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Approaches to Conflict Resolution

Since the conflicts are organizations may have serious consequences, so the question is how to approach to the resolution of conflict. R. Blake has suggested three alternative approaches to the problem of dealing with conflict.


i.      “Conflict is inevitable; agreement is not possible”

  • on this view, on may decide to fight it out


This would result in win-lose power struggle such a struggle may appear beneficial to the winner immediately following the struggle, but the main issues of conflicts can hardly be solved this way. Alternatively, the parties may depend on third party judgement or on fate. But still the main issues are likely to remain unresolved.


ii.      “Conflict may not be inevitable, and agreement is not possible”. On this assumption, the parties may decide to withdraw from interaction or become indifferent to the problems they face. This approach also may provide temporary satisfaction and benefits to some, but may not lead to any meaningful resolution of conflict.


iii.      “Although conflicts may arise in various situations, agreement is possible”. This is regarded as the most positive approach to deal with conflict. Here both parties would recognize that there is a need for solving the problem that has arisen. On this promise the parties may begin interacting with each other. The problem may first be identified and then ways and means devised to solve it. A typical example of this method is collective bargaining. By negotiating and frank bargaining it may be possible for the parties acceptable to all than other solution. Moreover, negotiations provide opportunities to groups and persons to understand each other strength and weakness, abilities and constraints. Such understanding may be useful in containing or solving future conflicts more easily and efficiently. Schmidt and tannabaum have suggested for approaches which may be used by a manager at different times to deal with the conflicts. These are (a) avoidance, (b) repression (c) sharpening into conflict and (d) transformation into problem solving.