The Value Of Conflict


Length: 1302 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

The Value of Conflict
The word conflict stirs up thoughts of anger, friction, mistrust, frustration, and hostility. Rarely does anyone think of conflict as a tool for deeper thinking, better results, and communication that is more dynamic. When unmanaged, team conflict can destroy cohesiveness, but teams that use conflict resolution strategies can turn their conflict into an asset. Managed conflict can promote an exchange of ideas to generate well-thought-out results, encourage team members to think outside of their own ideas, and develop deeper understanding.

Sal Capobianco, Mark Davis, and Linda Kraus attempt to dispel the myth that all conflict is bad in their article "Good conflict, bad conflict: How to have one without the other" (2004 a). In the article, they state that "some kinds of conflict result[ing] from organizational growth and change … can be simply the result of new ideas being generated and debated; this kind of conflict can be invigorating, and even vitally important for the organization" (Capobianco et al, 2004, 3). The authors confirm that conflict can be a robust exchange of ideas that can breathe life into an organization or team. However, the line between productive, healthy conflict and destructive, unhealthy conflict is a thin one. Only focused conflict management strategies can keep the team on a path to success. Capobianco, Davis, and Kraus remind teams "the ultimate goal is to shape and guide conflict so as to minimize its hurtful and destructive forms, and to encourage its more positive constructive forms." (Capobianco et al, 2004, 3)

Many articles and journals contain volumes of conflict resolution techniques. Essentially, most of them boil down to five basic approaches. These five approaches are described in an article by Glenn Starks, called "Managing Conflict in Public Organizations" (2007): collaborating, compromising, accommodating, competing, and avoiding. Each of the approaches carries pros and cons. However, the only conflict management approach that truly is set to foster an exchange of ideas and work toward the best result is collaboration.

While compromising comes in as a close second to collaboration, its premise is to agree on meeting in the middle. Claire White and Greta Thornbory also write about the five approaches to conflict management in their article, "How to…manage conflict and confrontation" (2007). In the article, they describe collaboration as a "lose-lose strategy, and the issue may need to be addressed again later" (White and Thornbory, 2007, 10).

