Conflict Resolution


What Is Conflict? | Describe Conflict Resolution Process | How Can Conflict Be Avoided? - Explain Different Conflict Resolution Strategies And Models -

Conflict Resolution

What is Conflict?

According to Dentsch (1973),

Conflict exists whenever incompatible activities occur.

Conflict is an action or activity that blocks, interferes, or prevents the effectiveness or occurrence of other activities, and creates incompatibility or disagreement between different events or actions.

What Are The Main Causes Of Conflicts?

Conflict is defined as

“Natural disagreement resulting from individuals or groups that differ in needs, belief, values, or attitudes”.

It is extremely difficult and complicated to point to one single cause of conflict. Conflict can develop amid several characters due to various reasons like

  • Conflicts occur from differences.
  • Conflicts happen whenever someone disagrees over

    • Ideas,
    • Values,
    • Opinion,
    • Perceptions,
    • Motivations, or
    • Desires.

Conflict many times produce such strong feelings, that differences that look trivial, there too deep relational and personal problems arise.

Conflict frequently creates an internal conflictual dynamic which then makes

  • Peaceful,
  • Non-violent and
  • Constructive settlements extremely hard or impossible.

Conflicts include positive & negative aspects both.

  • If we consider conflict just as something disruptive and negative, then we tend to shut down potentially creative discussions.
  • As an alternative, we should turn conflict around to gain everything we can from it.

Most person thinks conflict to be only negative, which is true if we ignore conflict, but if we properly manage it then conflict too has several positive aspects.

Aspects of Conflict

a.  Positive Aspects

Some of the positive aspects of conflicts are:

  1. Conflict force peoples to analyze a problem & work towards a solution.
  2. Working together for solving problem, especially in groups, increase cohesiveness.
  3. Conflict nurture creativity and originality as peoples look for innovative solutions and ideas.
  4. With each and every conflict experience, one grows and understands further about others who were involved in the conflict.
  5. Confronting & wanting to figure out a solution to a problem indicates a commitment, desire, and concern to preserve the relationship.

b.  Negative Aspects

Some of the negative aspects of conflicts are:

  1. Conflict cause frustration and stress.
  2. Conflict creates negative feelings among the parties involved.
  3. Conflict produces negative emotions & sometimes violent behavior.
  4. Conflict initiates antagonism and hatred among the people.
  5. Conflict leads groups or individuals to close themselves off from one another.
  6. People involved in the conflict became inactive, confused & less motivated.
  7. Conflict wastes time & energy.
  8. Conflict creates tensions among people & diverts attention from the objectives.

Different Types Of Conflict

There are two types of conflict, namely

  1. Functional conflict
  2. Dysfunctional conflict

1.  Functional conflict: It includes all conflicts which support the goal of a community, workgroup, or organization.

2.  Dysfunctional conflict: It includes disagreements, differences, and all disputes which hinder the performance of a group.

Classification Of Conflict Types

Types of Conflict

Functional Conflict

Dysfunctional Conflict

  • Economical Conflict
  • Global Conflict
  • Social Conflict
  • Armed Conflict
  • Regions Conflict
  • Inter / State Conflict
  • Inter-social Conflict
  • Intra-social Conflict
  • Group Conflict
  • Emotional Conflict
  • Workplace Conflict
  • Value Conflict
  • Data Conflict
  • Interest Conflict
  • Organizational Conflict

Meaning Of Conflict Resolution

"Conflict resolution is the understanding of dynamics of human negotiation among conflicting interest groups and how to achieve mutual agreement.”- Bill Warters

Conflict resolution is an exceptionally challenging job, it involves recognizing specific Conflicts to manage or control a Conflict.

In general, the process of conflict resolution includes

  1. Negotiation,
  2. Diplomacy and
  3. Meditation.
  • All these processes introduce correct measures which assist in stopping fights, fall out, violence, and ensure peace and harmony.

Conflict resolution requires

  1. Correct understanding about the cause of conflict and
  2. Inexhaustible degree of patience.

Characteristics Of Conflict Resolution

The concept of conflict resolution usually centers on

  • Social-behavioral signs and symptoms of conflict.
  • Training people to solve inter-personal differences through techniques like
    • Negotiation &
    • Mediation.

Conflict resolution is about methods, ideas, and theories that study the events of conflict & explore ways to bring it under control.

Some of the main elements of conflict resolution mechanism are:

  • To alter attitudes, beliefs, & behavior from negative to positive attitudes toward conflict.
  • Fair fight and to learn to manage anger.
  • To improve understanding of the conflict.
  • To Improve communication by using skills like:

    • Listening,
    • Identifying needs, &
    • Separating facts from emotions.
  • To collectively reduce and prevent violence.
  • To improve political processes for balance interest.
  • To promote better & more effective relationships between states & peoples.

Bion (1961) characterizes conflict resolution according to 3 underlying basic assumptions:

1. Dependence:

The well-being of the individual, to be secured through dependence upon another object (institution, person, idea).

2. Expectancy:

The well-being of the individual in the future is to be obtained through the intercourse of pairs of objects (institutions, persons).

