Term Paper: Conflict Resolution Has Received a Great Deal

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Conflict resolution has received a great deal of attention over the last decade. Conflict resolution is commonly discussed in the realm of educational institutions and the workplace.

For the purpose of this discussion we will focus on the latter. The discussion will summarize three articles concerning conflict resolution in the workplace. Let us begin this discussion by providing a definition of conflict resolution.

Defining Conflict resolution

Conflict resolution involves the process by which disagreements or arguments are remedies so that they do not result in violence or the continuation of hostility.

Conflict often arises in diverse environments that are characterized by many individuals form different backgrounds that are expected to work cooperatively.

The most important causes of conflict probably relate to the characteristics of the groups involved, their interests, values, and aims. If these are completely opposed, there is little room for maneuver. However, a seemingly fixed position may be rooted in misperception. Values may differ substantively, but they may merely seem to do so as a result of different criteria used to evaluate them. Apparently incompatible interests may be reconciled in the way an outcome is engineered. Conflict resolution means eliminating the conflict to the satisfaction of all the parties involved (Anderson, 2005, pg 345)."

In the workplace, conflict resolution is vitally important because organizations rely upon employees working together to achieve the goals of the organization. However, when conflict arises employees are not able to work together to achieve these goals and the organization can suffer as it relates to profitability, customer service and high turnover rates. For this reason most organizations have some type of conflict resolution strategy. These strategies are designed to avoid conflict from occurring and to resolve it quickly when it does develop. Conflict resolution is viewed as necessary in any organization because individuals always have differing opinions concerning the manner in which the organization is run.

There are many articles that examine the issue of workplace conflict resolution. The topics range from the implementation of conflict resolution systems and that growth that can occur as a result of conflict.

The next few paragraphs will summarize these articles.

Article summary. William Cottinger. "Resolving Workplace Conflict: To Overcome Disagreements and Build a Cohesive Team, a Manager Must Understand What Causes Conflicts"

An article entitled "Resolving Workplace Conflict: To Overcome Disagreements and Build a Cohesive Team, a Manager Must Understand What Causes Conflicts" explains the causes of workplace conflicts. In this article published in the Security Management the author asserts that conflict in the workplace can develop as a result of differences that exist between various departments within an organization. These differences often arise because departments have different goals that may conflict with one another.

In addition to the conflict that exists between the departments there are also conflicts that can arise amongst team members. Because so many organizations rely on teamwork to complete projects, it is important that these teams are able to work together. However, there are often conflicts that exist amongst team members that can greatly impede upon the ability of the team to complete tasks. This in turn can have an n adverse effect on the productivity of the company.

The author explains that conflict resolution in this type of environment must involve managers assisting everyone on a team or department in understanding that they are actually working to achieve the same goals and objectives. The article contends that managers must employ smart decoding to unlock insight and understanding.

In order to unlock this insight and understanding the author contends that Whatever the source of the conflict, the manager must not ignore it. It is often through the process of patiently working out what is the underlying cause of a conflict that the solution to a difficult problem can be found. Working through a conflict can also help all those involved to get to the next stage of development in self-awareness, team building, and productivity. Finding this purpose is not easy because there are too many distractions getting in the way. These include all the noisy symptoms of turnover, sick-leave abuse, business cancellations, decreasing revenue, employee grievances, and low morale. Managers must look past these symptoms to decode the conflict (Cottinger, 2006, pg 42).

Article Summary. "Effectively Managing Team Conflict"

In this particular article Bulleit (2006) discusses the symptoms of team conflict and the steps that can be taken to resolve these conflicts. The author answers four primary questions in the article. These questions include

1. What are the symptoms of team conflict? The article summarizes that these symptoms are inclusive of Gossip, complaints, the inability to complete work by stipulated deadlines, absenteeism, not attending meetings, law suits, not return phone calls or other efforts to communicate, passive or aggressive behaviors and even physical violence. The article asserts that the presence of a few of these problems are not unusual and do not necessarily reflect the presence of a conflict. However, when several of these issues arise at the same time, there is a possibility that a conflict exist.

2. What causes team conflict? The article asserts that team conflict arises as a result of inability to solve problems, Poor communication, Lack of clarity as it relates to purpose, goals, and objectives. In addition, causes of team conflict also include poor management of time, turnover, conflicts in personality, team members don't seem challenged or interested, and personal problems.

The author asserts that managers play an instrumental role in resolving these conflicts. The author also points out that the resolving of such conflicts is an essential team skill.

3. How is team conflict addressed?

The author offers four steps associated with addressing conflict. These steps include

A. Determining the problem- this is the most difficult part of addressing the conflict but it is necessary if the organizations wants to resolve the conflict. The author also points out that the definition of the problem may change when additional information is developed.

B. Collecting data- this involves the gathering of factual information concerning the issue or the problem that has arisen. The gathering of this information can take place through interviews and observations. This also involves collecting information concerning the role that the manager is playing in resolving the conflict or contributing to the conflict (Bulleit 2006).

C. Examining the data- Data examination involves diagnosing to the root of the problem. It also involves exploring all of the aforementioned causes of team conflict. This step assists on gaining a greater understanding of the dynamics of the team.

D. Choosing the best solution- once the problem has been diagnosed,.managers and teams can work to choose the most appropriate solution. Choosing the best solution involves reviewing the issues that have been found and considering what has been observed.

Managers must also reflect on these observations and take into consideration the impact of individual behaviors on the entire team. The results of this process will assist management in understanding the best solutions for resolving team conflict (Bulleit 2006).

E. Implementing the solution and developing the solution.

This involves the actual construction of a plan based on the solutions that were chosen. It also involves the implementation of this plan (Bulleit 2006).

4. What tools can be used to assist the team in dealing with conflict quickly and effectively?

Finally, the author asserts there are several tools that can be utilized in the resolving of conflicts. These tools include attacking the problem but not the individuals, Express feelings in a way that does not blame, supporting different points-of-view and honest dialogue, and concentrating on what can be done, as opposed to what can't be done (Bulleit 2006).

Article Summary. Susan Pilgrim. "Conflict - an Essential Ingredient for Growth"

The final article explores the fact that conflict can be a positive aspect of business growth. The author asserts that many managers fear conflict and as such they fail to deal with conflict in a timely and appropriate manner. The author asserts that it is inability to resolve conflict that causes the problem for organizations and not the conflict itself.

The article asserts that there are several styles of conflict resolution or management that are employed in an organizational situation. These styles include avoidance, compromise, competing, accommodating, and collaborating. According to the article avoidance involves simply withdrawing from the situation and not asserting ones feeling or beliefs about the situation. Compromise involves a kind of give and take that employees agree to so that the conflict is resolved. This type of conflict resolution is often employed because it allows the conflict to be resolved quickly and everyone involved has to make a sacrifice. Competing is also a strategy that some employees use to resolve conflicts. However the author points out employees that attempt to resolve conflicts in this manner only want the outcome of the situation to be in their favor. In addition they have no regard for the feeling or desires of the other parties involved.

Accommodation involves yielding to the desires of others so that conflict does not occur.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Conflict Resolution Has Received a Great Deal.  (2007, July 19).  Retrieved December 9, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/conflict-resolution-received-great/870039

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