Explore BrainMass

Explore BrainMass

    Conflict Management

    23 Pages | 4,771 Words

    Conflict is prevalent not only in society but in most organizations. There is no way to escape it and in some cases an individual has to face the matter head on and hope that the end results do not worsen or damage the organizational structure.

    All leaders handle conflict differently and in most cases leaders resolve issues on a case-by-case basis, however if leaders develop a sense of urgency in identifying conflict inhibitors a leader will be able to make appropriate decisions based on substantive information on individual characteristics and team dynamism. This book will explain a leader's role in the developmental resolution process. Conflicts occur for various reasons, most of which is due to change resistance or differences in team dynamic. Once the source of conflict is identified a leader will be able to implement an adequate action plan to reduce conflict in his or her organization.

    This book is geared towards anyone who has ever worked in a team environment such as, working class professionals, student, leaders, managers, etc.

    An Introduction to Conflict Management

    Conflict is inevitable in organizations. Conflict may occur as a direct result of change resistance or as a result of differences in personalities. All organizations, will succumb to conflict. Strong leadership will be required to critically assess internal problems and to develop immediate resolutions. Management struggles with the concept of conflict resolution, consequently their inability to reduce conflict results in a hostile work environment. When conflicts are not properly managed leaders will notice a worsening recurrence of a previous problem. If organizational leaders fail to address conflict in a timely manner, productivity will decline and tension among employees will continue to build. Organizational leaders are encouraged to develop an internal organizational assessment (OA). An OA will identify potential conflict inhibitors and enable management to pinpoint root causes. OA s are also used to identify, examine, and compare and contrast results from previous experiences to further develop conflict management strategies. Keep in mind, there is no specific formula for alleviating conflict. Theorists suggest that conflict resolution is a continuous effort of seeing what works and making notations of successful outcomes. Resolving conflict is a direct reflection of generalized best practices. Discovering what strategies were used in the past, and examining how previous strategies assist leaders in reducing potential risks are essential.

    In most cases conflict appears as a deep rooted issue incapable of being resolved. Conflict can also be a small issue that can be resolved quickly depending on a leaders capacity to manage the problem. For example, Sandra (protagonist) works in the medical records department of a well known medical facility. Josephine (the antagonist) works in patient checkout. The two departments are totally unrelated. Sandra is responsible for all duties that involve checking patients in and getting their charts prepared for the physician. Josephine s responsibilities include receiving co-pays from patients as they leave the facility. Although Josephine is not Sandra s immediate supervisor just a fellow co-worker, she tends to micromanage Sandra during her shift. Sandra is visibly irritated by Josephine s antics, but continues to hold her peace. Sandra followed protocol and reported the incident to her supervisor hoping the problem would cease. Josephine and Sandra s supervisor were friends which made it difficult for Sandra to discuss her discontent with her coworker. One day Josephine continuously pushed Sandra s buttons. Sandra could no longer hold her peace and became irate. Sandra and Josephine engaged in a confrontational shouting match in front of patients and employees. The supervisor s inability to resolve the conflict resulted in the worst case scenario. The supervisor failed to notice that the situation was uncomfortable for Sandra and that both parties were suppressing their true feelings. Josephine on the other hand felt as though she had management on her side. Resolving conflict will require a leader to be observant in employee relations and unbiased. Organizations have an obligation to all parties involved to develop resolution initiatives.

    Some conflicts are fueled by evil intentions and desires, but others are a battle between right and wrong (Stanley 2011). Conflict management (CM) is an applied skill best managed with leaders who possess interpersonal leadership qualities. Organizations appoint individuals who appear to be exceptional leaders without understanding the type of leader he or she is. Management and leadership are synonymous in terms of strategic decision-making and conflict resolution. Organizations are comprised of a broad scope of personalities and cultural differences. People in general, require a certain level of accommodations from employers, consequently when those accommodations aren t being met conflict occurs. Conflict is the driving force behind the nation s historical events i.e. as it pertains to politics, war, media, community, and employment (Goodwin 2007). Regardless of the type of conflict organizations encounter, unresolved conflict can be just as detrimental to an organization as reduced revenue.