Conflict Resolution Theories and Strategies

5145 words (21 pages) Essay in Management

05/06/17 Management Reference this

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Conflict Resolution

Conflict

According to oxford dictionary the word conflict is defined as

1 A serious disagreement or argument.

2 A prolonged armed struggle.

3 An incompatibility between opinions, principles, etc

conflict can be described as a disagreement between the parties, it arises due to lack of consensus between the parties. Conflict can arise due to various facts which can hinder the development in any sort of activity, generally it is caused due to:

* Rigidity of rules and regulations

* Inflexibility of the parties

* Lack of cooperation and understanding between the conflicting parties

* Due to the varied behaviour

A conflict is a normal situation to happen as it is the human nature which is so varied and dynamic that persons with same perception about one thing may end up in a conflict over the other and Participants in conflicts tend to respond on the basis of their perceptions of the situation. People generally base their perceptions over their values, culture, beliefs, information, experience, gender, and other variables. Conflict responses are both filled with ideas and feelings that can be very strong and powerful guides to our sense of possible solutions. Conflicts, to a large extent, are predictable and expectable situations that naturally arise as we go on managing the complex projects in which we have significantly invested. As such, if we are able to develop procedures for identifying conflicts which are likely to arise, as well as systems through which we can constructively manage those conflicts, we may be able to find out new opportunities that can transform our conflict into a productive result.

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Stephens P Robbins in his book Organizational Behaviour defines conflict as “Conflict is a process in which an effort is purposefully made by one person or unit to block another that results in frustrating the attainment of others goals or the furthering of his or her interests”

Industrial conflict

Industrial conflict refers to all the expressions of dissatisfaction which arise in an employment. There are many different kinds of industrial conflict, which can be divided into two broad classes

1 Formal.

2 Informal

Formal industrial conflict is an organized way of conflict through a Trade union. It is characterised by organized strikes, which is referred to withdrawal of labour so as to constitute a temporary breach of contract, using the collective strength of the workforce to avoid sanctions and achieve personal objective of increase in pay or improved working conditions. Strikes may be reinforced by other types of formal tactics such as go-slow tactics and work to rule.

Informal industrial conflict is not systematic or organized, it results directly from grievances, which arise at various situations. An informal industrial conflict includes protesting through absenteeism, frequent job-changing, negligence, and even accidents at work. An informal industrial conflict has rather more severe effects on the organization than a formal industrial conflict Industrial sociologists have also regarded spontaneous walk-outs and strikes as examples of informal industrial conflict. The idea of informal industrial conflict thus draws attention to the roots of behaviour which may appear strange from the point of view of management.

A conflict can arise in a company as humans of varied perception are working under a single group, but a manager should be able to anticipate conflicts as he is given a responsibility to handle the conflict, thus it is the duty of managers not only to provide solutions to industrial problems but also to predict the future conflicts by anticipating them in advance and coming up with a solution well in time so that the productivity of the firm is not affected due to the conflict

Functional and dysfunctional aspects of conflicts

Most experts today view conflicts as a useful aspect of an organization. It is claimed that the conflict helps in preventing the stagnation and provide new ideas and solutions to various issues, it also stimulates interest and curiosity. But a conflict is helpful to a level where it is minimum and can be resolved easily, therefore it is necessary to keep a proper control of conflict by keeping it at a minimum level, as it helps an organization in the following ways:

1 It acts as a stimulant for change in the systems which are not conductive to the organization. The existence of conflict means that there is some thing wrong with the systems, therefore it helps us in improving the systems well before in time as it can lead the organization to losses.

2 Conflict sometimes may lead to innovation and creativity as in a conflicting environment people tend to put forward imaginative suggessions to solve the problems. In such a challenging situation people usually think before they put forward their ideas to resolve issues.

3 Conflict can be used as a source of reducing the tension and frustration as people express their frustrations by means of conflict. It helps people to bring them back to their normal situation which can be beneficial for the firm.

