Chapter 11 focuses on conflict which occurs in any type of sport organization. Conflict has many different definitions. The one that I think is the best definition that the book provides is that conflict is a "breakdown in the standard mechanisms of decision making so that an individual or group experiences difficulty in selecting an action alternative" (Slack and Parent, 217). One thing that is pertinent to an organization is that they realize when a conflict arises or exists. That is essential because, clearly, nothing can be resolved if no one recognizes that something needs to change. Another key element to a conflicting situation is that it must involve two or more parties that are in opposition to one another. One of the opposing parties must be involved in keeping the other parties from accomplishing their goals. This is what the book calls blocking behavior which then results in some sort of emotional response whether it be anger, frustration, etc. These are the components that must be in place for there to be a conflict within an organization.
The chapter highlights the importance of identifying which parts of the organization are involved in the conflict. In other words, if the conflict is between departments at the same level it is known as horizontal conflict. If it arises between departments of different hierarchal levels, it is known as vertical conflict. The reason that is important to identify where the conflict arises is because it helps to determine who has the authority to resolve the conflict at hand.
The conflict process is described in the book as Pondy's five-stage model. The first stage is the latent stage of conflict which is essentially when there is competition for resources, a drive for autonomy, or a divergence of goals within departments. The second stage of this model is perceived conflict which means that, at this stage, it has become known that a conflict exists within the organization. The third stage is called felt conflict which is when emotional responses occur, for example, anger and frustration. The fourth stage is manifest conflict which, as Slack and Parent puts it, "is when some sort of adversarial behavior is exhibited, ranging from apathy and rigid adherence to rules to violence and physical abuse, although thankfully the latter is rare in sport organizations" (Slack and Parent, 222). The last stage of Pondy's model is called conflict aftermath. In this stage, the conflict either has been resolved or not which affects the future of the organization and what lies ahead.