Conflict may be defined as a struggle or contest between
people with opposing needs, ideas, beliefs, values, or goals. Conflict
on teams is inevitable; however, the results of conflict are not
predetermined. Conflict might escalate and lead to nonproductive
results, or conflict can be beneficially resolved and lead to quality
final products. Therefore, learning to manage conflict is integral
to a high-performance team. Although very few people go looking
for conflict, more often than not, conflict results because of miscommunication
between people with regard to their needs, ideas, beliefs, goals,
or values. Conflict management is the principle that all conflicts
cannot necessarily be resolved, but learning how to manage conflicts
can decrease the odds of nonproductive escalation. Conflict management
involves acquiring skills related to conflict resolution, self-awareness
about conflict modes, conflict communication skills, and establishing
a structure for management of conflict in your environment.
References for Further Information
- Katzenbach, J.R., and Smith, D.K. (1992). Wisdom
of teams, Harvard Business School Press.
- Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R.T., and Holubec, E.J. (1986). Circles
of learning: cooperation in the classroom (rev. ed.), Edina,
MN: Interaction Book Co.
- “Workplace Basics: The Skills Employers Want,” Am.
Soc. Training and Devel. and U.S. Dept. Labor, Employment and
Training Admin., 1988.
- Algert, N.E. (1996) “Conflict in the workplace”
in Proceedings: Women in Engineering Advocates Network,
Denver, CO., 123–127.
- Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, Consulting
Psychologists Press, Palo Alto, CA: (800)624-1765 or available
on the World Wide Web at http://www.cpp-db.com.
- Smith, K.A. (2000). Project management and teamwork.
New York: McGraw-Hill BEST series.
- Blake, R.R., and Mouton, J.S. (1964). The managerial grid.
Houston: Gulf Publishing Co.
- Algert, N.E., and Watson, K. (2002). Conflict management:
introductions for individuals and organizations. Bryan, TX:
(979)775-5335 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Raudsepp, E. (2002) “Hone Listening Skills To Boost Your
Career,” available on the World Wide Web at http://www.careerjournal.com/myc/climbingladder/20021224-raudsepp.html,
accessed on 28 January 2003.
- Lambert, J., and Myers, S. (1999) 50 Activities for conflict
resolution. Amherst, MA: HR Development Press.
- Johnson, D.W., and Johnson, F.P. (2000) Joining together:
group theory and group skills (7th ed.), Boston, Allyn and
Algert, N.E. (2002). The center for change and conflict resolution,
Bryan, TX: (979)775-5335 or e-mail email@example.com.
Moore, C., “How Mediation Works” in The Mediation
Process: Practical Strategies for Resolving Conflict.
Putnam (1994). “Beyond third-party role: disputes and managerial
intervention,” Employee Responsibilities and Rights J. (7:1).
Xicom, Inc. (1996). Conflict Workshop Facilitator’s Guide.
2001 Foundation Coalition. All rights reserved. Last modified