Conflict Management

Topics: Management, Conflict resolution, Conflict Pages: 15 (4823 words) Published: January 10, 2013
Sources, Methodologies and Styles of Conflict Management
Mohammad Atashak Member of Young Researchers Club 09123123141 Parisa Mahzadeh Master degree in educational administration 09122397950

Conflict management is an ongoing procedure. It entails continual communication and supervision. In this article, has been reviewed the evolution of conflict management and have been studied sources of conflict, styles of conflict management, conflict management methodologies and major features of the conflict management module and in the end has been presented conflict reduction strategies.

Key worlds: conflict management, sources of conflict, styles of conflict management, conflict management methodologies

The term conflict refers to perceived incompatibilities resulting typically from some form of interference or opposition. Conflict management, then, is the employment of strategies to correct these perceived differences in a positive manner. For many decades, managers had been taught to view conflict as a negative force. However, conflict may actually be either functional or dysfunctional. Whereas dysfunctional conflict is destructive and leads to decreased productivity, functional conflict may actually encourage greater work effort and help task performance. Borisoff and Victor point out, "We have come to recognize and to acknowledge the benefits dealing with conflict affords. Because of our differences, we communicate, we are challenged, and we are driven to find creative solutions to problems [1]."

The Evolution of Conflict Management:
The early approach to conflict management was based on the assumption that all conflict was bad and would always be counterproductive to organizational goals. Conflict management, therefore, was synonymous with conflict avoidance. This left the people experiencing the conflict with essentially only one outcome: a win-lose scenario. In such cases, the loser would feel slighted and this, in turn, would lead to renewed belligerence. Therefore, most managers viewed conflict as something they must eliminate from their organization. This avoidance approach to conflict management was prevalent during the latter part of the nineteenth century and continued until the mid-1940s [1, 2]. Nevertheless, conflict avoidance is not a satisfactory strategy for dealing with most conflict. Conflict avoidance usually leaves those people who are being avoided feeling as if they are being neglected. Also, conflict avoidance usually fails to reconcile the perceived differences that originally caused the conflict. As a result, the original basis for the conflict continues unabated, held in check only temporarily until another confrontation arises to set the same unresolved tensions into motion again. Therefore, conflict avoidance strategies are not especially useful in the long run [2]. The human relations view of conflict management dominated from the late 1940s through the mid1970s. This viewpoint argued that conflict was a natural and inevitable occurrence in any organizational setting. Because conflict was considered unavoidable, the human relations approach recommended acceptance of conflict. In other words, conflict cannot be eliminated and may even benefit the organization. It was during this time period that the term "conflict management" was introduced, according to Nurmi and Darling [3]. Since the mid-1970s a new position on organizational conflict has emerged. This theoretical perspective is the interactions approach. This viewpoint espouses not only accepting conflict, but also encouraging it. Theorists are of the opinion that a conflict-free, harmonious, and cooperative organization tends to become stagnant and non-responsive to market change and advancement. Therefore, it is necessary for managers to interject a minimum level of conflict to maintain an optimal level of organizational performance. For example, Shelton and Darling...
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