Chap 6

Intrapersonal Conflict
An individual is in an intrapersonal conflict if:
He or she has difficulty making a decision
because of uncertainty
The alternatives are both attractive or
There are three types of intrapersonal conflict.
Approach–Approach Conflict
Approach–Avoidance Conflict
Avoidance–Avoidance Conflict
This occurs when a person has to choose
between two attractive alternatives.
A manager is confronted with an approach–
approach conflict if he or she has to
recommend one of two subordinates for
promotion who are equally competent for the
This occurs when a person has to deal with a
situation that possesses both positive as well
as negative aspects.
A faculty member may be in this type of
conflict if he or she wants to join a top school
where the prospect of tenure is uncertain.
This conflict occurs when each of the
competing alternatives possesses negative
consequences, that is, they are equally
A manager will be in this type of conflict if he
or she has to decide between accepting a
salary cut or quitting his or her job.
Role represents behavior and attitudes
expected of the occupant of a given
position or status.
A situation in which an individual is
confronted by divergent role expectations.
This type of conflict occurs when an
individual is required to perform two or more
incompatible roles.
There are four types of role conflict.
Intrasender Conflict
Intersender Conflict
Interrole Conflict
Intrarole (Person-Role) Conflict
This type of conflict occurs when a role
sender requires a role receiver (i.e., the focal
person) to perform contradictory or
inconsistent roles.
For example, a role sender may request the
role receiver to do something that cannot be
done without violating a rule, yet the role
sender attempts to enforce the rule.
A role receiver experiences this type of conflict
if the role behavior demanded by one role
sender is incongruent with the role behavior
demanded by another role sender(s).
For example a foreman, who receives
instruction from a general foreman that may
be inconsistent with the needs and
expectations of the workers under the former.
This type of conflict occurs when an individual
occupies two or more roles whose expectations
are inconsistent.
A corporation president is expected, in that role,
to take part in social engagements to promote
the image of the corporation.
This may be in conflict with his or her role as a
parent, in which he or she is expected to spend
more time with his or her children to be an ideal
This type of role conflict occurs when the role
requirements are incongruent with the focal
person’s attitudes, values, and professional
For example, intrarole conflict occurs when
an organizational member is required to
enter into price-fixing conspiracies, which are
not congruent with his or her ethical
Role Overload:This occurs when an organizational member is
required to perform a number of appropriate roles
sent by different role senders, which, taken as a set,
are too much to be accomplished by him or her.
Role Underload:Individual has very few role demands or demands
are easily accomplished.
Role overload can be classified as quantitative and
Quantitative Overload:-Role occupants are required
to perform more work than they can within a
specific time period. A large number of managers deal
with this problem by working overtime.
Qualitative Overload:- Role occupants believe they
do not possess the skills or competence necessary
to perform an assignment.
Role overload can be classified as quantitative and
Quantitative Underload:- A situation where
employees do not have much work to do, and, as a
result, they spend part of their time doing very
little work.
Qualitative Underload:-Lack of mental stimulation
that accompanies many routine repetitive jobs.
A concept closely related to role conflict is role
ambiguity. It refers to the lack of clarity in
understanding what expectations or prescriptions
exist for a given role.
 An organizational member requires information
about the expectations from his or her role, the
means of achieving the role, and consequences of
performing the role.
 Role ambiguity occurs when the information either
does not exist or is not properly communicated if it
does exist.
Role Senders:- The role senders communicate
their expectations to the focal person to modify his
or her behavior.
Role Pressure:- Refers to the means by which
expectations are communicated.
Experience:- Refers to the perception of these
(Interpretation Process)
Response:- Role behavior/Feedback by the focal
The episode begins with a role sender’s
expectations, that is, the perceptions and
evaluations of the focal person’s role behavior.
 The sender then moves into the next phase
which takes the form of role pressure
communicated to the focal person.
 The focal person receives the sent role and begins
an interpretation process. Role conflict occurs at
this stage if the sent role is different from the role
expected by the focal person.
The next phase is the role behavior, that is, the
response by the focal person, which may take
the form of either compliance or noncompliance
with the sent role.
Organizational factors (A)
Personality factors (B)
Interpersonal relations (C)
Low Job Satisfaction
High degree of Job related tension
Low confidence in Organization
Misassignment and Goal Incongruence:- Qualitative
Role Overload.
Inappropriate Demand on Capacity:- Quantitative Role
Organization Structure:- Multiple lines of authority are
associated with role conflict and loss of organizational
Supervisory Style:- Supervisory support is (negatively)
associated with role conflict.
Position:- Role conflict is associated with positions that
carry greater supervisory responsibility.
Personality:- Internal and External Locus of Control.
The management of intrapersonal conflict
involves matching the individual goals and
role expectations with the needs of the task
and role demand to optimize the attainment
of individual and organizational goals.
The diagnosis of intrapersonal conflict can be
performed by self-report, observation, and
interview methods.
A comprehensive diagnosis of intrapersonal
conflict involves the measurement as follows:
1. The amount of intrapersonal conflict.
2. The sources of such conflict.
3. Learning and effectiveness of the individual
An analysis of the preceding diagnostic data
should be performed to derive the following:
1. The amount of intrapersonal conflict existing in
various organizational levels, units, departments,
or divisions and whether they deviated from the
national norms significantly.
2. Relationship between intrapersonal conflict and
its sources.
3. Relationships of intrapersonal conflict to learning
and effectiveness.
There are two types of intervention
available for the management of conflict.
Role Analysis:The technique of role analysis is a process
intervention for managing intrapersonal
Role analysis is an intervention designed to
improve overall organizational effectiveness
by intervening at individual, group, and
intergroup levels.
1)Purpose of Role:- How the role fits in with the goals of
the organization.
2)Role Perception:- The focal role occupant lists the
activities that he or she feels occupy the role.
3)Expectations of Role Occupant:- The focal role occupant
lists his or her expectations from the group members.
4)Expectations from Role Occupant:- Each participant
presents a list of expectations from the focal role.
5)Role Profile:- The focal role occupant is responsible for
writing down the main points of the discussion, called a
role profile.
Job Design:Job design is a structural intervention for
managing intrapersonal conflict.
This involves planning of the job, including its
contents, the methods of performing the job,
and how it relates to other jobs in the

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