While the positives of a conflict are few and limited, its negatives are abundant and may be severe for an organization. Conflict to an extent of healthy competition may be beneficial but when it exceeds that level it becomes destructive. Organizational conflicts have led to the closure of many organizations or has turned their profits into losses. Conflict may cause disequilibrium in an organization, it may lead to diversion of resources from constructive to the destructive activities also it is one of the major cause of stress and tension in an organization which leads to the decrease of overall productivity. These destructive causes by conflict are also known as dysfunctional aspects of conflict. But it is believed by certain scholars that Conflict itself does not create a problem, although it is the mismanagement of a conflict that can lead to a problem.

Thus the negatives of conflict overweigh its positives and an organization should try to remove the conflict from its very basic roots so as to sustain in the long run therefore the companies adopt various methods to resolve conflicts, but as a manager you should always give priority to that method which assures that the same conflict is not going to arise in the organisation. The process of removing organizational conflict is known as conflict resolution.

Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is the process of reaching an agreement between the parties which are having a conflict or it is a process of reaching a consensus and improve the cooperation between the conflicting parties, conflict resolution is a way to overcome the problems of conflict. Conflict resolution includes strategies that help in handling the disputes between the conflicting parties. A given conflict should be viewed from the point of view of the issues that had led to its creation in order to resolve it and ensure that the conflict does not arise on the same grounds again. Thus “conflict resolution” refers to strategies of disposing off or settling disputes which may otherwise lead to violence or damage the relationship between various people, so it is always better to diffuse and resolve conflict before it damages the relations.

Negotiation as a Method of conflict resolution.

Methods of conflict resolution were originally developed for purposes of business management gradually these were used in the fields of international relations, legal settings etc. According to the principles of conflict resolution, the only true solution to a conflict is one that attempts to satisfy the inherent needs of all the parties involved. Thus an organisation should adopt such a method for conflict resolution that comes up with a solution for all the parties, it should come up with a resolution that satisfies the needs of all of them, because only those methods of resolving conflicts irradiates it and leaves less scope for the rise of conflict on the same issue.

Thus to resolve organizational conflicts negotiation is the best way in which it can be resolved, as it is through negotiations that the objective of both the parties are considered and a point of consensus is reached through mutual negotiation by the parties.

Negotiation

Negotiation is one of the most useful approach used to make decisions to resolve organizational disputes. Negotiation is the most diverse approach to conflict resolution. Most conflict resolution programs employ some form of negotiation as the primary method of communication between parties. Hence it is also the major building block for many other alternative conflict resolution procedures, as it guides the organization to resolve disputes in one way or the other. Negotiation in an organization occurs between, managers and staff, employers and employees, professionals and clients, within and between organizations and between agencies and the public. Negotiation is a problem-solving technique in which two or more people who are in conflict with each other discuss their differences and issues so as to reach a joint decision on their common concerns. Negotiation requires participants to identify issues about which they differ, educate each other about their needs and interests, generate possible settlement options and bargain over the terms of the final agreement. In today’s competitive environment negotiation is such a common problem-solving procedure that it is in everyone’s interest to be familiar with negotiating skills.

Conflict resolution through negotiation is that it helps in

* Reduction of the obstacles to communication

* Maximized exploration of the alternatives to resolving the conflict

* Satisfaction of everyone’s needs

* Developing negotiating channel to stop future conflicts

* Establishment of a model for future conflict resolution

Review of literature

Abstract 1 Conflict Resolution:

The author of this article has elaborated that there are certain persons who hate conflicts based on their personality, the author believes that for everything there is a right time or in other words, timing is critical, in today’s competitive world you should not just do the right thing but do the same at the right time. Before getting into conflict you should be able to answer three basic questions. Is the other party doing something that is getting in the way of your happiness or success, is the issue of such importance that the conflict should be raised, is the conflict with that person going to resolve the issue.. when all of the above queries give a positive answer you should then decide to go for action but it is advisable to first analyse the whole situation and then make a decision

Abstract 2 Workplace conflict resolution

This article provides that the prime cause of the work place conflict is due to the organization leaders who are responsible for creating an environment of disagreements and differences of opinion. In order to prevent the organisation from loss the managers should try to resolve through their intervention. This articles provides us with do’s and don’ts in Conflict Resolution which can help in resolving a conflict in a better way.

