ASSIGNMENT COVER SHEET
Conflict Resolution and Mediation
Assignment # Eight: Culminating Research Paper and Revising Personal Definition of Conflict
Faculty Use Only
Research Paper and Personal Definition of Conflict
Table of Contents
Five Types of Conflict
Intrapersonal versus Intrapersonal Conflict
Forgiveness and Reconciliation
Mediation and Organizational Conflict Resolution
Conflict is a fact of life. Whenever there is human interaction, there will be differences in opinions which inevitably lead to disagreements. Conflict exists in families, in the workplace, in churches and schools, in sports, between neighbors and between countries. Conflict is defined as “an expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce resources, and interference from others in achieving their goals”. (Wilmot and Hocker, 2001, p. 11). When there are differences in individual values, motivations, ideas and perceptions, conflicts arise. How individuals deal with conflict depends on personal history, family background and other influences over one’s lifetime. Gender as well as culture influence behavior and perceptions and play an important role in conflict resolution. Traditionally, conflict has been viewed as a destructive force which was best handled by avoiding, ignoring, or silencing it. There is a growing body of literature on the benefits of effective conflict management. Healthy conflict is now viewed as a necessary ingredient in organizational success. The ability to deal effectively with conflict is critical to creating productive relationships. Although most people continue to view conflict negatively, it is a necessary ingredient to creativity and results in healthier relationships. There are two kinds of conflict, constructive and destructive. Constructive conflict should be encouraged because it leads to creative thinking and growth. It results in high performing organizations and to enhanced relationships. Destructive conflict should be eliminated or dealt with immediately. It is costly and does not promote positive personal or organizational development. Communication is a key ingredient in conflict resolution. There are various tools available to resolve conflict. They include legal remedies, arbitration as well as mediation. Conflict resolution skills are learned and when applied, result in improved relationships. Defining Conflict
There is an element of conflict in almost all relationships. Conflict has also been defined as “a social problem in which two or more persons, families, parties, communities, or districts are in disagreement with each other” ( Dzurgba, 2006). It occurs on an intrapersonal as well as an interpersonal level. If left unmanaged, conflict can lead to hostility, anger, alienation, war, inefficiency, expensive mistakes, legal battles as well as physical violence. There are five main conflict resolution styles that individuals use depending on the situation. They are:
Avoiding the Conflict – By avoiding the conflict, one or more parties pretend there is no problem. Some examples of avoiding include pretending nothing is wrong, shutting down or stonewalling. Accommodating – One party agrees to accommodate the other’s request usually for the sake of keeping the peace. This can lead to resentment. Competitive – One party stands his/her ground and competes to secure a win. In the short run, one party wins, but can lead to serious issues long term. Compromising – Both parties willingly enter into a negotiation where each gets...
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