Strategies for Resolving Team Conflict

Pages: 4 (955 words) Published: March 1, 2007

Strategies for Resolving Team Conflict

Strategies for Resolving Team Conflict

Dealing with conflict is always a challenging situation, which requires team members to be integrated into a single, organized unit (Bolger, 2003). Conflict among teams is bound to occur no matter how much one tries to avoid it. While resolving all conflicts is not possible, these conflicts can be dealt with using the correct methodology. To address team conflict there are five methods: Accommodate, Compromise, Enforce, Explore, and Postpone (Bolger, 2003).

Bases for using the accommodation strategy occurs when working together to accomplish goals are far more important than sorting out personal differences. This means that individuals or teams decide to go along with another's point of view or decision. This strategy can be chosen when there is a subject matter specialist present who has more expertise in a given discipline or when a team has greater ownership of the issue and the outcome or result is not as important (Sessa, 1996). The accommodation strategy reduces group disagreement and helps an individual appear reasonable by submitting to another person's point of view. In many, situations this approach provides good will for bargaining at a later date. However, caution should be exercised, because if this strategy is overutilized the team will assume that individual is weak. Conversely the team will consider that individual unreasonable if accommodation is overutilized.


Compromising occurs when individuals or teams agree to yield their positions on certain issues in order to meet each other half way; however, this means that no one individual will have his or her needs met. With this strategy, the team feels ownership towards achieving an agreement or positive outcome, and it builds commitment which diminishes adverse feelings. Some of the limitations of...

References: Barker, J., Tjosvold, D., & Andrews, I.R. (1988). Conflict approaches of effective and ineffective project managers: A field study in a matrix organization. Journal of Management Studies, 25 (2), pp. 167-177.
Bolger, C. (2003). Conflict Resolution Strategies. Retrieved Feb. 9, 2007 from
Fisher, R., Ury, W., & Patton, B. (1991). Getting to yes: Negotiating agreement without giving in. New York: Penguin Books.
Miles, S. J. & Mangold, G. (2002). "The impact of team leader performance on team member satisfaction: The subordinate 's perspective. Team Performance Management: An International Journal, 8, 5/6, pp. 113.
Sessa, V. I. (1996). Using perspective taking to manage conflict and affect in teams. Journal of Applied Psychology, 32(1), pp. 101-115.
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