Improving organizational effectiveness through conflict management under a total quality management (TQM) environment

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Improving organizational effectiveness through conflict management under a total quality management (TQM) environment

 

Author: Chow, Lap-man
Title: Improving organizational effectiveness through conflict management under a total quality management (TQM) environment
Degree: M.B.A.
Year: 1994
Subject: China Light & Power Co., Ltd
Conflict management -- Case studies
Total quality management
Hong Kong Polytechnic -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Management
Pages: 1 v. (various pagings) : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1152541
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/3457
Abstract: China Light & Power Co. , Ltd. (CLP) is implementing a TQM programme. However, it is uncertain about the effect of conflicts on productivity and TQM programme. Using the largest department as a case study, this research is to analyse the current conflicts and identify the impact of these conflicts on TQM and organizational effectiveness. In addition, the conflict problems and improvements to enhance organizational effectiveness are identified. The research was conducted by following Rahim's (1986) model for managing organizational conflict. Firstly, a preliminary survey was carried out with several senior staff to identify the perceived problems. Subsequently, a formal survey using questionnaires are adopted to obtain opinions from over 200 staff so as to clarify the perceived problems. The results of the analysis shows that the typical conflict handling styles of the staff are actually shaped by the Chinese culture, Western management styles and training adopted by CLP, non competitive enviornment faced by the staff and technology-oriented nature of CLP. Further analysis shows that the staff's dominant preference for 'Integrating' conflict handling style actually assist TQM programme. Their high preference for 'Gompromizing' & 'Obliging' styles can assist or hinder TQM depending on the situations. The more use of 'Avoiding' & 'Dominating' sytles by Second/Third Engineers hinder TQM. To improve organizational effectivensss, the staff should be trained to use various conflict handling styles contingently to suit the situations. Under a TQM enivronment, the current conflict level in the department need to be reduced in order to improve organizational effectiveness. This is due to the fact that harmonization is necessary for TQM. Also, the current conflicts adversely affect organizational performance and create high stress on the staff. The three high conflict level areas in the department are the inter-group conflicts between DO & WPP sub-sections, Districts & RP sections and RP&ES sections, which should be reduced at top priority. The common causes of these inter-group conflicts are job interdependence between the groups, staff perception to look after their group interest, competing attitude of a group leader toward the other groups and inadequate communication. To improve organizational effectiveness, it is recommended training the staff to use various conflicting handling styles contingently and conduct Total Stress Management in the department. Also, TQM improvement teams should be used to resolve conflicts between groups. Moreover, both structural and behavioural techniques should be adopted to intervent the above high conflict level, areas. The behavioural interventions include adoptation of a problem solving approach to re-classify the interface tasks, inter-group problem solving technique and TQM training. The structural interventions include formation of a 'Resources Committee', clarification of job responsibilities and joint decision between the interacting groups. Finally, similar research should be conducted for other departments in the Company.

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