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Interpersonal Conflict and Resolution Strategies

1. What are the sources and types of conflict that are most salient in the work place.
2. Can the Chinese setting be generalized to our workplace environments?
3. What possible management resolution remedies would be recommended for the work place?

Leung, Alicia S.M. (2007) "Interpersonal conflict and resolution strategies: an examination of Hong Kong employees." Team PErformance Management Vol. 14 No. 3/4, 2008 pp 165-178. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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Part 1.
The most salient types of workplace conflict are typically broken down into two
categories: personality conflict and substantive conflict. Personality conflict occurs when
two or more individuals simply do not get along. The behaviors or habits of one person may
annoy the other. Personality characteristics such as aggressive behavior, bullying, or strong
leadership abilities may cause one or more people within the workplace to react negatively,
thus contributing to the ongoing tension. In some cases a person's aloofness or seemingly
uncaring attitude may also cause others to react negatively, as they assume the individual simply
doesn't care about others or the workplace in general. This type of conflict is much more
difficult to remedy, as a manager has less control over personal characteristics that other factors
within the workplace.
Task or substantive conflict arises from differing views on how to solve a problem or to
approach a specific task. The differing views may be based on personal opinion, though
typically each view is based on some type of knowledge the individual possess or stems from a
past experience of the individual. In general, substantive conflict is a "breakdown in the decision
making process" (Scholl, 2003). The conflict occurs when members of the organization meet a
specific challenge and cannot agree on the cause or a proper solution. This type of conflict in
an organization can be beneficial if properly managed. Substantive conflict can lead to develop
of new or unique ideas to meet challenges or accomplish goals. In other words, it is one form of
conflict that can be healthy for an evolving organization.
Part 2.
The Chinese workplace environment is both similar and different from the U.S.
workplace. Because some of the differences are stark, generalizing the Chinese workplace
to that of the U.S. workplace is not practical. However, there are some instances in both
workplace cultures where conflict can occur, particularly of the substantive type. According to
Loche (2007) power and its inequality ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses interpersonal conflict and resolution strategies.