Conflict Management Process

The modern-day organization operates in an environment that requires a dynamism that ensures that the different issues facing the organization are addressed holistically. To achieve this, decisions have to be made continually. Decision making always brings about organizational conflicts (Rahim, 2011).

Therefore, to achieve organizational goals and objectives, it is important to effectively deal with conflict. This essay discusses the conflict management process and the possible ways of reducing the interpersonal relationship.

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Effective conflict management

An important step in resolving a problem is identifying the problem. As such, according to Rahim (2011), identifying conflict is as important as solving the conflict. There are different types of conflicts which range from substantive conflict, affective conflict, process conflict, conflict of interest, goal conflict, conflict of values, etc. (Rahim, 2011).

According to Rahim, for a conflict management strategy to be termed as effective, it ought to satisfy three criteria namely; organizational learning and effectiveness, needs of stakeholders, and ethics.

Organizational learning simply means that a conflict management strategy ought to enhance learning in the short and long term. This simply means that a manager should be able to solve the right problems that contribute to the long term effectiveness of the organization (Stein, 1976).

The second criterion to be satisfied is that of satisfying the needs of the stakeholder. The third criterion is that of ethics which present that decisions made by the organization ought to be ethical and that there is a need to institutionalize advocates for different stakeholders such as suppliers, employees, environmentalists, etc. to compel the decision makers to observe ethical conduct and codes in running the organization.

Conflict management process

In solving the conflict in the organization, the first step would be to diagnose the conflict. After diagnosis, the manager should be able to identify the nature and also know whether there is a need for intervention or not (White, 1961).

The second stage is intervention where the manager is required to intervene and decide on how the conflict will be resolved. It is needed where the affective and substantive conflict is too much for routine tasks. This then leads to the conflict itself where the amount of conflict is measured, and the conflict styles are chosen. This finally results in learning and effectiveness at the individual, group, and the organizational level.

Reducing intrapersonal conflict

Organizational conflict can be categorized into four broad classes of intrapersonal, interpersonal, inter-group, and intra-group. Intra-personal conflict is one that occurs where a person is in a position where he/she can’t decide because he/she is faced with two alternatives which are both attractive and unattractive (Stein, 1976).

Handling intra-personal conflict depends on the type of conflict at hand. There are three types of intra-personal conflict namely Approach-Approach conflict, Approach-avoidance conflict, and Avoidance-avoidance conflict. As discussed earlier, the management of intrapersonal conflict often involves diagnosis and intervention.

Diagnosis often involves establishing the source of the conflict and its effects, whether they dysfunctional in terms of individual effectiveness. Intervention in intra-personal conflict is necessary where the effectiveness is dysfunctional. Two main techniques used are role analysis and job design.


It has been seen that conflict is an essential part of organizational operations. Proper management and conflict resolution are therefore necessary to ensure that the organization continues in its quest for success while maintaining its workforce motivated.


Rahim, A. (2011). Managing conflict in organization. New Jersey: New Brunswick.

Stein, A. (1976). Conflict and cohesion: A review of the literature. Journal of Conflict resolution, 143-172.

White, H. (1961). Management conflict and sociometric structure. American Journal of Sociology, 185-199.

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