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Conflict Resolution Techniques

Autor:   •  September 23, 2014  •  Research Paper  •  1,082 Words (5 Pages)  •  782 Views

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In any typical society, full of diverse cultural and social needs, conflict is inevitable. Everyone is determined to achieve his or hers own goals leading to disagreements and eventually resulting in conflicts. Conflicts occur in many different ways. It can be inner conflicts within an individual when his or her own desires are competing; between two individuals such as neighbors arguing over land; in a group of individuals, for example in an organizational team; in societal or at cultural levels such as different ethnicities or religions; or global conflicts that may lead to a fully-fledged war. Regardless of the type of conflict, the techniques we use in handling conflict will determine the outcome; either it is a positive or negative outcome. If handled well, conflict may result in growth and understanding but if not handled properly conflict can be a total disaster.

Ever since the beginning of humankind, conflicts have existed. Disagreement is part of the human nature. Therefore, resolutions and tackling of conflicts is not a new activity. In the 1930s, Mary Parker Follett provided an overview on conflict management. She formulated three approaches towards handling conflicts, which included compromise, integration, and domination. Later, Follett’s model was renovated by Thomas to include two more approaches to conflicts. The new model comprised of accommodation, competition, avoidance, collaboration and compromise (Whetten and Cameron, 2002).

Accommodation involved mutual adaptation where each individual or party in a conflict attempt to reduce hostility between each other by containing their individual differences. In essence, one of the conflicting parts may consider accepting the terms of the majority group in a bid to maintain a good relationship between the parties involved. This method is appropriate for cases when the parties in conflict recognize the necessity of harmony and stability and thus enable them to good will in order to address other important issues.

In a competition, each of the parties in conflict struggle to outdo one another such that the results favor them. Each part considers its self-interest not taking into account the need of the other party in order to win and ensure their demands are catered for in the end. This approach is unfair because in the end the losing party will suffer a lot of humiliation. However, it can be appropriate when quick decisions are required, especially in an emergency. The parties involved have to understand the need for taking appropriate actions.

Avoidance involves a situation where both parties in conflict are well aware of their disagreement but chooses to ignore assuming that it will finally end. This may arise because the parties feel like the conflict will not affect them or that its effects are negligible. This approach is applicable in cases where the issue of conflict is insignificant, where the benefits


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