conflict management

Topics: Conflict, Conflict management, Negotiation Pages: 5 (1411 words) Published: September 21, 2013

Executive Summary

Conflicts are inescapable in an organization. However, conflicts can be used as motivators for healthy change. In today's environment, several factors create competition; they may be differing departmental objectives, individual objectives, and competition for use of resources or differing viewpoints. These have to be integrated and exploited efficiently to achieve organizational objectives. A manager should be able to see emerging conflicts and take appropriate pre-emptive action. The manager should understand the causes creating conflict, the outcome of conflict, and various methods by which conflict can be managed in the organization. With this understanding, the manager should evolve an approach for resolving conflicts before their disruptive repercussions have an impact on productivity and creativity. Therefore, a manager should possess special skills to react to conflict situations, and should create an open climate for communication between conflicting parties.


Conflict is a 'clash of interests, values, actions, views or directions.’ People disagree because they see things differently, want different things, have thinking styles which encourage them to disagree, or are predisposed to disagree. Some definition of Conflict are given below 1. A state of open often prolonged fighting; a battle or war. 2. A state of disharmony between incompatible or antithetical persons, ideas, or interests; a clash. 3. Psychology, A psychic struggle, often unconscious, resulting from the opposition or simultaneous functioning of mutually exclusive impulses, desires, or tendencies. 4. Opposition between characters or forces in a work of drama or fiction, especially opposition that motivates or shapes the action of the plot, within the organization.

Conflict situations should be either resolved or used beneficially. Conflicts can have positive or negative effects for the organization, depending upon the environment created by the manager as she or he manages and regulates the conflict situation Some Quotations on conflict

“Every conflict we face in life is rich with positive and negative potential. It can be a source of inspiration, enlightenment, learning, transformation, and growth–or rage, fear, shame, entrapment, and resistance. The choice is not up to our opponents, but to us, and our willingness to face and work through them” – Kenneth Cloke and Joan Goldsmith “A good manager doesn’t try to eliminate conflict; he tries to keep it from wasting the energies of his people. If you’re the boss and your people fight you openly when they think that you are wrong – that’s healthy”. – Robert Townsend

Views on conflict: There are three general schools of thought relating to conflict: the traditional view, the human relations view, and the interactionist view. The traditional (and the oldest view) view of conflict assumes that all disagreement is harmful and should be avoided. The human relations view argues that conflict is a natural occurrence in all groups and, as such, it should be managed and not eliminated. The interactionist view proposes that conflict can be a positive force in a group and explicitly argues that some conflict is necessary for a group to perform effectively. According to the interactionist view, conflict can be functional or dysfunctional. Functional conflict supports the goals of the group and improves it performance while dysfunctional conflict hinders group performance. Types of Conflict

1. Task: Conflicts over content and goals of the work.
2. Relationship: Conflict based on interpersonal relationships. 3. Process :Productive (Functional).Dysfunctional when role clarity is low, strict deadlines, etc Conflict over how work gets done Why conflicts arise

In most organizations, conflicts increase as employees assert their demands for an increased share in organizational rewards, such as position, acknowledgment, appreciation, monetary...
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