Trident university international |
Module 2 Case Assignment |
Conflict Management |
Jessica Cupo |
Conflict occurs regularly within the military organizational structure on the interpersonal, intergroup, inter-organizational, and international levels. A relevant example of interpersonal conflict and resolution recently presented itself between a peer and me in my current role as Awards and Decorations Officer in Charge. A combination of personality, values, communication, and previous interaction bias resulted in the escalation of an interpersonal conflict which required attention in order to regain productivity in the program. As a leader ...view middle of the document...
The conflict escalated further when I extended the deadline and provided strict consequences for failure to execute the task by the deadline. The other Captain felt victimized and reported to my superior. My superior then facilitated a de-escalation of the situation by providing an outside perspective that allowed me to analyze my own behavior. The conflict was resolved when I apologized for making the individual feel that I was out to get him, explained my perceptions, frustrations, and expectations, and provided clear cut guidelines for the assigned task. Several months later the program runs smoothly and productively in large part due to the assistance provided by the other Captain. Instead of working in opposition, the two of us work together to accomplish the mission and meet deadlines.
Sources and Levels of Conflict
Upon reflection, the sources of conflict in the scenario arouse from multiple areas. A significant source of conflict in the instance described arose from a communication based misunderstanding and a personality conflict. Walls and Callister wrote,
Communication-based misunderstanding becomes especially prevalent if the other is angry, dislikes, or distrusts the party. Or a history of interpersonal difficulties can too readily set the stage for miscommunication. Accurate, lucid communication can just as readily generate conflict when it conveys criticism, especially the inconsiderate, destructive variety (Baron, 1988b, 1990), high individual goals, threats, intended distributive behavior, insults, etc. (Walls, 520)
My aggressive, confrontational, type-A personality combined with the other Captain’s history of conflict within the larger organization resulted in additional conflict and loss of productivity. When I confronted the other Captain about his failure to meet a deadline, he perceived my frustration and urgency as a desire to further reprimand him when my desire actually remained accomplishing the task.
My bias from previous interactions created a more hostile tone than I intended. Armed with the knowledge of the other party’s previous failures, I became angry and distrusted the other Captain to accomplish the objectives without significant prompting. My expectations based on his former behavior and our previous interactions created a self-fulfilling scenario that generated conflict escalation instead of dissipation. The communication of my disappointment and criticism created a further misunderstanding between us. While I thought I was clearly communicating expectations and establishing guidelines, the other Captain thought I was threatening and bullying.
Conflict’s Effect on the Organization
On a personal level the conflict added stress, anger, and frustration to my already busy schedule. As the leader of the program, negative feelings in the office I shared with the other Captain manifested in openly disdainful behavior towards the source of the conflict....