Conflict Management

1178 Words5 Pages
Conflict is a fact of life - for individuals, organizations, and societies. The costs of conflict are well-documented - high turnover, grievances and lawsuits, absenteeism, divorce, dysfunctional families, prejudice, fear. What many people don't realize is that well-managed conflict can actually be a force for positive change.
Conflict is “an expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce resources, and interference from others in achieving their goals” (Hocker, 1991). There are two basic types of conflicts: substantive and emotional. According to Schermerhorn, substantive conflict is a fundamental disagreement over ends or goals to be pursued and the means for their
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Each person has a characteristic personality. Such a style reflects our unique wants, needs, and values. In conflicts, there are specific global patterns that can be identified that are reflective of how individuals deal with such challenges. These global patterns consist of five approaches to conflict management: Competing, Collaborating, Compromising, Avoiding, and Accommodating.
Competition is when an individual “achieves a victory through force, superior skill, or domination”. This type of approach fails to address the root cause of the conflict and suppresses the desires of other conflicting individuals; therefore resulting in future conflicts over the same issues. Collaboration is when all conflicting parties recognize something is wrong and needs attention. This is an ideal approach. When collaborating, groups respect each others ideas, opinions, and suggestions, and understand each others point of view. This allows group members to eventually accept the logic of a different point of view and accept that logic; therefore resulting in a consensus. Compromise is when each group gives up something of value to the other group. This is an appropriate approach when: there is insufficient time, issue not worth time or energy, or there’s no realistic or easy agreement.
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