Resolving a conflict is challenging, however as a manager or supervisor, the role of mediator comes with your job. Your willingness to appropriately intervene sets the stage for resolution of conflict. And you should always remember to resolve the conflict in a manner that it is fully resolved.

Abstract 3 Creating a Respectful Workplace: Workplace Conflict Resolution Strategies

This article provides that people should feel good at the place where they go to work everyday, and different opinions regarding work may arise which may lead to conflict, and a respectable work place emphasise on implementation of workplace conflict resolution strategies . companies establish policies with an intention of preventing workplace conflict but it’s not a complete solution for the prevention of conflicts. However it is through continues interaction between people working in the organization with managers which can create a good work environment with an emphasis on the organisational culture. By developing such a healthy work environment you may be able to know the situation well in advance and devise strategies to prevent the conflict with a proactive approach.

Abstract 4 Organizational Conflict – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

An organization in general does not consider a conflict as a way of getting the information from subordinates so that they may take corrective action before the worst. Organizations consider conflicts as unpleasant and time-consuming. Though organizational conflicts need not be destructive provided conflict is properly managed and directed towards resolving the issue. However the management of conflict requires that the persons in conflict are able to understand the purpose and root cause of conflict. A conflict can be constructive if it is properly managed, it can lead towards the organizational and individual growth. But when there is a mismanagement of a conflict it becomes destructive for the firm as well as its employees, usually the mismanagement of conflict arises when a conflict is avoided.

Abstract 5 Is Conflict Prevention the Same As Conflict Avoidance

A conflict can be resolved through logical approach or the emotional approach . the basic difference between avoiding and preventing the conflict is that preventing refers to use of precautions in order to keep a person away from conflict whereas avoidance means not to take care of the consequences and letting the conflict to grow rather than acting in the manner to prevent the conflict. A conflict can be destructive or constructive in its nature, a conflict is made destructive by not properly addressing the problems associated with it or by avoiding the conflict, however if it is managed properly or duly taken care of or prevented at the right time, it can prove to be constructive for an organization. Conflict prevention is not however binding a person to listen to the other party even if we disagree, a person should rather clarify almost every issue in which there is a disagreement which otherwise may act as a base of some other conflict. we should always approach the conflict with a positive approach, that a conflict has come into existence due to its importance and try to prevent the conflict in the future a conflict should not be however avoided so as to bring out positive results.

Abstract 6 Resolving conflict rationally and effectively

Effective conflict resolution skills of a manager can make the difference between its outcomes which may be positive or negative, on the other hand, if conflict is not handled efficiently, the results can be destructive. Thus a conflict should be resolved rationally and effectively as when a conflict gets mismanaged its effect is devastating for the firm on the whole.

Thomas and Kilmann provided us with five styles of dealing with conflict which are. The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict styles (TKI) help us to identify, various style towards which people tend to move as the conflict arises:

* Competitive style is used for the situation to prevent the exploitation by the other party

* Collaborative style is used when the people cooperate effectively to satisfy almost all people involved

* Compromising style where a solution that will at least partially satisfy everyone

* Accommodating style where one party sacrifice to meet the needs of others.

* Avoiding the conflict

These styles may be used in resolving the conflicts, conflict management styles tend to come out with a solution to various conflicts, however different styles are different in their approach of resolving conflicts and may suit different situations.

