Topics: Conflict, Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research, Conflict resolution Pages: 10 (1948 words) Published: May 6, 2015

Discuss strategies how to manage conflict within your own team



Stages of conflict3
Types of conflict4
Why manage conflict?5
Team member preparation5
Preventative strategies6
Reference List10


Conflict is inevitable in any work environment due to inherent differences in goals, needs, desires, responsibilities, perceptions, and ideas. According to Danna & Griffin (1999), persistent conflict at work is detrimental to the work climate and negatively affects individual’s physical and psychological well-being, resulting in increased turnover and absenteeism, reduced co-ordination and collaboration, and lower efficiency. However, the most common triggers of situations of conflict are: communication problems, organizational structure, role disputes, lack of resources, misunderstandings, and lack of professional commitment among others (Santiago et al. 2009).

Conflict is commonly perceived as being a negative issue. However, the experience of dealing with conflict can lead to positive outcomes for nurses, their colleagues and patients. Conflict that is managed effectively by nurses can lead to personal and organizational growth. Therefore, well-managed conflict resolution, which may include the use of strategies such as clinical supervision and individual reflection, can be used to stimulate creativity and innovation in the team, in the medium to long term, which can positively impact on patient care (Hocking, 2006). Team members who are able to learn to resolve their differences and turn conflict into such a learning experience are helping to build a learning culture in their workplace. Success, in turn, further strengthens relationships and individuality (Tjosvold, 1997).

Stages of conflict

Conflict occurs across a temporal sequence of stages or phases. Pondy (1967) described five stages of conflict which are: Latent conflict – where conditions for conflict are present, but not recognized; Perceived conflict – where people become aware of a conflict; Felt conflict – where conflict becomes personalized and the people may feel anxious or even hostile; tension built, but the conflict still not in the open; Manifest conflict – where the conflict is enacted through behaviours, the existence of the conflict becomes obvious to other people not involves; Conflict after-math – where conflict is stopped by some method and new methods are established.

Awareness leads to a variety of thoughts and emotions about the episode and the development of potential responses. These responses, which are related to trying to cope with the conflict situation, result in some type of observable behaviour. There is a reaction from the other person that results in an interaction that may be prolonged because each person’s behaviour stimulates the other’s responses. As the interaction progresses, thoughts and feelings about the conflict issue may change, which affects the behaviour accordingly. When the interaction stops, outcomes are produced. The outcomes have consequences for both people, such as mutual agreement, mutual avoidance, and control by one person or no resolution.

Types of conflict

There are several types of conflict. For instance, the concept of relationship, affective, and emotional conflict are difficult to distinguish, as are the concepts of task, debate, substantive, and cognitive conflict. Relationship conflict exists when there are interpersonal incompatibilities, including personality clashes, tension, animosity, and annoyance. This type of conflict is usually very counterproductive, taking the focus away from the issues that need to be resolved and replacing it with personal antagonism. Another type is Task conflict, where awareness of differences in viewpoints and opinions pertaining to a team task, includes ideas and differences of opinion about the chore. Task...
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