Conflict Management

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This paper is based round a series of journal entries, which explores interpersonal skills. From reflecting back on my journal entries I have chosen to explore conflict management. This discussion came about due to the fact that I always seem to encounter conflict during task conflict.

We are all genetically different and thus have different morals and outlooks on life. By putting individuals in a group who are all culturally different, come from different age groups and vary in gender there is likely to be some form of conflict that will arise. This conflict may occur consciously or unconsciously Shih.H and Susanto. E (2010). Dowd. K.O, De Janasz. S.C and Schneider. B.Z (2009) describe conflict as a form of interaction among parties who differ in interest, perception or people. Conflict is an issue that has been around for decades and will continue to exist Atteya. N.M (2012). Depending on the individuals involved in the conflict it can be beneficial to them or have negative effects. Conflict arises in two forms, task conflict and relationship conflict. Task conflict is a disagreement in how the task is being worked on or how the group work should be completed, while relationship conflict (also known as emotional conflict) is due to a mutual or individual dislike for a particular person Atteya. N.M (2012).

Conflict can be beneficial at times but most of the time it can lead to a disrupted workplace and a decrease in employee’s being satisfied therefore a decrease in employee productivity may occur Shih. H and Susanto. E (2010). Research from Francisco J. Medina, Lourdes Munduate, Miguel A. Dorado, Inés Martínez, José M. Guerra, (2005) shows that although individuals associate conflict as being negative when it is actually beneficial to organizations as is has been shown to improve team performance. By avoiding conflict it can limit the groups level of creativity as well as their level of performance. Although relationship conflict has more of a negative impact than task conflict. Relationship conflict is due to employee satisfaction, lack of satisfaction therefore leads to a decrease in the effectiveness of the task at hand. While task conflict is known to increase the level of ideas and decrease the occurrence of groupthink Francisco J. Medina, Lourdes Munduate, Miguel A. Dorado, Inés Martínez, José M. Guerra, (2005).

Conflict occurs more regularly due to in increase in team-based organizations. When conflict occurs the best way is not to avoid conflict but to learn the appropriate way to manage conflict. Teams usually encounter some sort of free loaded and groupthink, which can lead to conflict. This where conflict management comes into good use, by using a conflict management strategy that is appropriate to the group and is going to facilitate the best possible outcome for the individuals and organization Michael A. Esquivel, Brian H. Kleiner, (1996). Conflict management strategies are known to be ‘specific behavioural patterns that individuals prefer to employ when dealing with conflict’ Attenya N.M (2012). There are five major conflict management strategies; they are competition, accommodation, compromise, avoidance and collaboration.

Avoidance is known to be when an individual purposely not dealing with the situation. By doing this individual is hoping that the situation will be forgotten about, the limitation to not dealing with the situation while it is still fresh is that the situation may resurface again. The strengths to using the strategy is that no energy or time was lost due to conflict, but the limitation is that the needs of the individuals where not understood. Accommodation is meant to help resolve the conflict while still maintaining the relationships involved, as a resolution is more important then winning. While is uses little energy which leaves time for more important things it can make individuals feel a loss of power. Comprising is when both parties attempt to resolve conflict with a...
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