Saturday, 9 July 2011


1. Conflict
.. a condition that results when one party feels that some concern of that party has been frustrated or is about to be frustrated by a Second party.
.. party = refers to individuals, groups, organizations

2. Dynamic
 ..conflict is a dynamic process
..does not appear suddenly
..passes through several stages

 3. Stages of conflict
..conflict passes through several stages
   a. Latent conflict
.. the basic condition for conflict exists
.. but have not yet been recognized by the parties.
.. example: experienced non-graduate and young inexperienced graduate in same department

   b. Felt conflict
.. internal tensions begin to build in the involved parties
.. but the conflict is still not out in the open.

   c. Perceived conflict
.. the basic conditions for conflict are recognized by one or more of the parties

  d.  Manifest conflict
  .. the conflict is out in the open
  .. the existence of the conflict becomes obvious to parties that are not involved

  e. Conflict aftermath
   .. the conflict is stopped by some method.
   .. how the conflict is stopped establishes new conditions that lead either to a new conflict or to more effective cooperation between the involved parties.

4. Managing conflict: methods
.. withdrawing
.. smoothing
.. forcing conflict to a solution
.. compromising
.. collaborating

a. Withdrawing
  .. issue is relatively unimportant.
  .. time is needed for cooling off.
  .. person tries to solve problem by denying its existence
  .. win/ lose result

 b. Smoothing 
  .. issue is relatively unimportant.
  .. preservation of relationship is important.
  .. emphasizes areas of agreement.,
  .. differences are played down.
  .. results in win/lose
  .. variations of resentment and defensiveness

 c.  Forcing 
 .. when power comes with authority and this method has been agreed upon.
 .. conflict is settled by using one’s authority, majority rule, a persuasive minority, etc.
 .. results in win/lose if the dominated party sees no benefit for itself.

 d. Compromising
 .. parties have enough leeway to give.
 .. each party gives up something in order to meet midway.
 .. results in lose/lose if middle of the road position ignores the real diversity of the isssue.
 .. can also result in win/win if managed well.

 e. Collaborating 
  .. appropriate if time is available.
  .. win/win
  .. abilities, values and expertise are recognised.
  .. each person’s position is clear.
  .. good for complex problems
  .. emphasis in on joint solution.

5. Positive aspects of conflict & Change
 .. conflict usually causes change
 .. conflict activates people, eliminates monotony and boredom, gets them moving
 .. conflict is a form of communication, opening up more channels of communication
 .. conflict can be healthy as it relieves pent-up emotions
 .. conflict can be educational in that participants often learn a great deal not only about themselves but also about other people involved.
 .. the aftermath of a conflict can be a stronger and better working environment

6. Tips for conflict resolution
 .. acknowledge conflict
 .. encourage participation
 .. encourage commitment
 .. determine the facts: question
 .. listen
 .. focus on the problem, not the people
 .. go for collaboration method: mutually beneficial & win-win


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