CONFLICT MANAGEMENT: CHALLENGE TO ACADEMIC LEADERS
A CASE STUDY
In Partial Fulfilment of the Subject Requirement in
HUMAN BEHAVIOR IN ORGANIZATION
Anabel S. Sollano
Master of Arts in Education
Major in Educational Management
Dr. Nenita B. Rutaquio
Northern Quezon College, Inc
Copyright 2013 Anabel S. Sollano
All Rights Reserved
I would like to thank my husband, Arvin, who always shared moments of deep reflection and analysis that on my own wouldn’t have been as meaningful or nearly as insightful. My wonderful and patient professor in the Graduate School of Northern Quezon College, Inc., Dr. Nenita B. Rutaquio, for her guidance and inspiration. For the only girl in my family who, without her, I would not be this happy, Vianna Ymaree. And finally, to my parents and brother who instilled in me a will to always persevere.
The demands upon the educational leadership of our times are quite different from and more exacting than those a century ago. The difference is the inevitable outcome of the ever-changing pattern of Philippine life of the society in this modern technology (Paloma, 2011). It is a maxim of modern educational theory that the day of arbitrary, dictator leadership is over, but to replace such leadership with an effective democratic kind is not an easy task. The quality which makes leadership democratic is elusive – hard to define and harder to attain. It lies not only in actions but in attitudes. It is reflected not only in the leader’s outward behavior with people and in the group processes which he employs or encourages others to employ, but in the values which he holds for himself in his philosophy of life. The democratic leader must be, first of all, a thoroughly democratic person, cognizant of democratic ideals and consciously or unconsciously striving to advance them in his living (Verceles, 2011). One of the challenges that most managers face today is the handling of conflict in his/her environment. In an educational institutions, conflict always arises between student to student, students to teacher, teacher to teacher, teacher to heads, heads to heads, and the like. Comer, Trombly and Villamil (2002) states that managing conflict is an arduous but necessary task. Conflict may be a prime mover for opportunity or it may precipitate anxiety, uncertainty, and stress. Resolution of conflict, as tempting as it may seem, should not necessarily be the goal. In most situations, this elusive solution should be replaced by the goal of managing, rather than resolving conflict. Managing conflict recognizes that some situations may result in progressive achievements, while others do not have an ideal win-win situation for all. The leadership challenge is to adapt to environmental shifts and capitalize on the constructive potential in conflict management, while reducing the destructive possibilities. To be an effective leader, one must recognize the sources of conflict, develop skills in managing conflict, and capitalize on the positive and negative potential of a given situation (Comer, et al., 2002). If conflict occurs in schools, it must be assessed for direction, clarity, and intensity, then effectively managed. Therefore, leaders need knowledge of the principles of organizational development. According to Ciancutti, Steding, and Hanson (in Pearson Education, Inc., 2010, para 4), if not managed effectively, over time, conflict will erode the creative professional environment of a school and the faculty will not be able to see opportunities and collaborate with one. Considering the effects of such an occurrence, the leader must be knowledgeable of strategies and skillful in processes that can be used in the effective management of conflict. Some identified approaches are avoidance, smoothing, bargaining, power struggle, and problem solving. The challenge for the...
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