Handling Conflicts

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Conflict Handling Styles

Josephus J. Ellie (2012)

Generally speaking, conflicts are relevant to any human existence. What is worthy of note is how these conflicts, when they occur, are managed or handled, because they would mean so much for the success or failure of the organization. For example, if an organization is to achieve its objective, it must be willing and able to handle conflicts in a functional manner. Organizational conflicts are the discords that arise when the goals, interest or values of different individuals or groups are incompatible and those individuals or groups block or thwart one another’s attempts to achieve their objectives. Conflict is an inevitable part of an organizational life because of different stakeholders such as managers and workers are often incompatible. Organizational conflict also can exist between departments and divisions that compete for resources or even between managers who may be competing for promotion to the next level in the organizational hierarchy. Thus it is very important for managers to have necessary skills in managing conflicts effectively. The conflict handling styles suggested by several scholars are: compromise, collaboration, accommodation, competition and avoidance. Before giving my opinion on the best option(s) for handling conflicts, let me briefly discuss the different conflict handling styles. Compromise is possible when each party is concerned about not only its own goal accomplishment but also the goal accomplishment of the other party and is willing to engage in a give-and-take exchange and make concessions until a reasonable resolution of the conflict is reached. Collaboration is a way of handling conflict in which the parties to a conflict try to satisfy their goals or interest without making any concessions and, instead, come up with a way to resolve their differences that leave them both better off. Accommodation takes place when one party to the conflict simply gives in to the demand...
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