1.1 Evaluate the suitability of different methods of conflict management in different situations

Conflict management is about helping people involved in a conflict to deal with the problem effectively. In business, conflict may take the form of miscommunication or disagreement over products and services, but it can also be related to tasks such as deadlines or budgets. Conflict, when managed well, can increase productivity among employees by stimulating competition and encouraging innovation.

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Conflict situations

Conflict situations can be classified into the following categories:

  1. Substantive conflict: This arises from a difference in opinion about the substance of a problem. People may believe that one solution is better than another or they may disagree over what should be done under specific circumstances.
  2. Transactional conflict: This type of conflict involves differences in goals, interests, or needs. For example, different members of project teams may have conflicting goals or work-related needs.
  3. Affective conflict: This is the result of emotional issues such as anger, confusion, or suspicion. People may avoid working directly with others because they feel emotionally threatened by their co-workers.
  4. Procedural conflict: Procedures or processes that are not sufficiently clear can lead to conflict. This sort of situation is common in new organizations where the organizational culture is still being developed.

Methods of conflict management

The following methods of conflict management can be used to help resolve conflicts:

  • Prevention: The aim of this strategy is to avoid conflicts by using clear communication, setting goals and objectives, and creating positive environments that foster cooperation.
  • Non-intervention: This strategy is generally applied when a conflict does not have a significant negative impact on the organization. The focus of this approach is avoidance.
  • Participative resolution: This strategy encourages individuals to become involved in conflict resolution early on, perhaps with the aid of a mediator. Using this approach may allow people to express their concerns and find acceptable solutions.
  • Active resolution: When a conflict is more serious or entrenched, this strategy can be used. Rather than merely encouraging participation, an active approach demands that managers take action to solve the problem and assign responsibility for doing so.

When considering the suitability of various conflict management strategies, it is important to take into account aspects such as environment, objectives, culture, and people. For example, prevention may be suitable when the company’s culture values teamwork while an active approach might be more effective in fast-paced or competitive environments where time pressures are high.

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