Conflict is part of our everyday lives. We must all deal with some sort of conflict. "Conflict occurs whenever disagreements exist in a social situation over issues of substance or whenever antagonisms create frictions between individuals or groups." (Schermerhorn, Hunt, Osborn, 127) Our textbook Organizational Behavior describes two types of conflict, the first type of conflict is substantive conflict which involves fundamental disagreement over ends or goals to be pursued and the means for their accomplishment, and the second type of conflict is emotional conflict which involves interpersonal difficulties that arise over feelings of anger, mistrust, dislike, fear, and resentment. (Schermerhorn, Hunt, Osborn, 127) There are also different levels of conflict and they are intra personal conflict, interpersonal conflict, intergroup conflict, and inter organizational conflict. How we deal with conflict depends on our conflict management style. Each of us has our own conflict management style that we feel comfortable using.
There are five conflict management styles and they are competing which means that we are putting our own interests before anyone else's interest, collaborating which enables us to work together so everyone can win, compromising which allows us to satisfy some of our interests, avoiding which allows us to not get involved in the conflict at all, and accommodating which means we will put our interests last and allow others to have what they want. The conflict management style of the senior loss prevention representative at Eckerd Corporation is the avoiding style. Unfortunately no matter what the conflict is she will avoid it instead of handling the situation. I do not agree with this style especially when it is the only one ever used. I do believe we have to pick and choose our battles and some battles are just not worth the effort but when this is the only style being used it can be very destructive. After taking the conflict management style assessment I realized I scored the highest on the collaborating style with a score of 12 and the lowest on the avoiding style with a score of seven, but I scored an 11 on the other three styles competing, compromising, and accommodating.
These results show that to me the most important conflict management style is collaborating but the other styles competing, compromising, accommodating and even avoiding (in certain circumstances) are also very important. My conflict management style differs greatly from the senior loss prevention representative's style. I feel conflict should be handled immediately, all parties involved should meet and discuss the issues causing the conflict and she feels all conflict should be avoided. We are all experiencing conflict right now in our class setting. Every week we are given assignments and discussion questions to answer. Each of us has our own opinion on what the right answer is for us but others may disagree with how the other person views the question or their answer in general.
This disagreement is a form of conflict; we do not have to agree with every answer that is given by each student. We then decide how we want to deal with the conflict, do we decide to avoid the conflict by not responding back or do we respond to the person and try to accommodate the person, compromise with the person, collaborate with the person, or compete with the person. If I feel strongly about the topic or issue I will restate my position and try to collaborate with the person. If I do not feel strongly about the issue I will just ignore the response and move on. When I am faced with conflict I really have to choose which battles are worth the effort, when I was younger I would just jump into any conflict and waste a lot of valuable time dealing with issues that I did not really feel strongly about, as I grew older I realized that I was wasting a lot of my time and started only dealing with conflicts that I deemed important to me and the harmony of my workplace. Not all conflict should be considered destructive or dysfunctional some conflict is constructive or functional.
Conflict can bring important problems to the surface, it can increase information for problem solving, and it can offer opportunities for creativity. Of course there is conflict that can be very destructive to an organization; this conflict can be two or more employees not getting along or members of a team failing to act because they can not reach an agreement on goals. Dealing effectively with the conflicts that confront us is a very important part of being a manager. We should all find our conflict management style and utilize it the best we can.
Conflict is never going to end, we will all be faced with some sort of conflict, and it is very important how we choose to handled the conflict that faces us. References Schermerhorn, Jr. J. R. , Hunt, J.
G. , Osborn, R. N. (2002). Organizational Behavior. John Wiley & Sons Inc..