to create conflict escalation and to
eliminate the wielding disputant’s ability to use broader power sources.

For Q 1 Expert Power is best suited.

In 2nd part m going with +ve aspects of power influence the process of negotiation.


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