Conflict is defined as the behaviour due to which people differ in their feelings, thought and/or actions. Collins (1995) states that the conflict is a ‘serious disagreement and argument about something important’ and also as ‘a serious difference between two or more beliefs, ideas or interests’ (cf. Kumaraswamy, 1997, p. 96). In general it is believed that conflicts are the underlying cause of disputes. In other words, dispute is a manifestation of the deep rooted conflict. A dispute is defined as ‘a class or kind of conflict, which manifests itself in distinct, justifiable issues. It involves disagreement over issues capable of resolution by negotiation, mediation or third party adjudication’ (Brown and Marriot 1993, cf. Yates 2003, p.1). Many authors have given different theories and guidelines to differentiate between the terms ‘conflict’ and ‘dispute. But still the some practitioners are not able to recognize the difference between the terms. In fact, they use the terms interchangeably irrespective of the fact that the terms are quite different (Gebken II, 2006).
A practicable distinction is made by John Burton which differentiates the two terms on the bases of time and issue in contention. According to Burton disputes are short term disagreements which are negotiable i.e. solution can be found which meets the interest of both the parties. On the other hand conflicts are long term, deep rooted issues that are non-negotiable. Human needs for security, recognition and identity are issues which are always in conflict and are not negotiable. These conflicts often aggravate to become intractable conflicts. Both the terms can be used independently and can be connected. According to Douglas ...
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...al or competitive attitude and different perception of the fairness by the different people involved in commercial projects are responsible for causing the disputes, but these can be resolved by proper management of the time, coat and quality factor. Semple (1994; cf. Cheung and Yiu, 2006) suggested that what made a project open to disputes is the provision provided by the contracts, weather restricted access of individual, work scope and the acceleration in work due to the unavoidable delays. The contracts and the unpredictable events are very closely related to origin of disputes. It can be said that a project involves large amount of uncertainties during its life cycle and the task of planning for these uncertainties in the contracts laid the foundation for the disputes. This may be due to failure in addressing sources for the uncertainties in the contract.
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