Abstract 7 Type related conflicts

Conflict at work occurs due to a number of reasons, this article has explained the type of conflicts, through describing conflicts between Extraversion-Introversion, and Sensing-Intuition. People who prefer Extraversion work at a rapid pace. They develop their ideas by talking to individuals, resulting in frequent changes of direction during the course of a discussion. People who prefer Introversion want to process internally and do not share with others the course of action planned by them informally hence they rely on their own judgement only. This results in Extraverts seeing Introverts as people who are not interested in work, while Introverts see Extraverts as the people who lose out all the secrets of an organization. this may lead to the conflicts between Extraverts and Introverts

Similarly people consider Sensing and Intuition to base their decisions, people who prefer Sensing comes with a solution whose implementation may not be accepted by the person who bases their decisions on Intuition. Thus this may be the base for the conflict between the parties.

Abstract 8 How to Resolve Conflict

Conflict at work occurs due to a number of reasons, this article has explained the type of conflicts, through describing conflicts which arise at the workplace due to the varying behaviour and varying solution to problems based on their Thinking-Feeling and Judging-Perceiving the decisions of the people who work in the organization may vary due to their varied decisions to the problems based on their Thinking-Feeling and Judging-Perceiving which creates conflicting situations between the parties as People who prefer thinking may not accept the solutions to the problem which is based on thinking and people who base their decisions on judging may not accept perceived solutions which may lead to conflict at the workplace

Abstract 9 Ethical Conflict Resolution / Anger Management Tips

This article is based on the management of anger while resolving conflicts. The author bases conflict is natural according to the varied human behaviour but we can resolve the same by knowing about human nature, and if we consider the human nature there may be the better the outcome for parties in conflict. The author has given tips to resolve conflicts which include:

Be proactive instead of being reactive to the situation.

Control your anger

Do not tell people directly that they are wrong

Look for mutual solution

Admit that if there were any wrong decions made by your side

Before telling people they are wrong admit your mistakes on the same

Abstract 10 Basic Negotiating Tips

This article provides us with some basic negotiation principles, skills, hints and tips in order to have a negotiation between conflicting parties. Negotiation should be a two way process, it should not come up with the benifet of one party at the cost of the other. Through negotiation we should be able to understand the needs of the other party. When we talk about negotiation we should never blame the other person for the cause of conflict rather we should be able to come up with a solution by mutual cooperation. If the negotiating parties blame each other in negotiating, they can create the worst situation. The author has also provided with some negotiation tips which may be helpful to negotiate the conflict.

* Respect the Perspective of the other party.

* Determine your Needs clearly without creating confusion.

* Come up with Options Beforehand in order to resolve conflict.

* Don’t Argue with the other party

* Consider Timing of negotiation as regarding the situation of the conflict

Abstract 11 Understanding and Managing Conflict

It has been said that the Chinese symbol for conflict is a combination of the symbols for “opportunity” and “danger.” This suggests that, at least in the Chinese culture, conflict includes the opportunity for resolution, and carries significant consequences if it is not resolved. Conflict generally falls into one of three levels.

Level 1. Can’t We Just Get Along

Level 2: I Intend to Win.

Level 3: I Will Make You Hurt.

Identifying the right third-party intervener, whether an attorney, a mediator or an arbitrator, is the most critical part in predicting the success of a conflict resolution process. understanding the basics of conflict resolution, and by implementing the strategies appropriate to the situation, a person in conflict can find ways to successfully resolve the conflict and take the “danger” out of the Chinese character, leaving an “opportunity” for growth and learning.

