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Conflict Handling Technique – Introduction to Management (ITM)

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conflict handlingConflict Handling Technique
Principles of Management (POM)
Third Semester | Second year
BSc.CSIT | Tribhuvan University (TU)

Conflict handling/Resolution Techniques
Avoidance (win-lose strategy) : In this technique conflict is suppressed. This prevents from coming into the open. It can be done by;

  • Ignoring the conflict: avoid dealing with the conflict.
  • Forcing: Impose a solution. Force the conflicting parties to accept a solution. Authoritative command is given to resolve conflict which is communicated to the parties involved.

Diffusion (lose-lose strategy) : In this strategy the conflict is deactivated. The emotions and hostilities of the group are cooled off. The specific strategies for diffusion can be:

  • Smoothing: The importance and magnitude of conflict is played down. It lets people cool down. Common interests are emphasized.
  • Appealing to super-ordinate goals: More important shared goals are established. This diverts attention from the current conflict. The goals can not be attained without the cooperation of both the parties.

Containment (Bargaining, Interaction) : Some conflict is allowed to surface. It is contained by tightly controlling the issues to be discussed and the methods for their resolution. The specific strategies can be:

  • Bargaining: It is a form of compromise. Two parties exchange concessions until a compromise solution is reached. Each party to the conflict gives up something of value.
  • Interaction structuring: Using behavioral change techniques to alter attitudes and behavior that cause conflict. This is also called behavior modification.

Confrontation (win-win strategy) : All the issues causing conflict are brought into the open. A mutually satisfactory solution is found thorough face to face meeting of the parties. The specific techniques can be:

  • Organizational redesign: Changing the formal organization structure and the interaction patterns through job redesign. It can be through: transfer of employees; creation of self managed work teams
  • Integrative problem solving: Attempt is made to find a solution that integrates the needs of both parties. Open discussion is encouraged.
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