Conflict Resolution Styles in Organizational Behaviour

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Introduction

Conflict is a process that every one of us has experienced throughout our lifes. There are various definitions of conflicts as described by different authors but generally, conflict is a process whereby one individual’s interests is opposed or negatively affected by the other party (McShane et al. 2010). Workplace and organisational conflicts are usually more complex. Isenhart and Spangle (2000) points out that at the beginning the conflict may start because of improper placement of workers and their responsibilities in a workplace, but it may get worse if they faces unfair rules, ineffective management, unclear responsibilities or too much work assigned. Organisational conflicts can result in many possible outcomes, the negatives ones such as damaged employee relations, violence, increased tension between bosses and employees but it can have positive outcomes too such as increased employee-cohesiveness and increased motivation. How it will be achieved will be discussed through the elements of conflict and will be listed in greater details.

Ways in which people approach conflict
Avoiding
Avoiding is probably the fastest way of resolving a conflict but at the same time it is not the best way because most of the time the avoider will remain unhappy even after the conflict. It does not permanently resolve the conflict (McShane et al. 2010) and in my opinion it is just ‘postponing’ the problem to have it solved at a later date. McCollum et al. (2009) states that the person who is avoiding thinks that confronting the conflict will bring more trouble than it is worth. The avoider also decides to not deal with the conflict because he or she might not have the confidence to do so. This seems like the more popular choice amongst the five ways in which people approach conflict based on my experiences because people simply do not want unnecessary trouble or aggravate the problem, especially if it is a minor issue. Avoiding pays no attention in concerns of either self or others (Kotthoff & Spencer-Oatey 2008). This is the least-sought option amongst the five approaches but however, McCollum et al. (2009) suggests that avoiding can be a tactical approach when the other party has more strength and authority over you; and/or the avoiding the conflict will bring little or no devastating consequences. Problem-Solving

I deemed this to be the most effective way in resolving organisational conflicts because both parties will benefit if they manage to find a double-win solution to the problem. This is considered to be the most desirable approach to conflict as there are no negative impacts at all. Only positive results will surface. Runde & Flanagan (2009) suggests that there might be a link between avoiding and problem-solving. Because many people tend towards avoidance, they often rush through problem solving and immediately use the first solution that they can think of so as to quickly get over the conflict, without any beneficial solutions. The key in using problem-solving as an approach to resolve conflicts lies in having patience to create multiple potential solutions. Careful reflection and consideration will progress into agreements that are both satisfying and successful (Runde & Flanagan 2009). Therefore when undergoing problem-solving, both parties must not rush to a solution immediately or else the solution may backfire or do not satisfy both parties’ needs.

Three strategies that help people manage conflict
Before discussing about the three different strategies that help people to manage conflict, the strategies used are basically divided into three categories and they are interest-based, rights-based and power-based (Jameson 2001). Three different strategies from the three categories will be discussed respectively. Jameson (2001) advises that all resolutions of disputes and conflicts should start with a interest-based strategy, and if it does not resolves the conflict, it is followed by a...
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