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Abstract 12 Conflict Resolution

Conflict can be viewed as a difference in perspectives: what you see, think, feel, and believe may be different from what I see, think, feel, and believe. While conflict can be a positive influence, it is not necessarily something that people want to face every day. As the saying goes, too much of a good thing is ? well, too much!. Conflict should therefore be resolved keeping in view “win-win” strategy which involves collaboration and negotiation. It is based on interests rather than positions One way that people grow is through overcoming challenges and developing good problem-solving skills. And if work environments support new ideas and encourage constructive criticism in an open, blame-free setting, problem-solving skills are encouraged and nurtured. As leaders and professionals, we can facilitate and support a “win-win” problem-solving workplace

Abstract 13 Conflict resolution

“Conflict” from the Latin root “to strike together” can be defined as any situation where incompatible activities, feelings, or intentions occur together. Conflict may take place within one person, between two or more people who know each other, or between large groups of people who do not know each other. the conflict may remain unexpressed, as in avoidance and denial A given conflict may be defined in terms of the issues that caused it, the strategies used to address it, or the outcomes or consequences that follow from it. conflict resolution refers specifically to strategies of diffusion developed during the second half of the twentieth century as alternatives to traditional litigation models of settling disputes. Based on the idea that it is better to expose and resolve conflict before it damages people’s relationships or escalates into violence, methods of conflict resolution were developed in business management and gradually adopted in the fields of international relations, legal settings, and, during the 1980s, educational settings.

Abstract 14 Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is an umbrella terms that covers may different methods that can be used to resolve the conflict. While everything a person does toward ending the conflict, no matter how unfortunate, is technically a form of conflict resolution, conflict resolution is also commonly called ADR which stands for Alternative Dispute Resolution. Common Types of Conflict Resolution are:

Negotiation

Mediation

Arbitration

Abstract 15 Conflict Negotiation Strategies

Negotiations are the key to reaching agreement in a conflict situation. Without the proper training, it can be very difficult to reach a satisfactory agreement with your counterpart in a tense negotiation setting. Conflict arises because you and the other party in a business deal have differing opinions about what solution is the best outcome for a particular situation. It might be the wording of a contract, or the terms of a sale.

One of the most important skills a negotiator will learn in training is formulating a clear objective of what to expect from the process of negotiating. You can also achieve a successful conflict negotiation by first beginning to reach an agreement on some small issues. Once you have some agreement, begin to build on this. By doing so, it may help you to achieve the ultimate resolution that you desire.

Abstract 16 Two Common Mistakes in Negotiation

Many people make two mistakes regarding their thinking about negotiation. One is the belief that negotiation is a formal event, such as a meeting at a conference table. This blinds them to the fact that they are negotiating all the time. Another is that they associate negotiations with money.

The truth is, most negotiations don’t concern money. Negotiations are about relationships & decisions. At a personal level, at work, or between countries, specifics may vary, but negotiation is about improving the quality of life. Negotiations may be connected with a person:

Personally

Professionally

For the Company

Globally – within & between countries – most actions are the result of negotiations, & the negotiations of our leaders determine the world our children & grandchildren will inherit.

Abstract 17 Conflict and Negotiation

The gradual shift over the last years form a focus on resolution to a focus on settlement has had an important implication for the conflict field. It has increased the importance of understanding negotiation. One of the ways for effective conflict settlement is “enlightened self interest” (Robin J.Z. 1989) which is a behaviour that allows moving towards your objectives in negotiation, and at the same time make it possible for other party to approach his/her goal. It is tempting for parties to a conflict to begin by experimenting with a set of adversarial, confrontational in the hope that these will work. People usually make a mistake by thinking why not give hard bargaining a try a first

Negotiation is one of the tools that help settling a conflict; I would even say that also one with the most creative opportunities. Negotiators have well-recognized interests in the outcome, either in getting a settlement It is always better to try negotiating the conflict first than give it away and let an arbitrator decide about a solution.

Abstract 18 Negotiation Conflict Styles

“Conflict situations” occur when the needs of two or more negotiators appear to be incompatible or opposite. There are five models of resolving conflicts, All five profiles of dealing with conflict are useful in different situations. Although we’re capable of using all five, most of us tend to have one or two preferred negotiation conflict styles that we use unconsciously in most conflict situations.

