Conflict and Its Management Essay

Pages: 4 (1289 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Management

Conflict and Its Management

As an efficient manager, it is not about avoiding conflict entirely, but rather working within the context of conflict to find effective solutions. No matter how hard we try, no manager can ever avoid conflict entirely. Thus, it is important to shape potential conflict into something that can positively motivate a team to increase efficiency and productivity, a style of management which can prove difficult, but possible. This was exactly the case in a previous conflict where a botched Navy inspection created conflict within my team because of a lack of communication and an improper execution of structure. This created a sense of conflict and disappointment within the troops; yet, through an effective management style, they were motivated to increase their abilities and productivity as a way to resolve the conflict at hand.

The Navy is incredibly particular regarding its inspection process. All previous inspections had gone well, and the one right before had received a grade of above average. This essentially created a false sense of security in both the Commanding Officer's communication towards proper training of new recruits, as well as the team as a whole, who began to believe that they had sufficient efforts to receive another good inspection grade. Yet, this was not the case. Instead, the group received an average grade, which was disappointing to both the Commanding Officer and the team in general. This created internal conflict, where the troops were both disappointed with themselves and the lack of communication exhibited by the Commanding Officer that had led to the decrease in grade of their inspections.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Essay on Conflict and Its Management Assignment

The nature of conflict itself is incredibly varied, and can depend on individual circumstances, like the one described above. Thus, there are many definitions of conflict. Still, some definitions are more useful than others. Wall & Callister (1995) describe conflict as "a process in which one party perceives that its interests are being opposed or negatively affected by another party" (519). Essentially, because of certain causes, a core process begins to develop which then leads to the negative feelings and actions of members of the team in response to the cause of the conflict itself. Moreover, conflict can be incredibly damaging to the overall productivity of teams (Alper et al. 2000). If not resolved within the proper manner, it can create anxiety and tension in the workplace that slows down the efficacy of any team. This is why it is so important to resolve the conflict in a positive manner, rather than letting it fester with negative elements.

This definition of conflict does fit the issue presented earlier. Essentially, the situation described was created out of specific causes, which then lead to a process of conflict that decreased the grade of the overall inspection for the team. This was a prime example of intergroup conflict, where the conflict was not driven by external outside factors, but rather internally from other branches of the same organization. This conflict was being exhibited from within the overall service group, but between two different branches of the larger group. There was conflict between the troops, in their decreased confidence in their own abilities, and the top management not communicating enough to the group as a whole.

There were a number of causes for this conflict. The first and most obvious cause was problems within the process and delivery of communication. Essentially, communication between the Commanding Officer and the new recruits which had just joined the team was low. Thus, they were not properly trained and were a major part in the lowering of the inspection grade. According to the article, low communication, which often results in "low knowledge of others and may underpin coordination difficulties" (Wall & Callister 1995 p 522). The fact that the Commanding Officer did not properly train the new recruits was primarily because of the false confidence he… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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