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Conflict Management Model

On June 29th, 2012, Posted by Author No Comments

What is Conflict Management Model?

conflict management model 1Conflict Management Model is a framework used to understand human behaviour and their underlying characteristics. Conflict Management Model can be utilised by a manager to understand what type of reactions to expect from the employees in the conflict situation and work out the best possible solutions to manage the conflict successfully. To do this, the manager must study the behaviour of the participants and modify his approach to the conflict in the appropriate manner.

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What are the types of behaviours illustrated in the Conflict Management Model?

conflict management model 2There are mainly four types of behaviours discussed in the Conflict Management Model: assertive and non-assertive and cooperative and non-cooperative. Different combinations of these behaviours are exhibited in the different approaches to conflict management. According to the Conflict Management Model (see figure), the Avoidance approach exhibits a non-assertive and non-cooperative behaviour; non-assertive, co-operative behaviour in the Accommodation approach; and while Compromise is the best solution for some assertiveness and some cooperation, Competition (that is the opposite of Accommodation) would lead to better conflict resolution to show assertive and non-cooperative behaviour; and finally assertive and cooperative behaviour is seen in the Collaborative line of attack.

How are the different approaches of the Conflict Management Model useful in resolving the issues?

  1. Avoidance: the manager can very well postpone resolving the conflict until it becomes more demanding of action. This is because the people in the conflict being of the non-assertive and non-co-operative type, they behave in a very individualistic manner and are unsympathetic to the needs of others and thus they pay no attention to or avoid the problems. However, the method of avoidance does not work in resolving conflicts in the long-term as the employees cannot avoid each other forever and there could be an unpleasant confrontation sometime or the other.
  2. Accommodation: means giving in to the demands of others at the cost of one’s own needs. Non-assertive, co-operative behaviour is all right when the conflict issues are of no interest to the manager or have little or no power to take up the issue for resolution. However, accommodation can have detrimental effects to the authority of the manager although it helps sometimes to give in in order to build a rapport with the others.
  3. Compromise: demonstrating some assertiveness and some cooperation is in a medium line between competition and accommodation. Some give and some take would certainly ease the situation and prevent it from getting out of hand. It is a quick and immediate solution without any elaborate investigation into the circumstances of the conflict. Also the parties to the conflict are both somewhat satisfied that at least some of their demands have been met.
  4. Competition: this approach is assertive and non-co-operative and the opposite of accommodation. The other persons’ needs are completely overshadowed by the manager’s own requirements. This insistent and un-compliant approach, while detrimental to relationship building, gets the work done in a short time. This approach cannot work at all times and in all situations and the team spirit and enthusiasm is lost.
  5. Collaboration: the assertive and co-operative approach is the best way to resolve issues by looking at it from all the different perspectives and trying to find solutions that are satisfactory for all the parties concerned in the conflict. Collaboration approach takes time and effort to acquire but can provide lasting solutions. Unpleasant situations can be defused with skill and overt concern for the needs of all the participants.

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