Conflict Management and Resolution Research Paper

Pages: 10 (3031 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Management

Conflict management and conflict resolution are important factors that must be considered in any organization. Conflict management and resolution can be particularly difficult in the context of schools. This difficulty exists because of the complex nature of the school setting which is designed to educate students. Conflicts often arise is such a setting because there are so many members of the organization and they are trying to achieve an important goal. People who work in a school setting often have differing opinions about the manner in students should be taught and as such conflict occurs and there is a need for conflict management and resolution. The purpose of this discussion is to explore different areas of Conflict Management and Resolution in schools.

From the perspective of a school manager and a transformational school leader, conflict management and conflict resolution will be handled differently. For instance, when dealing with conflict management a school manager may implement an approach that simply deal the conflict at the very basic llevel so that it does not escalate into more complicated situations. That is, the school manager might treat conflict management by implementing certain basic standards that are used to manage the conflict instead of .Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Research Paper on Conflict Management and Resolution Assignment

On the other hand a transformational school leaders tend to examine problems within an organization in a manner that is more in depth. In doing so they are able to not only mange conflict but also find solutions that are both efficient and lasting. Transformational leaders seek to permanently alter the manner in which an organization is run so that the goals of the organization can be reached in a timely manner. As such a transformational leader seeks to find real answers to the problems that an organization faces so that these problems can be resolved and the energies of the organization and its employees can be dedicated to the meeting of the goals established by the organization. The transformational leader understands that when conflicts go unresolved it impedes upon the ability of the organization to move forward. In the context of a school setting unsettled conflict means that students may not receive the education they deserve. This outcome has real consequences for the individual children and society as a whole. A transformational leader recognizes this reality and works toward improving the school by properly managing and resolving conflicts.

In addition the transformational leader is more likely to involve all the employees in the school when attempting to manage conflict and find solutions to conflict. The transformational leader will view conflict management and conflict resolution as a collaborative effort that will necessitate teamwork if it is to be successful. Additionally, transformational leaders will have as an end goal the desire to see individual members of the school grow and develop as educators and administrators. The transformational leader will view conflict management and resolution as a way to transform individual members of the organization which will in turn transform the entire school.

Both the school manager and the transformational school leader have a desire to properly manage conflict but the transformational school leader is more likely to take it a step further and make sure that the conflict is actually resolved; this is the nature of transformational leadership. In the case of the school manager, their success will depend on the nature of the conflict and how well the manager can control the conflict. In many cases the transformational leader might be more successful because the approach of a transformational leader tends to be more holistic than that of a manager. This is the case even though the strategy used by the transformational school leader is likely to take longer to implement and the results might not be noticeable for some time. The outcome will be one of lasting change.

Literature Review

Sorenson (2007) explains the delicate nature of leadership within the context of the school environment. The article asserts that effective leadership in this context must take into consideration the balance between having power and leading people. The author asserts that some leaders become power hungry and begin to treat the people in their organization (the school) in ways that are disrespectful and do not facilitate growth or encourage development. With this understood the author contends that leaders have to find to proper way to apply the power they possess so that the school can benefit positively from their leadership.

The author suggest that this process is comparable to that of a body builder who trains. As such there are several aspects of the way that people train in the gym that can be applied to the leadership within the school environment for the purposes of conflict management. For instance, the author asserts that like the body builder, school leaders can use holistic training. Holistic training involves the use of various techniques to reach a desired goal associated with growth and development. The author further explains as it pertains to holistic training that "The concept of power is legitimately related to leadership as power provides the capacity to influence others. Individuals such as ministers, doctors, coaches and even teachers are leaders who use position power to positively influence others. School leaders, because of their legitimate title and position, need training to better understand how to appropriately wield this powe r Sorenson (2007)." Overall this article emphasizes the importance of utilizing power properly so that the organization can grow and develop so that the needs of the members of the organization are met in a way that is efficient.

The article entitled "Organizational Culture & Leadership" by Edgar H. Schein explains the role of Organizational Culture in conflict management and resolution. According to the author, organizational culture "A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way you perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems (Schein, 1997)."

The author asserts that culture actually defines leadership. Schein explains that culture encompasses customs and rights. Additionally sufficient leaders must work from a more anthropological model. All organizations has its own way and outsider brings their own perspectives as observers. The author also reports that the new culture must be understood before effective and lasting change can be made.

In addition the author explains that once the culture is understood the organization can be understood. Organizational culture provides a foundation for the manner in which leaders interact with subordinates. For instance, in some organizations everyone is viewed as being valuable and contributing members of the organization. As such a leader in this type of organization might be extremely open to entertaining the ideas of people in the organization.

This particular author views the understanding of organizational culture as a way to resolve conflict. This connection is present because the culture of an organization determines the way that employees interact with one another. When resolving conflict understanding the organizational culture assist in developing resolutions that are tailor-made to meet the needs of a particular organization. Some solutions will not be appropriate depending on the culture of the organization.

The article "Where Does Conflict Management Fit in the System's Leadership Puzzle?" focuses on the manner in which conflict management is needed in the school environment and how school administrators can best utilize conflict management. In this article Cook & Johnston (2008) explain that "Superintendents are faced with conflicts every day. The conflicts arise around issues of personnel, community roles, funding, politics, and work/life balance. Good leadership involves an understanding of how to deal with conflict, whom to involve in the conflict resolution, how to set up structures and processes that ensure conflict doesn't reoccur, and the ability to use conflict in a positive manner." This particular article is built around the premise that conflicts can be used as stepping stones to improve the overall performance of a school or an entire school district. The authors encourage school administrators to view conflicts in this manner as opposed to seeing them trough a prism of negativity.

Throughout the article the authors also explain that there are several types of conflict that are common for superintendents including values, resource conflicts, union pressures, education research, counsel from school personnel and teacher, socio-economic conditions of schools, the beliefs of board members and community politics. All of these conflicts will likely arise at some point for a superintendent. However, the manner in which these conflicts are handled can mean the difference between success and failure.

The article further explains that superintendents should seek to understand each type of conflict and in so doing the ability to manage conflict properly will be more probable. Overall, this article focuses on the ways in which school leaders can utilize conflict as a way to promote growth within the organization. When conflict is seen as appositive attribute instead of a negative one the management outcomes can be and guarantee progress within… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Conflict Management and Resolution" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Conflict Management and Resolution.  (2010, May 29).  Retrieved April 8, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Conflict Management and Resolution."  29 May 2010.  Web.  8 April 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Conflict Management and Resolution."  May 29, 2010.  Accessed April 8, 2020.