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A review of conflict in groups and proper handling of conflict

  1. Designing is not confined to what is already there, but attempts to reach what might be created given a proper understanding of the views and situations of the conflicting parties. Conflicts arise when two groups or individuals interacting in the same situation see the situation differently because of different sets of settings, information pertaining to the universe, awareness, background, disposition, reason or outlook.
  2. Renner recounted several episodes where managers from developed countries moved to less developed countries to resolve conflicts within the company and met with little success due to their failure to adapt to the conflict management styles of the local culture.
  3. Conflicts emanate from more than one source, and so their true origin may be hard to identify.
  4. When managed properly, conflict can result in benefits for a team.
  5. The lose-lose orientation is a type of conflict that tends to end negatively for all parties involved.

References Conflict is a clash of interests, values, actions, views or directions De Bono, Conflict refers to the existence of that clash. Conflict is initiated the instant clash occurs. Generally, there are diverse interests and contrary views behind a conflict, which are revealed when people look at a problem from their viewpoint alone. Conflict is an outcome of organizational intricacies, interactions and disagreements. It can be settled by identifying and neutralizing the etiological factors.

Once conflict is concluded it can provoke a positive change in the organization. When we recognize the potential for conflict, we implicitly indicate that there is already a conflict of direction, even though it may not have yet manifested itself as a clash.

Confliction is the process of setting up, promoting, encouraging or designing conflict. It is a wilful process and refers to the real effort put into generating and instituting conflict. Deconfliction is the annihilation of conflict. It does not refer to negotiation or bargaining, or even to resolution of conflict: 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 benefits and independence.

Even management faces conflicts with many forces from outside the organization, such as government, unions and other coercive groups which may impose restrictions on managerial activities. Conflicts emanate from more than one source, and so their true origin may be hard to identify.

Important initiators of conflict situations include: People disagree for a number of reasons De Bono, Most of these differences are usually not important. Personality differences or clashes in emotional needs may cause conflicts. Conflicts arise when two groups or individuals interacting in the same situation see the situation differently because of different sets of settings, information pertaining to the universe, awareness, background, disposition, reason or outlook. In a particular mood, individuals think and perceive in a certain manner.

For example, the half-full glass of one individual can be half-empty to another. Obviously both individuals convey the same thing, but they do so differently owing to contrasting perceptions and dispositions. When choices contradict, people want different things and that can create conflict situations.

For example, a risk-taking manager would be in conflict with a risk-minimizing supervisor who believes in firm control and a well-kept routine. Their concepts, objectives and ways of reacting to various situations are different. This often creates conflicts among them. When people at higher levels in the organization feel indignant about suggestions for change put forward from their subordinates or associates, it provokes conflict.

By tolerating and allowing such suggestions, potential conflict can be prevented. Certain thinking styles may be useful for certain purposes, but ineffectual or even perilous in other situations De Bono, Here conflict is necessary, and even pleasurable.

  • This approach engages in a cooperative approach rather than a competitive one;
  • These forces are instrumental in generating, strengthening and terminating conflicts;
  • If a party operating from a harmony model comes in conflict with a party using a more confrontational model, misunderstandings above and beyond those generated by the conflict itself will arise;
  • It can aid in developing individuals and improving the organization by building on the individual assets of its members.

One may fear setbacks, disgrace, reprisal or hindrances, which can lead to conflict situations. Force may be ethical or emotional. It could be withdrawal of cooperation or approval. These forces are instrumental in generating, strengthening and terminating conflicts.

This sense of fairness determines the moral values of an individual. People have different moral values and accordingly appreciate a situation in different ways, creating conflict situations.

The cost of being in conflict may be measurable in money terms or immeasurable, being expressed in terms of human lives, suffering, diversion of skilled labour, neglect or loss of morale and self esteem. According to Kirchoff and Adamsthere are four distinct conflict conditions, i.

Filley identified nine main conditions which could initiate conflict situations in an organization. Obstructions in accomplishing goals and lack of clarity on how to do a job may initiate conflicts.

Conflict management

Barriers to goal accomplishment arise when goal attainment by an individual or group is seen as preventing another party achieving their goal. Communication barriers, as difficulties in communicating can cause misunderstanding, which can then create conflict situations. This creates separation and introduces differentiation. Conflict situations could arise when actions of sub-units are not properly coordinated and integrated. When individuals specialized in different areas work in a group, they may disagree amongst themselves because they have different goals, views and methodologies owing to their various backgrounds, training and experiences.