The other three approaches do not foster deep thinking and do not encourage teams to exercise alternative thinking or develop a deeper understanding of the issues.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Value Of Conflict." 123HelpMe.com. 25 Jun 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=167833>.
Title Length Color Rating  
conflict between humanistic and scientific value Essay examples - HRM - Conflicts of Scientific and Humanistic Values 1.0 Introduction One of the popular theory of the “Critical Theorist “ ( with referrence to the Marxist view ). science reduce humankind to passive objects beholden to the laws of "nature." Sociology, as a form of science, is therefore also criticized for making scientific studies a means to an end unto themselves, as well as for not recognizing the importance of the individual. Modern society at large is criticized for being obsessed with rationality and efficiency instead of human emancipation....   [tags: essays research papers fc] 8652 words
(24.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Making Decisions on Moral Dilemmas Essay - ... Those immigrants are worsen the economic downturn, increase the unemployment rate and will pull down the economy that gives negative impact to the economic development. I think it is not fair to say that those immigrants have the responsibility on the economic downturn. It does not have the any correlation between them. It is not fair to blame on every immigrants. Whether they are contributed to economy or not need to be deciding case by case. To solve the moral conflicts, we have to analyze between different solutions to minimize the loss and pursuit the right value....   [tags: guides, conflict, solution, value, justice]
:: 2 Works Cited
791 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Understanding Conflict and Violence - Conflict as a socio-political phenomenon is inherent in any society. He is one of the manifestations of the political process, method of resolving its contradictions. The important role of conflict marked already the ancients who asserted that the source of the movement of all things lies in the formation of opposites and their struggle. Conflict as a social phenomenon was first studied in the writings of Georg Simmel, G. Hegel, Marx, A. Smith, A. Tocqueville. Isolation of political conflicts in the separate problem of the world political science falls in the middle of the twentieth century....   [tags: Conflict as a socio-political phenomenon]
:: 7 Works Cited
2910 words
(8.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Managing Conflict Through Communication - Introduction Not every person is going to get along on a daily basis, and in a confined space. There’s going to be conflicts in every environment especially in the workplace where most people spend the greater part of the day. Conflict is hard to define because every situation is different, it could be either tangible or intangible in the case of feelings. Conflict resolution is a task not easily handled, and it can be really disparaging if not properly taken care of when it is identified. Workplace conflict can be caused by various factors, and can cause a great deal of stress for all those involved....   [tags: workplace, conflict resolution]
:: 3 Works Cited
1195 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Low Context Communication Lead to Increased Conflict Essay - ... She grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey but has lived in Texas, Arizona, Florida and now currently resides in California. As a child she lived in a group home until she was emancipated at age eighteen. After attending Monmouth College, she joined the Air Force and served in the military for four years. Having lived in the Bay Area for ten years, she has been taking classes at BCC as a part of the Social and Human Services Cohort and plans to transfer to a 4-year university after she has earned her AA degree....   [tags: conflict, mediation, fact-to-face]
:: 2 Works Cited
748 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Different Types of Conflict in Some Situations Essay - Conflict plagues our homes, our work, and most of our lives, yet, most of the conflict hardly ever affects us. This is either because the conflict is mediated to keep it from blowing too far out of per portion, or because the conflict is dealt with when it first arrives. There is also the other type of conflict that if left undealt with will plague the workplace or a home. This type of conflict is often destructive to the people directly dealing with the conflict and sometimes those who are indirectly associated with the conflict....   [tags: conflict resolution, conflict styles]
:: 4 Works Cited
1353 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Analysis of Armed Conflict Essay - Not all of these tools will be equally useful in every context, but we will learn to use them all. The exercises that follow will suggest key questions to ask, and will guide us in creating visual representations that help make sense of the conflict. 1. Time and Place: Historical and Geographical Views For historical view we need to draw up a brief history of the key events in the conflict. We create a timeline leading up to the present day, including any significant turning points that have either escalated or reduced the conflict....   [tags: Armed Conflict] 1854 words
(5.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about Conflict Resolution - Conflict Resolution Conflict is part of human existence. The world is filled with conflicts in all realms of life. Evidence of unresolved conflicts in greater scale are the chaos around the world that we hear and see from the daily world news....   [tags: Conflict Relationship Communication]
:: 3 Works Cited
1070 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Conflict Resolution - I.     INTRODUCTION When two or more people come together with an aligned goal, a team is formed. This team is comprised of members, each with his own plan of action to best achieve the task at hand. Many times one member believes that his point of view is the most correct or most efficient, while another member of the team may disagree, offering her idea as best. When one individual challenges another, conflict is born. This is a very basic example, and only one type of conflict is addressed....   [tags: Resolution of Conflict]
:: 3 Works Cited
1949 words
(5.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Conflict Management Essay - Introduction to conflict The term conflict referred to perceived incompatible differenced resulting in some form of interference or opposition. Conflict is a natural part of organizational life because the goals between mangers and workers are often incompatible. If people perceive that differences exist then conflict state exists. Conflict is not exists between individual only, it also can exist between departments and divisions that compete for resources or even because of overlapped authority....   [tags: Business Communication Conflict Mediation] 1378 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]



Avoiding dismisses the conflict altogether leaving the issue unresolved and the conflict essentially unmanaged. White and Greta point out "this can lead to the issue escalating and requiring greater effort in the future" (White and Thornbory, 2007, 7). The accommodation approach described by White and Greta as "agreeing to something just to keep the peace" (White and Thornbory, 2007, 8), has one or more team members not contributing to the result. Similar to accommodation, authoritarian allows one person to take control and dictate the resolution based solely on his or her power or position. This approach leaves the majority of the team feeling discontent and not included. White and Greta explain that this results in a team with "little listening, discussion, or information sharing" (White and Thornbory, 2007, 11).

