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Management Models for Resolving Conflict in the Workplace

By Melissa McDowell, Kim Coleman, Amy Raines, Wayne Seay, and Steve Sullivan

(TNU 2007)

I. Introduction

II. Causes of Conflict in the Workplace

a. Different Work Methods

b. Different Goals

c. Personalities

d. Stress

e. Different Viewpoints or Perspectives

III. Effects of Conflict in the Workplace

IV. Theories on Conflict Management

a. The Circle of Conflict

b. Conflict Resolution Model

V. Why Conflict Management is Important

VI. How Big Corporations Deal with Conflict

a. Identify the Problem

b. Propose Several Possible Solutions

c. Evaluate Each Alternative

d. Determine the Best Solution

e. Implement the Alternative

f. Continually Evaluate the Solution

VII. Strategies for Minimizing Conflict

a. Respect Others

b. Communicate Expectations

c. Encourage Teamwork

d. Empower People

VIII. Conclusion


Conflict, when properly managed, is a positive source of competitiveness and collaboration in a workplace. On the other hand, when unmanaged, conflict can create division, low morale, and chaos in the same environment. Executives and managers must learn to identify constructive conflict and manage it effectively. Conversely, leadership must identify negative conflict and deal with it decisively and completely.

For leaders to manage conflict effectively, they must understand all aspects of it. Identifying the causes and exploring the effects of conflict is critical. Fortunately, managers can adopt strategies for minimizing conflict and learn useful ways to arrive at solutions by observing conflict management practices in successful corporations. Understanding and identifying the sources of conflict as well as positive and negative aspects of conflict is the first step to good...
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