Essay: Conflict Management Approaches and Human Behaviors

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Conflict Management Approaches and Human Behaviors

In terms of resolving conflicts, members of an organization have three principle outcomes in mind: achieving fairness, effectiveness, or participant satisfaction. These outcomes may contain some propensity for overlapping with one another, although usually participants seek one or another of these goals exclusively. The desire of participants to achieve each of these outcomes is manifested in different ways and requires different courses of action, all of which are intrinsically related to the fulfillment of that particular goal for resolving a dispute.

It is important to realize that when disputants are seeking to achieve a degree of effectiveness in resolving their conflicts, they primarily choose to do so in order to improve their relationship together (Jameson, 1999, p. 280). The nature of these disputes is largely pragmatic in nature, and involves simple conflicts in helping to achieve an organization- or even department-wide goals. What is highly significant about producing effectiveness through conflict resolution is that this is one of the most preferred outcomes of disputes for third parties, which many times include the presence of managers. Most managers have a plethora of goals when they are attempting to achieve effectiveness as the outcome of conflict resolution -- the vast majority of which are strongly related to improving the productiveness of the organization or their departments. Most disputants, however, are seeking to achieve fairness or participant satisfaction.

Those looking to end a dispute in fairness principally manifest this desire in two ways. Some will seek to have the outcome of their conflict set a precedent (Jameson, 1999, p. 277), so that in the future there will be a degree of parity involved in resolving additional conflicts related to whatever the particular issue that the precedent has been set for. The second way that disputants seek fairness is by having their conflict heard by a neutral third-party.

Participant satisfaction is important in that of the three discussed possible outcomes, it is the one that is the least related to benefitting the organization that the participants are a part of. As the name of this outcome suggests, it is largely fueled by selfish motives. Those involved in a conflict in which participant satisfaction is sought are primarily concerned with short-term goals (which are generally the opposite of the outcomes in which fairness is desired) and can either keep the nature of the dispute public or private to better achieve those ends. Quite often, individuals purse those ends by attempting to achieve either vindication or recovery of something that was lost; frequently these goals can require external litigation (Jameson, 1999, p. 277).

In terms of major conflict resolutions, there are a pair of strategies that are linked towards one another that assist in accomplishing this feat. Both interests and power-based strategies are regularly utilized… [END OF PREVIEW]

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