Conflict Resolution A conflict in the organization can be defined as a disagreement that originates from differing interests and actions such as allocation of resources and responsibilities or even the overall organizational direction. Conflicts have significant effects on the performance of the employees due to de-motivation, which in turn affects the overall productivity of the overall organization. On one hand, organizational conflict is known to cause negative outcomes because of dissatisfaction and could even cause other negative issues such as lower turnover and increased absenteeism. It can also lead to trust issues among the employees and between the supervisors and the employees.
On the other hand, conflicts provide an opportunity for change especially for the organizations that have a positive view of it. This is where communication plays a critical role. This is because the positivity of the conflict is derived from communication with regards to acknowledging the existence of the conflict and searching its source. The act of attempting to resolve the conflict works effectively in not only defusing the problem but also ensuring the creation of a strong relationship.
Communication climate in the organization is paramount as it determines the frequency of conflicts as well as the strategies used in resolving the conflict. Conflict and communication have a close relationship in that a conflict cannot occur without communication and an organization cannot exist without communication. In turn, a conflict helps an organization in broadening the context of communication especially for the organizations that take conflicts positively as opportunities for improvement. Expectations and aspirations determine how individuals communicate and how they react to the information reaching them.
If the expectations collide with the oncoming information, a conflict is bound to occur (Handling Conflict n. d). The organizations that do not have a well-defined way of undertaking certain activities create misunderstandings, which frequently result in conflicts. This is because for an organization to be productive, communication must be present. How this communication is done determines the occurrence of conflicts. The pre-established culture in the organization determines how parties communicate while the direction of the organization affects how the organization views and deals with conflicts. The content dimension of a conflict incorporates objectives and observable aspects that include weather and money.
Communication still plays a critical role in content related conflicts (Moemeka 1-3). This is because this mode of conflict is determined by how a message is interpreted by the receiver. This may also be determined by relationships between the communicating individuals and goals that the employees are expected to realize. On grounds of content, conflicts may be procedural or substantive. Procedural conflicts may occur with respect to the approaches that differing parties prefer to use in realizing goal. This can be a constructive form of conflict because it offers multiple ways of completing a specified task.
For the organizations that view conflicts as opportunities, this is specifically taken as innovation or creativity. This is because the organization gets multiple ways of completing the subject task. This conflict can be resolved by using both methods to complete the same task and determining the most effective. Substantive conflict usually takes place when individuals differ on what the goal should be. This is also constructive in nature because it can lead to re-establishment of goals so as to create the most appropriate goals when considering all ideas that can be contributed by the conflicting parties.
A conflict may also materialize due to differing beliefs as well as values. Different individuals exhibit diverse systems of belief that result in a specified basic philosophy in their lives. These values and beliefs help individuals in determining what is right or wrong and establishes a specific viewpoint for the individual. When individual communicate, they become conscious of the other person’s viewpoints. If these viewpoints collide or are incompatible, then a conflict that is based on values and beliefs may take place.
For instance, a conflict may occur if an organization fails to provide secure workplaces mostly because the employees’ beliefs view such a workplace as a right for them and as something, that is morally right (Handling Conflict n. d). This happens because of incompatibility between the beliefs of the employee and what the organization is doing. Interpersonal or intergroup communication can be effective in resolving value-based conflicts. This is because these conflicts affect the affiliation between the involved parties and could influence their productivity in the organization.
On the other hand, these conflicts may occur because the involved parties feel that their values are being controlled. While this may affect their self-esteem, their productivity may also suffer. Since arguments are usually based on personal values, they cannot be used to resolve a conflict effectively because the other person’s values are conflicting. This is because it is not easy to change values through reasoning. Appreciation of the conflicting values by both parties can be very effective in resolving the conflict.
This is because both individuals become submissive for the purpose of a greater good, which is the goal that they are attempting to accomplish. There are various pre-established ways of resolving conflicts such as the Fisher and Ury conflict resolution model. These researchers maintain that conflicts are inevitable both within groups and within organizations. For this reason, people are bound to collide frequently due to the inherent differences between themselves. Fisher and Ury argue that people should handle conflicts through negotiating with respect to the differences (Fisher and William xi-xii).
The researchers also argue that their main mode of resolving a conflict is not how to avoid it but rather how to derive a positive change from it. This is because if conflicts are resolved effectively, problem-solving capabilities improve, interpersonal relationships are strengthened, and the overall stress surrounding the conflict reduces (Roche et al. 251). Fisher and Ury add that most negotiations fail because of positional bargaining. In addition, they argue that bargaining should follow a principled bargaining system. This is because while positional bargaining follows a win-lose paradigm, the principled bargaining is based on win-win situation.
This mode advocates for principles rather than positions. This procedure requires people to be separated from the problem, to focus on interests instead of positions, to invent mutual gain options, and always insist on usage of objective criteria on which to base the argument. These principles must be used collaboratively at all stages of the negotiation procedure. These stages include analysis of the problem, planning potential ways of resolving the issue, and agreeing on a solution. Separating people from the problem ensures that personal ego is not in the way of the process.
It also allows the involved people to get a clear view with regard to the conflict substance. This also involves trying to comprehend the viewpoints of the other individual and not attacking them. In addition, emotional reactions should also be avoided. When focusing on interests, the negotiators should ask the other party why they hold a certain position and even explain their own interests. The next step should be discussing these interests while anticipating to realize a solution.
When inventing options, the parties should look for options that have mutual gain. Proposals should also be made especially those that are appealing to the other party so as to increase the possibility of agreement (Fisher and William 13). Lastly, the objective criteria would include reasoning with respect to the most appropriate standards. This requires keeping an open mind. It is also requires that the parties do not yield to pressure or threats. From a personal perspective, my personal action plan would incorporate undertaking adequate research so as to determine the most appropriate methods to apply in conflict resolution.
Specifically, I would ensure that my organization does not view a conflict as deterrence but as an opportunity that can help the organization in advancing and becoming more creative. I would encourage the employees to view conflicts positively and engage in creative criticism so as to realize more from conflicts. I would also ensure that the employees are aware of ways to resolve conflicts before they escalate and lead to poor performance or dissatisfaction of the employees. Works Cited Fisher, Roger, and William Ury.
Getting to Yes: Negotiating an Agreement Without Giving in. London: Random House Business, 2012. Print. Handling Conflict. n.d. Web, 17 Oct 2014. http: //www. sagepub. com/upm-data/40152_Chapter9.pdf Moemeka, Andrew A. “Communication and Conflict in Organizations: Revisiting the Basics” Optimum, The Journal of Public Sector Management 28.2 (2010): 1-10. Print. Roche, William K., Teague, Paul and Colvin, Alexander J.
The Oxford Handbook of Conflict Management in Organizations: Roche. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Print.