Workplace conflict and resolution
Workplace conflict is a very common occurrence in most organizations. It is manifested in the many disputes that always arise amongst the employees either in the same level or different levels of power. Conflicts often result in low productivity of the individual employees and the organization as a whole. I have at one time been involved in a conflict of interest between junior employees and a senior employee in the tendering department of a certain organization (Trudel et al. 396). The senior employee dictated which firm would supply the organization with furniture without involving the junior employees prompting them dispute the whole process as they felt undermined. To prevent deterioration of the organization’s effectiveness from such occurrences, conflict management concepts needs be employed to resolve the conflict at hand. The conflict management concepts are classified into two categories namely dual concern theory as well as negotiation technique.
As the name suggests, dual concern theory is influenced by how much concern each of the conflicting parties has on self and the other’s interests. That is, one’s interests in relation to their partners. This concept can further be divided to subcategories one of which known as problem solving technique. This technique involves the conflicting parties steering towards an agreement that satisfies both of them. Thus, the parties involved are required to rank their interests in the order of priority and preference. The most important issues of each party are taken while ignoring the least important.
Promotion of teamwork amongst the employees is equally a significant strategy towards workplace conflict resolution. It results in a friendly environment allowing effectiveness of the yielding technique. This involves incorporating and giving space for others’ will while pushing for approval of one’s interests. Teamwork also promotes good communication between individuals in different ranks and thus the seniors will work effectively with their juniors without disputes (Trudel et al. 396).
Power intervention strategy plays a significant role in returning the organization’s productivity in order when disputes arise. This usually involves the top management intervening and imposing solutions to the conflict. However, while doing this, the management should be impartial and thus, not take sides so as to ensure fairness in the judgment they impose. Under this also, avoidance can be applied as a strategy where the interaction between the conflicting parties is reduced by separating them especially through reshuffles. In our case above, the management could intervene and decide whether the firm at hand was the best to win the tender.
Negotiation concept involves bringing the conflicting parties together and reaching an agreement that is acceptable to both of them. It involves listening and speaking out one’s interests. A ground is created where the two come together and interact freely to discuss the issue at hand. Each one of them gives their preferences and defends them. After the explicit proposals are tabled by the involved parties, bargaining starts seeking to reach a common interest. However, each works hard to advance as well as protecting their interests. Therefore, an individual prioritizes their interests than they prioritize the agreement itself (Trudel et al. 402). In our above case, the senior should table the firm that he prefers be given the tender and the juniors table theirs. After tabling, they should then defend each interest while trying to convince each other. Finally, they could conclude that certain equipments come from the firm preferred by the senior official while the rest be ordered from the firm preferred by the juniors.
Conflict management through any of the discussed techniques will boost the effectiveness of the employees and the whole organization. Therefore, their role in organization conflict resolution should not be underestimated.
Trudel, Jeannie, and Thomas G. Reio. “Managing workplace incivility: The role of conflict management styles—antecedent or antidote?.” Human Resource Development Quarterly 22.4 (2011): 395-423.