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Implications For Managers



Conflict can be constructive... There is an optimal level. Adapt the appropriate conflict resolution technique for each situation.


Use:    Competition... for quick, decisive, vital action (emergencies) on important issues   when implementing unpopular actions;

                             ... on issues vital to organizational welfare when you know you are right.

                             ... against people who take advantage of noncompetitive behavior.


Collaboration       ... when both sets of concerns are too important to be compromised;

                            ... to work thru feelings that have interfered with relationships

                            ... to gain commitment



Avoidance            ...when an issue is trivial/ more important issues are pressing.

                            ...when potential disruption outweighs benefits of resolution.

                   let people cool down & regain perspective.

                            ... when gathering more information is more important than making an immediate decision.

                            ...when others can resolve the conflict more effectively

                            ...when issues seem tangential/or symptoms of other issue


Accommodation ...when you find you are wrong & to allow a better position to be heard to show your reasonableness.

                            ...when issues are more important to others than to yourself.

                  satisfy others & maintain cooperation.

                  build social credits to draw on later issues.

                           ... to cut you losses when you are outmatched & losing (best generals know when to retreat )

                           ... to allow employees to grow by learning from mistakes.


Compromise  ...when opponents with equal power are committed to mutually exclusive goals.

                       ...goals are important but not worth the effort of more assertive approaches.

                       ... to achieve temporary settlements for complex issues.

                       ... as a back-up when collaboration/ competition are unsuccessful.

              arrive at expedient solutions under time pressure.

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conflict negotiation and intergroup behavior