Please respond to the below discussion questions, discussion responses should be cited with references
The presence of conflict is one of ubiquitous nature, as our actions and decisions are always met with an array of possibilities that are often conflicting or contrary to each other. When we are confronted with a challenge or conflict that requires a decision concerning how best to face the event, we mentally weigh the options that lead to the most advantageous and efficacious culmination through intrapsychic perspective. The proverbial fork in the road is one of many prongs in the business world, and while individuals are instinctively driven to preserve their own well-being, the selfish need to facilitate an advantage—though seemingly propitious through a myopic perspective—may, in fact, cause a great deal of hardship for many others in the long-run, including that of the one who initially had made the decision in the first place.
In the matter of organizational culture in a business environment, most decisions affect a multitude of individuals, and while conflict or resistance is quite common when decisions are made, it is necessary for leadership to understand how best to resolve the conflict. Whether it be between one individual and another individual or group—interpersonal perspective—or if it is between one group another a group—group-to-group perspective—a leader must possess the ability to engage with the affected parties and to present solutions that can facilitate favorable outcomes for all parties involved.
Regardless of if we choose to either compete or cooperate with ourselves and one another when it comes to decision making, it is imperative to understand how the three above-captioned perspectives drive the contextual factors of power, information, and pressure for resolution when it comes to conflict management. Additionally, it is imperative to illustrate how these contextual factors are displayed and handled in relation to the perspective through which they are exuded.
The struggle for dominance is age-old, and once acquired, it is difficult for those in power to relinquish some of the control to those who are left in want of it. As Coleman suggests in his book concerning power and conflict (2004), those who are in high-power tend to dominate, and oftentimes alienate those who are subordinate or in low-power statuses. It is imperative that a leader who is given power to project their status in an engaging and empowering method to not only provide a beacon of guidance, but to also motivate their workforce in a manner that fosters a desire towards self-development.
Intrapsychic. How the internal conflict that an individual endures is displayed derives from the character of the individual themselves (Krohn, 2012). If an individual lacks a sense of confidence or self-worth, their intrapsychic perspective of conflict may be displayed by the inability to make a decision, wrought by hesitation and reluctance to move forward. There is visible frustration exuded by the individual. Contrarily, if the individual is confident, this is displayed through a high-level of self-esteem Coleman et al., 2014), where their decisions are executed with poise and assertiveness and typically garner a following from their subordinates. For an individual to handle their intrapsychic perspective, they must be able to draw their power from a balance of self-regulation and self-reflection, where they give themselves time to confront the conflict with a calm demeanor and examine all viable options to determine which one best suits not only themselves, but those whom their decision may directly or indirectly affect.
Interpersonal. In the matter of a conflict arising between an individual and another party, oftentimes, power is exuded through a series of displays that can be defined as intellectual dominance, intimidation, or presumed authority, to name but a few (Thompson et al., 2006). While ideals and values can also be a trigger that propels an individual to assert their power over another entity, a display of power through an interpersonal perspective is typically handled by means of a typically aggressive push of one’s goals and priorities upon those whom they wish to dominate. Once the power is obtained, the individual who possess it will further establish their position through a clear and objective voice with a sense of authority and confidence (Coleman et al., 2014).
Group-to-group. The impetus behind group power is found in the common goal that is shared by all established members. While there are typically individual members who are more dominant than others, the common ideal is steadfastly protected and championed by the entirety of the collective. The conflict perspective is displayed by shared themes and a cohesive consensus (Whitaker, 1989), where the stability and the power is both constructed and destroyed by the willingness of the members to fight for and with each other. A successful dominance of group power is handled by community, where the common goal is upheld through social relations that ascend cultural or demographical differences.
The transference of information is necessary, either through verbal or written communication, and in the matter of conflict management, information can either be used as a tool to establish cooperation with other parties or dominance over them.
Intrapsychic. An effective leader is one who educates themselves by constant research as well as by surrounding themselves with individuals whose advice is professionally-founded and trusted. Information is usually displayed through ideas, cognitive restructuring of mental images, as well as what is known as the encoder-decoder paradigm (Coleman et al., 2014). This specific paradigm can be useful, as introspective decryption is usually handled by self-awareness of ideas and idiosyncratic meanings that only the individual is aware of. Much like the handling of power, the handling of information is effectively executed by retrospection and reflection that is founded upon a strong firmament of knowledge and skill.
Interpersonal. Communication is the key to establishing a path to resolution when confronted with conflict, but it is not just a clear articulation that is necessary, but also the ability to effectively translate. Colloquialisms can easily be misinterpreted, especially when working with individuals of different cultures or backgrounds. Therefore, the effective transference of information can be achieved by the display of low signal-to-noise ratio (Coleman et al., 2014), the avoidance of idiomatic dialogue, and redundancy to confirm understanding. This is handled by individuals using common forms of communication and language in a way that is not presumptive of one culture over the other. There has to be a shared understanding and the willingness to not dissect messages in search of destructive meaning, but to help achieve understanding through clarification and patience.
Group-to-group. Much like the interpersonal perspective, the group-to-group perspective—in regards to the contextual factor of information—relies upon an effective conveyance through articulate communication. Similarly, this is displayed through a shared understanding of language and the avoidance of colloquial dialogue, so not to exclude one group from the other, or to make one group feel inferior. In order for there to be a win-win scenario for all groups involved, information should be shared in a clear and articulate manner, and not be obscured for one group to dominate the other.
