Conflict can be as small as a disagreement or as large as a war. It can originate from one person, between two or more people, or between two or more groups. Conflicts have considerable value when they are managed constructively. The issue is not whether conflicts occur, but rather how they are managed. Conflict is a natural and very typical phenomenon in every type of human relationship, and at every level: from intrapersonal (the realm of psychology) to global. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines it as the "competitive or opposing action of incompatibles: antagonistic state or action (as of divergent ideas, interests, or persons)." Conflict, thus, is one form of social interaction that involves at least two parties who disagree. The two parties argue with each other and dispute issues they both care about.
Conflicts occur between persons, organizations, communal groups, and states, reflecting relationship within a family, a community, and an international system. Conflict resolution aims to end conflicts before they start or lead to physical fighting. Conflict resolution usually involves two or more groups with opposing views regarding specific issues, and another group or individual who is considered to be neutral in their opinion on the subject. This last bit though is quite often not entirely demanded if the "outside" group is well respected by all opposing parties. Resolution methods can include conciliation, mediation, negotiation, arbitration or litigation. A resolution method which is direct between the parties with opposing views is negotiation. Negotiation can be the 'traditional' model of hard bargaining where the interests of a group far outweigh the working relationships concerned. The 'principled' negotiation model is where both the interests and the working relationships concerned are viewed as important. It may be possible to avoid conflict without actually resolving the underlying dispute, by getting the parties to recognize that they disagree but that no further action needs to be taken at that time. In a few cases, such as in a democracy, it may even be desirable that they disagree, thus exposing the issues to others who need to consider it for themselves: in this case the parties might agree or disagree. One of the most challenging and difficult aspects of organizational management is to get individuals and groups to understand and voluntarily pursue organizational objectives. The difficulty in achieving such objectives could result in conflict in the organizations. All of us have experienced conflict in some forms, yet we probably fail to recognize the varieties in organizations. Recently, conflict is seen as inevitable in organizations and oftentimes necessary to ensure high performance. The fact that conflict can be harmful in some instances is not denied but it is worthy to note that some forms of conflict can be useful in achieving desired goals. It is however important for managers to foster effective communications as it is a major cause of conflicts in organizations. This however means that the improvement of quality of working life for employees must be seriously considered in order to improve the cohesiveness in organizations. The quality of working life is determined by the degree to which the work environment provides opportunities for employees to satisfy higher level needs such as respect, attention, recognition, belongingness and achievement. When an employee does not feel that he is attaining any of the above, he may feel cheated on and this can result in conflict and eventually affect his level of contribution to productivity. Employees, customers and managers need to exchange information about goals, expectation, business relations within and outside the company to ensure satisfactory performance for efficient and effective running of the organization. Loss of customers, prestige and business to the tune of millions of cedis, in the...
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