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    Conflict Management and Work Teams

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    Conflict management involves implementing strategies to limit the negative effects of conflict and to increase the positive aspects of conflict at a level equal to or higher than where the conflict is taking place. The aim of conflict management is to enhance learning and group outcomes (effectiveness or performance in organizational setting) (Rahim, 2002, p. 208). It is not concerned with eliminating or avoiding all conflicts because there are cases where conflict can be valuable to groups and organizations. In today's higher-stress workplace, the ability to understand conflict and how to resolve it is becoming an important tool for managers. In this Module you will examine a number of conflict management issues including:

    Defining the conflict process
    Analyzing elements of conflict structure
    Understanding the pros and cons of conflict management strategies
    Discovering dominant conflict handling styles
    Using steps for conflict resolution
    Taking the paradigm shift to mediation and understanding the importance of mediation as a means of conflict management

    Required Reading
    Wall, James and Ronda Callister. 1995. "Conflict and Its Management." Journal of Management 21 (3): 515-558.


    Read the Wall and Callister article on conflict and its management. This article reviews the conflict literature, examining the causes of conflict, its core process, and its effects. If you want you can supplement your reading with items from the Optional Reading list or other outside reading you find useful. Then, write a 4-6 pages critique in which you will describe a conflict that took place in your organization and analyze it according to the following questions:

    All the definitions of conflict describe it as a process in which one party perceives that its interests are being opposed or negatively affected by another party. How the conflict you describe fits within this description?
    What are/were the causes for the conflict you describe? To which of the categories that appear in the article the causes you describe fit?

    Were there any individual characteristics that contributed to the generation of this conflict, what these characteristics are?
    How did the conflict affect the organization? Be specific when answering this question and describe any effect on individuals, relationships, communications, behaviors, structure, and issues.
    Describe how the conflict was resolved. If it wasn't, suggest de-escalation tactics you suggest to be used in this case.

    Keys to the Assignment
    The key aspects of this assignment that should be covered in your paper include:

    Describe a conflict that took place in your organization.
    Describe the causes of the conflict.
    Describe any individual characteristics that contributed to the generation of this conflict.
    Describe how did the conflict affect the organization?
    Describe how the conflict was resolved.

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    Solution Preview

    Conflict Management:

    The prevalent changing times in the world have created a dynamic business market. In the organizational setting, there are bound to be a conflict that will arise due to the diverse body of the work force. Conflict is the breakdown of relations in the company premises due to the diverse ideologies and beliefs. The conflict tends to yield positive impacts of the organization when it is managed effectively. This act of controlling the conflict situation in the corporation is referred to as conflict management. Conflict management involves the putting into practice the strategies that will help the organization limit the negative aspects that are caused by conflict and embrace the positive effects (Ohlendorf, 2001).

    In the company, the shortage of necessary resources will require that separate departments share the available resource so that they undertake their specific tasks. Competition for the scares resources in the organization leads to conflict. This type of conflict is the inter-sender variety in that the demand of the employees in the organization cannot be met ...

    Solution Summary

    The following posting helps with a problem regarding conflict management and work teams.