The final and best approach is collaboration. This approach involves all members of the team and challenges them to contribute their ideas and thoughts in order to discover the best solution. White and Greta describe this approach as "the parties accept there is a conflict, take time to discuss the root causes, discuss different solutions, and identify the drivers and inhibitors to a resolution" (White and Thornbory, 2007, 13). Collaboration digs deeper into possible solutions, and at the same time taps into the wealth of resources and experiences of each team member. Collaboration takes more effort than the other four approaches. Each person must employ good listening and communication skills. This process will assist in dynamic conversations and exchanges of ideas. Collaboration takes much more effort and time, but the results can be well worth the investment.

One of the greatest benefits of managed conflict is collaborative teams exchange ideas. The conflict challenges its members to think outside of their own comfort zone and develop a deeper understanding of the issue. Steven Jungst, Janette Thompson and Gary Atchison support this belief in their article "Academic Controversy: Fostering constructive conflict in Natural Resources Education" (2003). They contend: "Students do, in fact, develop a better understanding of central issues as a result if having experienced [productive conflict]" (Jungst et al, 2003, 1). Lively discussions on opposing views are mini-debates on the issues. Each member expresses his or her ideas and beliefs about the topic and a proposed solution. In turn, the other members are in a position to think through others' viewpoints in order to defend their own perspective or challenge the other's argument. This process results in deeper discernment of the issue. Deborah Kezsbom wrote an article called "Managing the chaos: Conflict amount project teams" (1989). In it, Kezsbom writes: "Through constructive management and appropriate resolution of conflict, it is possible to gain a broader understanding of the nature of the problem and its implications" (Kezsbom, 1989, 9).

Richard F. Bowman, Jr. wrote an article "Temptation #4: Harmony versus productive conflict" (2001) on the negative effects of too much workplace harmony. Bowman specifically addresses the positive impact constructive conflict and excessive harmonies have on workplace decisions. This article cites study after study in support of constructive conflict resulting in sound results. "A considerable body of research suggests that, where there is little conflict over issues, there is also likely to be poor decision making" (Bowman, 2001, 2). Too much harmony can lead to a decision that has not been tested or challenged. Too often, that decision will be challenged later, and in some cases, it has already caused irreparable damage. "Lack of conflict can be a problem; for example when a team is formed to solve a complex issue, but lack of differing ideas and opinions (groupthink) leads to suboptimal solutions or none at all" (Starks, 2006, p.56).

Team conflict has the potential to be a dynamic asset if the team chooses to manage it properly. Decisions are a result of team conflict "are reached primarily by consensus and represent synergy of the most positive aspects of the group's total solutions" (Kezsbom, 1989, p.A.4.3). Furthermore, a team's energy can be elevated to produce an experience that is more vibrant for its members. The periodical Bulletpoint ran a cover story called "The Trouble with Teams" (1995). The article summed up what teams who employ constructive conflict can expect: "Effective teams increase productivity, raise morale, [and] spur innovation" (The Trouble with Teams, 1995, 1). The experts agree that managed conflict can be a positive factor in a team's performance and results. Moreover, team members can personally benefit by expanding their minds to new ideas outside of their own and develop a deeper understanding of the issues at hand.

References
Bowman, R.F., Jr. (2001). Temptation #4: Harmony versus productive conflict. The Educational Forum, 65 (3), 221. Retrieved January 18, 2008, from ProQuest Education Journals database. (Document ID: 71779075).
Capobianco, S., Davis, M., & Kraus, L. (2004, July). Good conflict, bad conflict: How to have one without the other. Mt Eliza Business Review, 7(2), 31. Retrieved January 18, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 878901101).
Jungst, S., Thompson, J., & Atchison, G. (2003). Academic Controversy: Fostering Constructive Conflict in Natural Resources Education. Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, 32, 36. Retrieved January 18, 2008, from ProQuest Biology Journals database. (Document ID: 522925161).
Kezsbom, D. (1989). Managing The Chaos: Conflict Among Project Teams. American Association of Cost Engineers. Transactions of the American Association of Cost Engineers ,9. Retrieved January 18, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 1397816).
The Trouble With Teams. (Cover story). (1995, January). Bulletpoint, Retrieved January 17, 2008, from Business Source Complete database.
White, C., & Thornbory, G. (2007, November). HOW TO…manage conflict and confrontation. Occupational Health, 59(11), 26-26. Retrieved January 18, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.


Return to 123HelpMe.com