Organizations have to have firm regulations for individual behaviour to ensure protection and safety. Individuals may perceive these regulations differently, which can cause conflict and negatively affect output.

A manager's most important function is to avoid potential harmful results of conflict by regulating and directing it into areas beneficial for the organization. Conflict as a process Conflict is a dynamic process. In any organization a modest amount of conflict can be useful in increasing organizational effectiveness.

Tosi, Rizzo and Carroll consider the stages involved in the conflict process, from inception to end, as sequential in nature, namely: 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.

Positive effects of conflicts Some of the positive effects of conflict situations are Filley, Games can be used to moderate the attitudes of people by providing a competitive situation which can liberate tension in the conflicting parties, as well as having some entertainment value. In organizations where members participate in decision making, disputes are usually minor and not acute as the closeness of members moderates belligerent and assertive behaviour into minor disagreements, which minimizes the likelihood of major fights.

When two parties who respect each other face a conflict situation, the conflict resolution process may help in clarifying the facts and stimulating a search for mutually acceptable solutions. When two or more parties are in conflict, the performance and cohesion of each party is likely to improve. In a conflict situation, an opponent's position is evaluated negatively, and group allegiance is strongly reinforced, leading to increased group effort and cohesion.

In a conflict situation, the relative ability or power of the parties involved can be identified and measured. Negative effects of conflicts Destructive effects of conflicts include: The overall result of such negative effects is to reduce employees' commitment to organizational goals and organizational a review of conflict in groups and proper handling of conflict Kirchoff and Adams, Elements of a conflict Organizational conflicts usually involve three elements, which have to be appropriately matched through necessary organizational arrangements in order to resolve the conflict Turner and Weed, Power includes budgetary discretion, personal influence, information, time, space, staff size and dependence on others.

If used efficiently, power creates an atmosphere of cooperation, but can generate conflicts when misused, withheld or amassed. Usually such expectations are high, and making them rather unrealistic.

When these expectations are not fulfilled, people feel disheartened, angry, let down or cheated. Consequently, conflict situations can arise. People want to prove their worth in the organization. Superiors control employees' pay, performance rating, performance and appraisal, etc.

  1. Individuals may perceive these regulations differently, which can cause conflict and negatively affect output. The internal characteristics of conflict include perception of the goal, perception of the other, view of the other's actions, definition of problem, communication, and internal group dynamics.
  2. Apply listening skills when receiving a message. A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling, five modes for conflict resolution are explained and the situations when they are best utilized are identified.
  3. Conflict management minimizes the negative outcomes of conflict and promotes the positive outcomes of conflict with the goal of improving learning in an organization.

How much of these are received by a person reflects their worth. An individual may also feel loss of worth if some basic needs are not fulfilled. Generally, conflicts arise from mismatches between power, organizational demands and feelings of personal worth. Theory of conflict management Conflict is defined as disagreement between individuals. It can vary from a mild disagreement to a win-or-lose, emotion-packed, confrontation Kirchoff and Adams, There are two theories of conflict management.

They emerge as a natural result of change and can be beneficial to the organization, if managed efficiently. Current theory Kirchoff and Adams, considers innovation as a mechanism for bringing together various ideas and viewpoints into a new and different fusion. An atmosphere of tension, and hence conflict, is thus essential in any organization committed to developing or working with new ideas. Response styles People may appreciate the same situation in different ways, and so respond differently.

It is therefore necessary to understand the response styles of the people involved so as to manage conflicts properly. According to Turner and Weedresponses can be classified as follows: Addressers can either be first-steppers or confronters: They offer to make a gesture of affability, agreeableness or sympathy with the other person's views in exchange for a similar response.

They might be confronting because they have authority and a safe position, which reduces their vulnerability to any loss. They conceal their views and a review of conflict in groups and proper handling of conflict. Concealers can be of three kinds: They smile even if the situation is causing them pain and distress. They behave thus because they consider the approval of other people important and feel that it would be dangerous to affront them by revealing their true feelings.

They change the topic by finding something on which there can be some agreement with the conflicting party. This response style usually does not solve the problem. Instead, it can create problems for the people who use this and for the organization in which such people are working. They are angry for one or another reason, even though it may not be anyone's fault.

They express their feelings by attacking whatever they can even, though that may not be the cause of their distress. Attackers may be up-front or behind-the-back: Dealing with conflict 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, competition for use of resources or differing viewpoints.