There is NO organisation without disputes (internal or between partners), but where is the limit between necessary-positive disputes and harmful-negative ones? Because conflict is a “condition in which two or more parties appear to be incompatible”, conflict management can help in order to prevent the occurrence of disputes, to keep disputes under control by minimising the negative impact or to use the conflict for producing innovative solution.
While much of the research has focused on reducing the negative effects of conflict, in practice, conflict can generate positive outcomes by introducing different perspectives that produce innovative solutions.
- in the private sector, especially when the companies have to face permanent changes, competition and economic pressure
- in intra-group, inter-group or inter-personal partnerships
WHICH ARE THE GENERAL STEPS?
- The first step is becoming aware that the conflict situation exists.
- The next step is to analyze the manifestation and the type of the conflict. Conflicts can be typed as:
- Relationship conflict – relationship conflict is due to emotions, misperceptions or stereotypes, poor communication between parties or even repetitive negative behaviours by a party. These conflicts reduce the parties ability to ensure quality and performance and have negative affects on their partnership
- Data conflict – data conflict occurs from a lack of information or misinformation, the different/wrong interpretations of information. These conflicts can produce delays or any other negative effects on the company/group activity
- Structural conflict – structural conflict is brought about by major lack of balance. Limited physical resources or limited authority, geographic constraints (distance or proximity), deadlines and other time-related factors, organizational changes, can make structural conflict seem like a crisis. Awareness of the parties on this lack of balance can bring the parties on jointly work to overcome the conflict
- Interest conflict – occurs when a party believe that in order to satisfy his or her needs, the needs and interests of an opponent must be sacrificed. This type of conflict distract attention from performing the network’s or contractual tasks, bringing negative affects on group or contractual performance
- Value conflict – values conflict arises when a party try to impose to other parties/party his/her values system (religion, ideology, ways of life). Because values are not negotiable, conflict management can be useful only in the terms of parties recognition and acceptance of different values systems
- The last step is how to deal with the conflict: using the court of law or using a third professional party which can analyzed the conflict objectively and in its fully complexity?
HOW IS IT ACHIEVED?
- interactive negotiation – finding a creative solution instead of a compromise
- dialogue – can prevent the outburst of disputes
- facilitation – support for decision-making and reaching agreements regarding complex and multiple interests
- reduced cost, confidential and private resolving
- delegative and preventive management
- optimisation of company activities and its people
- control on the dispute dynamics
- producing innovative solution