Concrete Experience and Reflective Observation
There are five behavior strategies in a conflict, such as withdrawal, coercion, compromise, concession, and cooperation. In my view, cooperation is the most effective strategy of behavior in a conflict. It implies opponents’ desire to the constructive discussion of the problem, paying attention to the other side not as an adversary but as an ally in the search for a solution (Saeed, Almas, Anis-ul-Haq, & Niazi, 2014). I used it in cases of strong interdependence of opponents, the tendency to ignore differences in power, and when the importance of the decision was rather grave.
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Theories and Principles/Abstract Conceptualization
The failure to resolve conflicts, but not the very existence, leads to the destruction of interconnections. The workplace is also characterized by various conflicts that cannot always be avoided. Conflict resolution in a constructive way promotes a higher degree of convergence and a higher quality of relationships.
Conflict resolution theory assigns a top priority to constructive decision-making based on the joint discussion of the issue (Coleman, Deutsch, & Marcus, 2014). The typical results of applying this theory are a more positive approach of both parties towards each other. Also, it specifies that every conflict is unique, and specific circumstances should be taken into account.
The theory of cooperation and competition offers a useful perspective on these two activities. Cooperation is how one creates wealth; for example, one bakes a cake (Saeed et al., 2014). Competition is how one gets wealth, for example, how one cuts his or her piece of cake.
Constructive controversy theory states that disagreements are inherent to groups’ decision-making (Coleman et al., 2014). By revealing the core of the conflict and identifying what is expected, the theory offers one of the most useful ways to resolve organizational conflicts. It provides room for innovation and creativity and guides leaders.
The choice of the strategy depends on various factors. Typically, they point to the personal characteristics of employees, the level of damage inflicted, or the availability of resources. The possible consequences, the seriousness of the problem being solved, and the duration of the conflict also matter.
Testing and Application/Active Experimentation
Each of the identified theories was used in my practice related to various situations. For example, the constructive controversy theory assisted me in managing two extremely opposite groups within one team. Both parties were sure of their correctness, and there was no way to find a compromise. In this regard, I initiated a game based on this theory to engage both groups, and the conflict was finally resolved.
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Coleman, P. T., Deutsch, M., & Marcus, E. C. (2014). The handbook of conflict resolution: Theory and practice (3rd ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Saeed, T., Almas, S., Anis-ul-Haq, M., & Niazi, G. S. K. (2014). Leadership styles: Relationship with conflict management styles. International Journal of Conflict Management, 25(3), 214-225.