Approaches for Conflict Negotiation and Resolution

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 4
Words: 1159
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: Bachelor

Introduction

Despite the intention to create a friendly environment in companies, predicting all conflicts is not always possible. Leaders and managers have to make spontaneous decisions, analyze situations, and listen to all employees to consider all standpoints and opinions. In this case, an organization experiences conflict based on racial, cultural, religious, and social biases. The leadership team consists of seven members, who are representatives of different races and ethnicities. Most employees believe that some contradictions destroy the company, and it is high time to solve problems and create a favorable culture. Although it takes time, implementing an integrative or collaborative approach is necessary for the company to promote trust and respect and engage all participants in solving their critical moments.

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Conflict Causes

The conflict in the company is not simple because it includes several problems and the possibility of developing different attitudes toward the participants. Regarding the fact that there are almost all women in the leadership team, the question of gender is not as urgent as the question of race. There are two African-Americans, one Hispanic, and four Caucasians. They all represent different cultures and social classes, which also complicates their interpersonal relationships. At this moment, several factors that may be responsible for causing the conflict can be identified, including values clashes, poor communication between leaders, and lack of clarification on responsibilities and roles in a team. No attention to social awareness in the workplace provokes the development of various perceptions and unclear situations (John-Eke & Akintokunbo, 2020). Personal-based factors like different backgrounds and incompetence may be enough to create destructive conflict (Obiekezie & Obi, 2019). Hocker and Wilmont (2014) define conflict as a struggle between several independent parties who want to achieve their goals. In this case, all participants of conflict are not only interdependent by their responsibilities but also strive to stay independent, relying on their possibilities.

Conflict Impact

Any conflict seriously impacts all its participants and other team members who are not directly involved in the discussion. In the company, seven leaders cannot solve all their problems and concerns and continue to conflict. In most cases, people who are in conflict do not think or even imagine how many outcomes of their behaviors are (Hocker & Wilmont, 2014). This specific conflict affects the rest of the organization in several ways. First, leaders are focused on their opinions and issues and do not make enough decisions to maintain their work. Second, goal incompatibility between departments may occur because of goal differences between the leaders (John-Eke & Akintokunbo, 2020). Finally, poor attitudes toward work and the development of strained relationships increase the number of enemies who do not want to compromise but pull down the whole organization (Obiekezie & Obi, 2019). With time, employees will notice low productivity and competitive advantage, an inability to solve problems in a short period, and poor motivation for completing new tasks.

Conflict Resolution Style

The conflict in a leadership team makes it impossible for other employees to work hard, which underlines the necessity of resolving biases based on race, culture, religion, and social status. According to Hocker and Wilmont (2014), five conflict management styles are avoiding, dominating, compromising, obliging, and cooperative (or integrating). Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages, but the decision to implement integrating ideas should be made. This situation aims to find a collaborative solution, which is the essence of integrating (Hocker & Wilmont, 2014). The current conflict lasted about a year, and leaders cannot reach the same conclusion, demonstrating their specific opinions on various topics. Collaboration is characterized by creativity, support, and trust, and the fact that all parties to the conflict are leaders, they have to possess enough skills to demonstrate the necessary techniques. Integration of ideas helps avoid violence and destruction within a company (Raines, 2019). Although this approach requires much time and knowledge, listening to each other is vital for all leaders, which explains the worth of integration or collaboration for this company.

Conflict Negotiation Strategies

The main idea of integrative negotiation is finding a win-win solution for all the parties in collaboration. Thus, it is important to develop several arguments to identify and support the interests of all participants and understand what goals should be achieved. Compromise is one of the most appropriate strategies for conflict management (John-Eke & Akintokunbo, 2020). However, it is hardly achievable without collaboration, and there are no guarantees that 100% success will be obtained (Raines, 2019). Volunteers in conflict managers need to work hard with each individual separately and in groups. First, separating a person from the conflict and discussing individual concerns, expectations, and contributions are required. Second, the analysis of each communication allows for identifying any shared values and thoughts for further collaboration. Finally, differences in opinions may be underlined to think about how to solve them all together. Following several common rules plays an important role in achieving positive results in conflict management, like creating a listening atmosphere, avoiding blaming, and learning from other examples (Hocker & Wilmont, 2014). These strategies should help the leaders listen to each other and cooperate for their organization’s safe future.

Conflict Outcomes

If the chosen strategies and conflict management style are followed, it is expected to achieve several outcomes and contribute to organizational improvement and success with time. Compared to domination or avoidance, integrating is characterized by the possibility of grappling with the conflict and trying to solve a problem (Hocker & Wilmont, 2014). When personal and mutual gains are identified and shared, it will be easier for leaders to discuss their concerns and find an appropriate option for everyone. Racial and cultural biases exist in every part of modern society, but it is not the reason for self-destruction or endless disputes. After implementing integrative tactics, the main outcomes of this conflict are the stage for containment, emotional control, power balance, and cooperation. Negotiators will improve their relationships and consider their needs through the prism of organizational culture and the interests of other team members. This negotiation results in regular meetings, sharing traditions, and extended emotional intelligence. Sometimes, a simple exchange of experience and discussing problems together help avoid more serious situations and unnecessary conflicts.

Conclusion

Conflict management is never a simple process because all parties are properly aware of their interests and want to impose their opinions considered as the only right ones. In conflicts based on racial or social diversity and cultural or religious preferences, negotiators should be ready to respect each other and not promote anger, envy, or other negative feelings. Thus, integrating or collaborating tactics are offered to solve the conflict that continues destroying the organization. Many workers have already admitted that it is impossible to work under conditions when leaders cannot agree but prove their superiority on racial or social grounds. Such strategies as individual and ingroup communication or identifying personal and organizational values should help a conflict manager listen to each party, gather opinions, and make them increase their emotional intelligence and mutual understanding.

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References

Hocker, J., & Wilmont, W. (2014). Interpersonal conflict (9th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

John-Eke, E. C., & Akintokunbo, O. O. (2020). Conflict management as a tool for increasing organizational effectiveness: A review of literature. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 10(5), 299-311. Web.

Obiekezie, N., & Obi, C. (2019). Effective management of organisational conflict: A panacea for organizational growth. Multidisciplinary Journal of Education, Research and Development, 3(1), 148-158.

Raines, S. S. (2019). Conflict management for manager: Resolving workplace, client, and policy disputes (2nd ed.). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.