Pressure for Resolution
Not all conflicts will be resolved, regardless of how effective the leaders are who are in charge of navigating all parties affected, yet as all conflicts hold the potential of severely damaging relationships within departmental teams, leaders are under constant stress of having to resolve conflicts.
Intrapsychic. Though an internal conflict is resolved by the individual themselves, there are visible displays of stress, frustration, and impatience. Pressure to make a decision can often lead to a hasty choice that is not given enough time for reflection and retrospection. To properly handle the pressure to resolve conflict through an intrapsychic perspective, one must be able to meditate upon their own knowledge and ability to effectively come to an advantageous decision.
Interpersonal. Just as pressure can lead to a great deal of stress internally, feeling the pressure to resolve conflict between individuals can cause the affected parties to try and push their own agenda to come to a quick resolution. This can easily lead to dissention and distrust, which will result in a no-win scenario. Therefore, for an effective transition from conflict to resolution, there must be a display of trust and understanding to find common ground where there is a sense of cooperation. If one individual gains control over the other by duplicitous or specious means, the adversely affected-party will most likely hold a grudge. As such, effective resolution through an interpersonal perspective is handled by finding an agreeable balance and a willingness of all involved parties to be willing to sacrifice some things to gain others.
Group-to-group. Within a group-to-group setting, there are several ideologies that are affected, despite there being collectives of individuals who share common goals. The pressure to resolve conflicts between groups is displayed through effective negotiations that are made by chosen mediators representing the groups involved (Montes et al., 2012). By displaying the willingness to work with each other to find common ground rather than to quickly overpower each other—ultimately resulting in a no-win situation—effective negotiators display a sense of communication and engagement. This is handled through means of clarity and articulation of discussion, much like the transference of information as aforementioned amongst multi-cultural individuals and groups.
In conflict resolution, the key is found in communication, whether it be through internal dialogue or external transference. Additionally, there must be trust and understanding established between the parties involved. While theory and application are often different, it is still advisable for those in charge of resolving conflict to be willing to sacrifice some things in order to gain others. If one party strives to dominate, they will either be successful and lose trust with the party they overpowered, or they will lose and find themselves in a dire strait. Either way, a leader should be wont to finding solutions that positively affect not only themselves, but everyone involved.
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Coleman, P.T. (2000). Power and Conflict. Morton Deutsch and Peter T. Coleman, eds., The
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Individuals’ reactions to conflict can vary greatly which could increase creativity and improved decision quality to situations which prevent rational thinking during a decision making process and other acts that are hurtful to others (Hurt, 2014, p. ). One of the significant emotions experienced is anger. The anger may produce positive experience, negative experience or no effect on the individual. If an individual feels that actions of another were unintentional this decreases the ration of the individual acting aggressively toward the other individual. Effective conflict causes negative dysfunctional organizational consequences.
Power – If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. (Redekop, 2014, p. 2.
Information – The individual must understand the nature of self which reveals the nature and characteristics of an internal dialogue and allows the self to access those dialogues and the conflicts they contain (Redekop, 2014, p. 31).
Pressure for Resolution – Transform conflicts with goal of bringing about peaceful relationships with others (Redekop, 2014, p. 31.
Power – Antagonistic attitude and behaviors such as name calling sabotage or even physical aggression (Iacob, 2015, p. 1).
Information – A party possesses goals, values, attitudes and skills that are significant to directing behaviors but are perceived to be exclusive of the goals values and attitudes and skills held by others (Iacob, 2015, p. 2).
Pressure for Resolution – Collaboration works as a problem solving scenario where the purpose is to establish a win-win solution to the conflict that wholly satisfies the interest of both parties (Iacob, 2015, p. 3).
Group to Group
Power – The pervasiveness of intergroup conflicts is related to humans’ high capacity to distinguish between the in-group and out-group members (Martinez-Tur, Penarroja, Serrano, Hidalgo, Moliner, et al., 2014, p. 11.
Information – Intergroup conflict has a negative effect on the rationality of cooperative decision making which causes individuals and groups to be subjected to intergroup conflict (Martinez-Tur, Penarroja, Serrano, Hidalgo, Moliner, et al., 2014, p. 11).
Pressure to Resolution – Intergroup conflict creates suboptimal decision making reducing the opportunities to benefit from cooperation with out-group members. Rational cooperation improved when group and individuals made decision after an in-group deliberative decision, the rationality of the group decision making was transferred to subsequent individual decision making (Martinez-Tur, Pennaroja, Serrano, Hidalgo, Moliner, et al., 2014, p. 12).
Hurt, K. J. (2014). Assessing the relationship between conflict type and emotions in top management teams: An attributions perspective with the context of strategic decision-making. Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, 11(2), 70-88.
Iacob, N. (2015). Interpersonal Conflict (To Manage or not to Manage). Defense Resources Management in the 21st Century, 1-11.
Martinez-Tur, V.; Penarroja, V., Serrano, M. A. Hidalgo, v.; Moliner, et al. (2014). Intergroup Conflict and Rational Decision Making. PLoSOne, 9(2), 11-13.
Redekop, p. (2014). Inner Peace and Conflict Transformation. Peace Research, 46(2), 31-49, 127
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