Dynamics Of Conflict In Organizational Settings

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Introduction Today, it is common for organizations to work in teams to achieve an optimal productivity, creativity, and results. While this is a proven approach, it is inevitable that conflict will occur as people from different background and experiences will be brought together at any time. "Conflict arises from the clash of perceptions, goals, or values in an arena where people care about the outcome" (Alessandra, 1993, p. 92). Different person holds different perceptions, needs and goals. Conflict occurs when communications break down, assumptions are made, and then animosity makes itself present as a result. Many people and organizations view conflict as a negative, or something to be avoided. Yet conflict, differences, or disagreements are a natural result of people working together. Also, without conflict, teams can become complacent and not perform at optimum levels. Conflict may enable a group to maximize its performance where outcomes are desirable or may disrupt the group and gets in the way of accomplishing its goals. If the management of that conflict is not effective, it can totally disrupt the entire group process. Conflict management, then, is the employment of strategies to correct these perceived differences in a positive manner. Evidences are drawn on three elements of conflict specific to the dynamics of conflict in organizational settings. First, a number of instruments such as Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument and the Hiam Dealing with Conflict Instrument identified five different styles that people approach conflict. The five styles are namely competing, avoiding, accommodating, compromising and collaborating. Any of the five styles may be appropriate and effective depending on the specific situation, the parties' personality styles, the desired outcomes, and the time available. The key to becoming more prepared is to
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