Data indicate that managers spend approximately 30% to 40% of their workday dealing with some form of conflict (Thomas 2002). Conflicts can result from organizational changes, miscommunications, scarcity of resources, prejudices, and values incongruence (Wilson 2004). Nonetheless, not all conflicts are destructive. Some lead to a sharpening of critical issues and the creation of new systems and institutions that can be beneficial to an organization. In some instances, conflict leads to much needed change. Thus, the challenge is not to try to eliminate conflict but to productively manage disagreements in an effort to increase effectiveness and efficiency.
Conflict management and resolution knowledge, skills, and abilities have become essential management tools for supervisors and managers because unmanaged conflict causes negative, unintended consequences, and it creates physical, psychological, and...
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...ive conflict management promotes motivation, enhances morale and promotes individual and organisational growth (Rahim 1986).
The key to successful conflict management is for each side to first stop trying to “make each other wrong,” and then to find solutions that approximate each side’s goals (Wilson 2004, 2). Training managers and supervisors in how best to manage work place conflict provides them with the necessary knowledge and skills that will enable them to implement practicable options and alternative strategies, Although conflict resolution has been a focus in human resource management in general for many years, “programs are relatively new to the health care system” (Porter-O’Grade 2004, 285). Nonetheless, initial research efforts indicate that conflict-management training can increase organization effectiveness and efficiency by reducing job-related stress.
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