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Conflict And Decision Making Essay

2160 words - 9 pages

Conflict, Decision Making, and Structure
Paul McKenzie
Strayer University
Leadership and Organizational Behavior
Bus 520
Dr. Keith W. Langner
December 20, 2012

Conflict, Decision Making, and Structure
From the inception of time, the human race has been experiencing and grappling with conflicts of all kinds—both internally and externally. In most recent years, however, conflicts in the workplace have become more prevalent due to diverse cultures, organizational structures, and workplace dynamics such as stress, discrimination, cultural difference, idiosyncrasy, pay inequality, grievance and dispute, and others. These prevailing conditions have and are affecting organizations ...view middle of the document...

Another way to put this, when two or more individuals work together in an attempt to achieve a common goal, a conflict is likely to ensue because people are different by nature. So to gain a deeper understanding on the nature and reality of conflict in the workplace, it is fitting to consider the furnished definition: “Conflict is a process in which one party perceives that its interests are being opposed or negatively affected by another party” (Hellriegel & Slocum Jr., 2011, p. 384). Given the above perspective, a logical conclusion can be reached that conflict in the modern workplace is natural and common. To reinforce this truth, it has been stated by (Robbins, Condie, & Kondo, 1995, p. 423), “Conflict is a natural phenomenon of organizational life.”
To make this point more convincing, whenever a person feels opposed or challenged or threatened, he or she may behave in a negative manner or even resort to violence. In the end, a company’s productivity and profitability may be impacted. In support of such likelihood, it has been reported by the article ("The Nature of Conflict," 2008, p. 0) that “some 559 people in private industry were killed as a result of workplace violence.” Such reality is most sobering and disturbing. Further observation has been made by the same article, “Workplace violence is now estimated to cost employers from $6.4 billion to $36 billion annually in lost productivity, reputation damage, insurance costs, and increased security.” Based on such staggering revelation, dealing with conflict in the workplace is absolutely imperative.
Therefore, by addressing potential conflicts in the workplace and the appropriate-resolution approach or technique; it is important to understand that conflicts can be separated in four-general categories. These categories are “intrapersonal (within an individual), interpersonal (between individuals), intragroup (within a group), and intergroup” (between groups) (p. 385). Being equipped with such knowledge and having a sense of discernment, the author is now able to address potential conflicts in the workplace by applying the following fundamental steps as rendered in the text: (1) accessing the situation, (2) establishing the process, (3) negotiating the agreement, and (4) implementing the agreement. In addition to the mentioned steps, the author is also able to develop creative solutions by utilizing distributive and integrative negotiation strategies.
These strategies or approaches have been proven to be effective bargaining tools. That is, they often help to resolve conflicts and achieve desirable outcomes—concessions or gains or losses. Adding to the above fundamental steps and negotiation strategies, the author could also apply one or more of the following conflict management techniques or preferred conflict-handling styles—collaborating, compromising, forcing, accommodating, and avoiding (p. 390). There are many advantages to using one of the mentioned styles such...

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