3. Fight-Flight:

The well-being of the individual, to be secured through fighting for self-actualization & by destroying or evading a person or institution.

Conflict Management

‘Conflict Management’ may imply a process of learning to live peacefully with differences that may not be resolvable at a given point in time.

Conflict is often best understood by examining and exploring the consequences of various behaviors at moments in time.

Thomas and Kilman in 1976 identified 5 basic ways to manage conflict. No way is better to others, it all depends upon the environment, people, & the context.

Conflict Resolution And Management Techniques

  1. Competing
  2. Avoiding
  3. Compromising
  4. Accommodating
  5. Collaborating

1) Competing

Competing means “Standing up for rights”, depending upon a position, which one is certain that it is correct, or simply trying to win.

  • It is a method in which personal needs and wishes are advocated over the needs and wishes of others.
  • The outcome is “win/lose”.

Competing relies upon

  • Aggressive communication style,
  • Exercise of coercive power, and
  • Little regard for relationships.

Competing is normally exercised when basic rights are at stake or to set an example. However, competing can worsen conflict more & losers may attempt to strike back violently.

2) Avoiding

In this technique, the individual neither resolves their own concerns nor those of the others. They do not deal with the conflict.

  • “Perhaps if we don’t bring it up. It will blow over,” - we say to ourselves.
  • The drawback of avoiding is Default Decision Making - crucial decisions can be made by default.
  • The outcome is “lose/lose”.

3) Compromising

This technique of conflict resolution is in the middle of both cooperativeness and assertiveness.

  • Compromising is the combination of individual goals and needs for a mutual aim.
  • The outcome is “Win some / Lose some”.
  • Compromising brings new energy, time & ideas to solve the conflict meaningfully.

Compromising in some conditions might mean

  • Taking a quick and smart middle-ground solution,
  • Exchanging concessions, and
  • Dividing the difference between the two positions.

It requires positive cooperation and communication among different individuals and groups, in order to reach a better solution than either individual or group could have gotten alone.

4) Accommodating

Accommodating is unassertive but a cooperative technique, this approach is normally applied when concerns for others are more important.

  • When accommodating, the person neglects his own concerns to satisfy the concerns of the other person; there is an element of self-sacrifice in this mode.

This technique might take the form such as:

  • Surrendering to another person's viewpoints.
  • Obeying another people order when you would prefer not to, or
  • Selfless generosity and charity.

The advantage of this approach is it helps

  • To build commitment &
  • To reduce bad feelings.

The drawback of this approach, that

  • Individual own concerns and ideas won’t get adequate attention.
  • The person might lose credibility & future influence.

5) Collaborating

Collaborating means to try working with others for finding a solution that will fully satisfy both party's concerns.

  • It means digging into a problem to pinpoint the underlying needs & wants of the two groups or individuals.
  • The goal of the collaboration is to reach a consensus.
  • It is a technique in which persons gain & give in a series of concessions.
  • The outcome is “Win - Win”.

Generally, it is considered the best technique for managing a conflict.

Collaborating between 2 persons perhaps take the form like

  • To Study the disagreement and learn from each other’s insights, or
  • To try to search for a creative solution to an interpersonal problem.

Problem with collaboration technique:

  • Compromise is mostly not satisfying. Every person is shaped by their own individual perceptions of their needs and does not necessarily understand the other side very well.
  • It takes lots of energy & time.
  • Often people avoid risk-taking and have major trust issues, which hinders successful collaborative behaviors.

It is not a watertight compartment that person should just use 1 mode of conflict management technique.

  • Some individuals use some modes better than others &, therefore, tend to rely on those modes than others whether because of practice or temperament.
  • Understanding each technique with its consequences helps in normalizing the results of our behaviors in many situations.

Conflict Resolution Styles And Models

Conflict resolution is also known as 'Reconciliation'. It is a style and method involved in, facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict & retribution.

The conflict resolution models and theory are relatively new in the field of education. Some of the important models & theories of conflict resolution are:

  1. Dual Concern Style
  2. Yielding Conflict Style
  3. Avoidance Conflict Style
  4. Cooperation Conflict Style
  5. Competitive Conflict Style
  6. Conciliation Conflict Style
  7. Thomas and Kilmann’s Style

1) Dual Concern Style:

The dual concern style of dealing with conflict is a conceptual viewpoint that assumes that the preferable method of human beings for dealing with conflict is built on 2 underlying dimensions or themes.

  1. Assertiveness - Concern For Self.
  2. Empathy - Concern For Others.

a. Concern For Self (Assertiveness)

  • Assertiveness is the quality of being confident and self-assured without being aggressive.
  • Assertiveness is a good mode of communication and helpful learnable skill.

b. Concern For Others (Empathy)

Empathy is the quality

  • To feel or understand what other being (human or non-human) is experiencing from within,
  • To identify and understand the emotions of others,
  • To place oneself in another’s position, and
  • To see other people's points of view.

2) Yielding Conflict Style:

Yielding is also known as the “Accommodating” conflict style, characterized by a high level of concern for oneself.

