Conflict Identification and Resolution
Following the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines Ieashia S. Burr
This paper will explore team building and conflict resolution that are presented in organizational atmospheres and approaches on how to mitigate it. Conflict is often unavoidable in team settings. Individuals are composed of various beliefs, ideas and values which can conflict with a project, a decision or goal. In order to strengthen productivity and team cohesion, you must identify the issue and then apply the appropriate steps of the conflict resolution process to work towards resolving it.
According to Baack (2012), Conflict may be defined as a “circumstance in which one party negatively affects or seeks to negatively affect another party.”(The Nature of Conflict, Para. 2) We live in a very complex, and culturally diverse society. When we bring individuals together from diverse backgrounds in a work environment conflict can arise when expectations are not realized or met. Rather than hoping conflict will go away, this paper will explore and identify the reasons for conflict and how to successfully address them in a team environment. When working in a team environment, workers must develop and implement strategies and resolutions for issues that may arise. Conflicts among individuals are inexorable. It is seemingly hard to go through life without encountering some form of struggle. Conflict plays a major role in team oriented environments and can have a desired or undesired outcome. A team is considered “a small group of people with complementary skills that are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.” (Kinicki, Kreitner, 2001. Pg.261) Due to intertwining individuals from different backgrounds that exhibit different views, values and concepts, conflict is certain to transpire.
Conflict has been theorized as taking two forms distinguished into four levels. (Baack, 2012) The two categorizations are reflected through functional and dysfunctional conflict. Functional conflict aims to enhance organizational performance and dysfunctional conflict on the other hand, deters activities that advance performance. The levels of conflict involve interpersonal, intrapersonal, intragroup and intergroup all of which need to be identified in efforts to resolving the encounter. (Rackham, 1976) Each of these levels of conflict requires mediation and should be assessed accordingly in efforts to identify and resolve the current issue to alleviate the reoccurrence of the matter. A few years ago I worked in a customer service oriented organization and the unit was tasked with revamping the office to better suit the needs of customers. The personnel tossed around different ideas that they felt would be beneficial to the establishment as a whole to include customers and employees. Leadership was solely focused on the customers and decided to implement the construction strategy according to how they perceived and deemed it necessary for customers only. In the process of this, conflict arose because the personnel felt they were not being considered. Leadership was unable to compromise and it resulted in poor decision making and unsuccessful operative team development. The renovation of the office served the customers immensely but the military personnel had to work twice as hard to suit the new arrangements. The local Japanese workers were pulled off of the counters and the military became the liaison between all customers and the local nationals whereas they once were able to go straight to the source for the desired help. This implementation strained the service members and it became an inconvenience as they went into overload trying to upkeep the daily routines with managing to go back and forth between the customers and the travel agents. Every customer had to speak...
References: Baack, D. (2012) Organizational Behavior. San Diego, CA Bridgepoint Education Inc.
Bazerman, M. H., & Neale, M. A. (1992). Negotiating rationally. New York: Free Press.
Kreitner, R., & Kinicki, A.(2001). Organizational behaviour (5th ed.). Boston: Irwin
Lewicki, R. J., Barry, B., & Saunders, D. M. (2010). Negotiation (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Rackham, N. (1976). The behavior of successful negotiators. Reston, VA: Huthwaite Research Group.
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