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Negotiation and Conflict

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Subject: Negotiation and Conflict Lecturer: Group Members: Date: November 2003 Report Title: Conflict resolution The area of conflict that the group has chosen to base its report on is Conflict Resolution. Conflict resolution refers to a process in which the ultimate objective is to end the conflict between the parties in disagreement. Kenneth Thomas (1976) distinguished five conflict resolution techniques based upon the two dimensions of: 1. How assertive or unassertive each party is, in pursuing it's own concerns. 2. How co-operative or uncooperative each is in satisfying the concerns of the other. He labelled these competing/forcing (assertive and cooperative); avoiding (unassertive and uncooperative); compromising (mid range on both dimensions); accommodating (unassertive and cooperative); collaborating (assertive and cooperative) ...read more.


Thomas (1977) identifies the types of situation in which each conflict resolution orientation was preferred over another. He puts forward five conflict resolution approaches as follows: 1. Competing / Forcing 2. Avoiding 3. Compromising 4. Accommodating 5. Collaborating Assertiveness Assertive Forcing/Competing Collaborating Compromising Unassertive Avoiding Accommodating Uncooperative Cooperative Cooperativeness Conflict Resolution Approachesi The situations where these different styles are appropriate are outlined below: Competing / Forcing This style is used when an individual is attempting to satisfy his or her own needs, regardless of the needs or the impact on the other parties involved in the conflict. The individual in this case is said to be competing.ii This approach could be best summed up with the phrase 'might is right'. ...read more.


An advantage of this style of conflict resolution is apparent if this individual's decision is correct, a better decision without compromise can result. However this approach may breed hostility and resentment toward the person using it. This style of conflict resolution may be appropriate when conflict involves personal differences that are difficult to change, or when fostering intimate or supportive relationships is not critical. It may also be appropriate when others are likely to take advantage of non-competitive behaviour. Another situation that benefits from this approach is when conflict resolution is urgent such as in an emergency, or when unpopular decisions need to be implemented. Avoiding i From Thomas T. Ruble and Kenneth Thomas, 'Support for a two dimensional model of conflict behaviour', Organisational behaviour and human performance, 1976, vol 16, pp143-155 (p145) ii Stephen Robbins, Organisational behaviour, eighth edition, (p441) iii Sheila Dainow, Working and surviving in organisations,(p107) ...read more.

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