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Conflict Management


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Types of Conflict
Stages of Conflict
Resolving Conflicts

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Conflict Management

  1. 1. Richi Simon Conflict Management
  2. 2. Conflict Management Richi Simon 2 Introduction “Conflict is an expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scare resources, and interference from others in achieving their goals.” According to David L. Austin, a conflict is “a disagreement between two or more individuals or groups with each individual or group trying to gain acceptance of its views or objectives over others.”  Burton says that conflict stems from unsatisfied human needs. In conflict, people represent their interests, but not their underlying needs; however, they will use power and coercion to meet those needs  According to Galtung, Inequalities embedded in the social structure lead to violence and conflict. Unless those underlying inequalities are solved, then violence will continue  According to Coser, Conflict is not always dysfunctional for the relationship within which it occurs; often, conflict is necessary to maintain such a relationship. Conflict not only generates new norms, new institutions…it may be said to be stimulating directly in the economic and technological realm. Why Conflict?  Competition for limited resources  Personality clashes  Aggression  Culturally diverse teams  Work-family conflict  Micro inequalities  Feeling of injustice  Differences in individual and organizational goals. Features of Conflict  Inability to choose from the available alternatives.  Implies conflicting perceptions, values and goals between two individuals/groups.  It is a dynamic process with interlocking conflict episodes.  Optimal level of conflict and stress are necessary for progress.
  3. 3. Conflict Management Richi Simon 3  Conflict must be perceived by the parties to it. Types of Conflict Conflict is classified into the following types:  Functional conflict refers to the one that support the goals and improve its performance. It releases tension, promotes analytical thinking, makes group more cohesive and competitive. It fosters dynamism and creativity in search for alternatives to the existing problems which leads to organizational change and development. It leads to change in attitudes of people and prepare them to meet contingencies. Functional conflicts lead to high quality decision and may even add to the fun of members who do not take it seriously.  Dysfunctional conflict refers to the conflict that adversely affects individuals and the Organization as a whole. Conflicts leading to misunderstandings, stress, tension, job dissatisfaction, lessened motivation and morale, less productivity are dysfunctional in nature. These conflicts results in wastage of time, builds a climate of distrust and may even hike up rates of absenteeism and labour turnover. Usually in such conflicts personal victory gains utmost importance.  Intrapersonal conflict occurs within an individual. The experience takes place in the person’s mind. Hence, it is a type of conflict that is psychological involving the individual’s thoughts, values, principles and emotions. It leads to restlessness and uneasiness, or can even cause depression.  Interpersonal conflict refers to a conflict between two individuals. This occurs typically due to how people are different from one another.  Intragroup conflict is a type of conflict that happens among individuals within a group/team.  Inter group conflict takes place when a misunderstanding arises among different groups/teams within an Organization.  Intra sectional conflict occurs because of contrasting interests of people belonging to the same Section of the Department.  Inter sectional conflict takes place because of differences among people belonging to different Sections of the same Department.  Intra departmental conflict occurs because of contrasting interests of people belonging to the same Department of the Organization.  Inter departmental conflict refers to the one that takes place between different Departments of the same Organization.
  4. 4. Conflict Management Richi Simon 4  Intra organizational conflict happens when people within the same Organization are hold and express differences.  Inter organizational conflict takes place when two or more Organizations are in conflict. Conflict may seem to be a problem to some, but this isn’t how conflict should be perceived. On the other hand, it is an opportunity for growth and can be an effective means of opening up among groups or individuals. However, when conflict begins to draws back productivity and gives way to more conflicts, then conflict management would be needed to come up with a resolution. Stages of Conflict Pondy’s Model of Organizational Conflict Resolving Conflicts Conflict management process entails adoption of various measures including establishment of communication links and personal interactions between the
  5. 5. Conflict Management Richi Simon 5 adversaries, setting up of mechanisms to end or minimise violence, and seeking commitment of the parties to a political solution to their problem. There are two elementary principles of conflict resolution: the parties should be satisfied with the outcome which meets their felt needs and interests, and there should not be use of any coercion to achieve such an outcome. Conflict resolution can be best understood using Thomas-Kilmann model. Thomas-Kilmann Conflict mode instrument These two basic dimensions of behavior define five different modes for responding to conflict situations: 1. Competing is assertive and uncooperative—an individual pursues his own concerns at the other person's expense. This is a power-oriented mode in which one uses whatever power seems appropriate to win position—ability to argue, rank, or economic sanctions. Competing means "standing up for your own rights," defending something you believe is correct, or simply trying to win. Therefore, it is a win-lose mode. 2. Accommodating is unassertive and cooperative—the complete opposite of competing. When accommodating, the individual neglects his own concerns to satisfy the concerns of the other person; there is an element of self-sacrifice in
  6. 6. Conflict Management Richi Simon 6 this mode. Accommodating might take the form of selfless generosity or charity, obeying another person's order when you would prefer not to, or abiding to another's point of view. This is a lose-win mode. 3. Avoiding is unassertive and uncooperative—the person neither pursues his own concerns nor those of the other individual. Avoiding might take the form of diplomatically sidestepping an issue, postponing an issue, or simply withdrawing from a threatening situation. This is a lose-lose style 4. Collaborating is both assertive and cooperative—the complete opposite of avoiding. Collaborating involves an attempt to work with others to find some solution that fully satisfies their concerns. It means digging into an issue to pinpoint the underlying needs and wants of the two individuals. This style proves, two heads are better than one. In this style no party loses, hence it is a win-win style. 5. Compromising is moderate in both assertiveness and cooperativeness. The objective is to find some expedient, mutually acceptable solution that partially satisfies both parties. It falls intermediate between competing and accommodating. Compromising gives up more than competing but less than accommodating. Likewise, it addresses an issue more directly than avoiding, but does not explore it in as much depth as collaborating. Compromise is to seek a quick middle-ground solution. This is a partially win-partially-lose style.