Compete (I win – You lose)

Accommodate (I Lose – You Win)

Avoid (I Lose – You Lose)

Compromise (I Lose / Win Some – You Lose / Win Some)

Collaborate (I Win – You Win)

Abstract 19 Summary Conflict Negotiation: Psychological Dynamics

Conflict in negotiation may have a psychological basis that doesn’t fully show itself at the negotiation table. There are many reasons why people respond defensively, or with some measure of hostility. We have to engage in communication to better understand the underlying reason behind this behaviour. A cooperative atmosphere can only be engendered when both parties think cooperatively, and believe that the other party will abide by any agreement they reach. It always takes one party to act first by being collaborative. Negotiators must always strive to fully understand the real interests that lay behind the position.

Abstract 20 What Is Win-Win Negotiation?

We need to appreciate that not just any agreement leads to a win-win scenario or outcome in our negotiations. In reality, very few negotiations reach this inspirational and theoretical ideal. Time constraints all too often straight-jacket how long and far we can explore. Attitudes, positions and skills set invisible boundaries that constrain what we see as possible. Win-win deals are more likely when set up correctly through effective use of framing, research and building relationships at the right levels. If a win-win approach is appropriate, it’s essential that we remember to pursue a win-win agreement for both parties.

Abstract 21 Conflict & Cooperation In The Workplace – Is Conflict Bad?

Many of us think that conflict is always bad. That’s not true. There are actually two kinds of conflict that occur, and learning which is which will help you handle each type better. how it works, how to avoid it, and how to deal with it when it occurs. It is indeed the rare organization that doesn’t have to face the issue of conflict,

In the workplace (and almost any setting), you are likely to find two forms of conflict. The first is conflict about decisions, ideas, directions and actions. We will call this “substantive conflict” since it deals with disagreements about the substance of issues. The second form, “personalized conflict” is often called a personality conflict. In this form, the two parties simply “don’t like each other much”.

Solution Strategies

Identification

Move To Substantive Issues

Work To Prevent Personalization

Abstract 22 How to Negotiate a Win-Win Conflict Resolution

Once co workers get stuck in the points of disagreement, progress is stalled, and the team suffers. In these situations, teams need a step-by-step framework for conflict resolution, to move them from breakdown to breakthrough, these steps include :Determine the real problem, Identify goals, Generate other options, Examine the options and select one, Implementation and Set a review date.

Abstract 23 Resolving Conflict in Work Teams

As organizations continue to restructure work teams, the need for training in conflict resolution will grow. Conflict arises from differences, and when individuals come together in teams, their differences in terms of power, values, and attitudes contribute to the creation of conflict. To avoid the negative consequences that can result from disagreements, most methods of resolving conflict stress the importance of dealing with disputes quickly and openly. Conflict is not necessarily destructive, however. When managed properly, conflict can result in benefits for a team. Conflict in work teams is not necessarily destructive, however. Conflict can lead to new ideas and approaches to organizational processes, and increased interest in dealing with problems.

Abstract 24 Methods of Conflict Resolution

There are a number of different conflict resolution methods and tools that are available for people who are dealing with conflict. Conflict resolution methods usually involve talking the problem through and making sacrifices and compromises rather than inciting violence and fighting over the problem. Conflict Resolution Methods and Principles

Think Before You React

Actively Listen

Promise a Fair Process

Strive to Attack the Problem

Take Responsibility

Communicate Directly

Find True Interests

Be Future-Focused

Explore Options for Mutual Advancement

Abstract 25 Conflict Resolution Tips

Although conflict is something that is unavoidable in our lives, conflict is quite full of opportunities. Still, conflict resolution is stressful and often frustrating without the right conflict resolution tips. If you want to commit yourself to conflict resolution, consider the conflict resolution tips

Be Respectful

Control your Emotions

Use a Structured Process for Hot Topic Interactions

Understand Willingly

Communicate Openly and Hon

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