This passive pro-social approach develops when a person

  • Derive personal pride and satisfaction from meeting the needs of others and
  • Have a general interest in maintaining positive, stable social relationships.

When faced with conflict, a person with this yielding style is more likely to give into others’ demands, out of respect or for the social relationship.

3) Avoidance Conflict Style:

This style of conflict resolution is a method, which tries to avoid tackling the issue and problems at hand directly.

Some of the methods for doing this include

  • To Put off a discussion until later,
  • To change the subject, or
  • To simply not bring up the subject of conflict.

This method is applied when one

  • Shows no interest and concern in dealing with the other party, and
  • Uncomfortable with conflict.

4) Cooperation Conflict Style:

This style is normally applied when a person has high interests in their own outcomes as well as in the outcomes of others.

  • Collaborators see conflict as a creative opportunity, and they willingly invest time & resources into finding a ‘Win-Win’ solution.
  • Literature on conflict resolution, recommend a cooperative conflict resolution style over all other conflict styles.

When faced with conflict, cooperators work together with everybody else in an effort to find an agreeable solution that satisfies all the parties involved in the conflict.

Cooperation Conflict style is characterized by an active concern for both

  • Pro-self-behavior and
  • Pro-social behavior.

A person using cooperation conflict style tend to be both

  • Highly empathetic and
  • Highly assertive.

5) Competitive Conflict Style:

Competitive is also known as “fighting” conflict style, it maximizes the person assertiveness (concern for self) & minimizes empathy (concern for others).

Groups (consist of competitive members) or individuals with this style,

  • Typically enjoy getting domination and control over others,
  • Usually see conflict as a “win or lose” situation,
  • Tries to foster feelings of intimidation in others and
  • Have a tendency to force others to accept & believe their personal view by using competitive power approaches like
    • Arguments,
    • Accusations,
    • Insults,
    • Violence, etc.

6) Conciliation Conflict Style:

This style is found in people who have an intermediate level of concern and worry for both personal & others’ outcomes.

  • Compromisers know and value fairness, by doing so, they expect mutual give-and-take interactions.
  • They accept some requests or demands put forth by others.
  • Compromisers trust that this agreeableness will encourage others to meet them halfway, and thus promote conflict resolution.

This conflict style can be considered an extension of both ‘cooperative’ and ‘yielding’ strategies.

7) Thomas and Kilmann’s Style:

In any conflict situation, according to Thomas and Kilmann’s, people mostly react in one of several ways:

  1. Competing,
  2. Avoiding,
  3. Accommodating,
  4. Compromising, or
  5. Collaborating.

Who will choose which conflict management styles, depends most upon the nature of the situation, then the specific personality traits of the person.

Thomas and Kilmann’s 5 different styles of conflict resolution

a) Competing Style:

  • This is a power-oriented style, in which one applies and uses any kind of power which seems to be appropriate for winning one’s own position.
  • This style of conflict resolution is uncooperative and assertive a person pursues their own needs and concerns at the expense of others.
  • This style can be used whenever a quick decisive action is needed and action is crucial for the organization.

b) Avoiding Style:

This style of conflict resolution is uncooperative and unassertive – in this person do not address the conflict. They do not straightaway pursue their own concerns or those of the other person.

General tactics of avoiding conflicts are:
  • Postponing a dispute until a better time,
  • Diplomatically dodging an issue, or
  • Simply abandoning a threatening situation whenever one finds no chance of satisfying his concerns.

c) Accommodating Style:

This style is the opposite of the competing style. It is cooperative and unassertiveness.

  • In this person neglects their own concerns to satisfy the concern of the other person, there is a quality of self–sacrifice in this style.
This style is used in conditions like:
  • To fulfill the requirements of others,
  • When conflict is significantly important for another person than to yourself, and
  • As a goodwill gesture to help maintain a cooperative relationship.

d) Compromising Style:

This style of conflict resolution is a midway between both cooperativeness and assertiveness. It gives up more than competing but less than accommodating

  • This style of conflict resolution could be practiced when objectives are moderately significant & temporary agreement is needed.
  • The goal is to achieve some practical, mutually acceptable solution that partially satisfies both parties.

e) Collaborating Style:

This style is the opposite of avoiding style. It includes both cooperative and assertive.

Collaborating means
  • To make a sincere effort, to work with other parties,
  • To dig into an issueto identify the underlying concerns,
  • To find an alternative or some solution that can fully satisfy the concerns of both parties.

This conflict resolution style is used whenever one needs an integrative solution & the concerns and issues are equally important for both sides.

B.Ed B.Ed Notes Peace Education


Conflict Resolution Notes

Explain Different Conflict Resolution Strategies And Models Notes For B.Ed In English Medium

(What Is Conflict? | Describe Conflict Resolution Process | How Can Conflict Be Avoided? ) Notes And Study Material, PDF, PPT, Assignment For B.Ed 1st and 2nd Year, DELED, M.Ed, CTET, TET, Entrance Exam, All Teaching Exam Test Download Free For Peace Education Subject.

Check Also:

Post a Comment


Share You Thoughts And Suggestions In The Comment Box

Post a Comment (0)