CONFLICT MANAGEMENT Mines Vocational Training Centre Malanjkhand Copper Project
Conflict in itself is not unhealthy. It can actually mean that the parties involved in the conflict want to make the best decision for their organization. Conflict offers an opportunity to fund new and creative methods and solutions if the energies it produces and channeled positively. If the conflict isn’t managed, then the difference in opinion can deteriorate into open warfare. The energies that were created to solve a problem may seriously harm the organization as a whole. But if the conflict is managed, a solution can often be found that meets everyone’s sand the organization’s needs.
What caused conflict? There are three causes of conflict.
Manager (Mines) Malanjkhand Copper Project, Hindustan Copper Limited. India.
Conflicts may arise because of semantics and unfamiliar language and ambiguous or incomplete information. For example, disagreements are likely to develop when an engineer and sales person try to communicate if the engineer uses technical terms that salesperson may not understand or want to understand. Often different professions use different names for the same thing or the same names for different things. In such situations, real communication is difficult and conflicts arise out of the frustrations that the parties to the conversation feel.
To reduce the likelihood of this kind of conflict, you and the party to whom you are speaking should make sure that you both are speaking the same language. This is done by asking questions and repeating what each party said in the other’s language.
The other cause of communication problems –ambiguous or incomplete information – is often not as apparent as language difficulties, however, it is either to correct if there is trusting relationship between the parties. If the parties destruct or dislike, each other, the situation is almost insolvable.
In dealing with this kind of problem, the first step is to separate facts from assumptions. Facts are things that exist, or have existed – truth or reality. An assumption is something supposed. It can be a hypothesis, conjecture, or theory. Once this distinction is made, the facts should be studied. There are problems with facts. Not only are they constantly changing but they have inherent values in themselves. Individuals “feel facts. How they feel about them depends on their “learning” both their on-the-job experience and educational background, and their expectations. We “see” what we want to see and we may not be able to evaluate facts without experience or training.
DEFUSING LINE AND STAFF CONFLICTS
The division of organizations into line and staff may be an actively harmful source of needless internal conflict for the organization. It usually results in a perpetual dogfight between top dogs (line units) and the under dogs (staff units) in which everybody loses.
A growing body of organizational literature suggests that each organization, to be effective, must develop distinct structures, processed and value systems in response to the unique properties of its internal needs and the external demands of its environment. This growing “contingency theory” regards the optimum organization form as being contingent upon such factors as the organization’s enviroronment, technology, task, goals and the characteristics and needs of its members. The contingency framework provides a new point of departure in the design of organization: there is no single best way to organize for all tasks and markets. Instead, organizational design is conditional situational and, by extension, flexible in the face f an ever-changing environment. To put it another way, organizational designs appropriate for one technological and market environment may not be appropriate for another. When viewed from this perspective, pasting labels of “line” or staff on to organizational groups is a particularly futile activity that has no meaning in the contingency framework. This is especially true when the situation calls for task forces or project terms in a response to transient needs of the organization.
Fundamental changes are necessary in the relations between groups formerly categorized as line and staff. These changes should create interaction patterns of mutual problem-solving and collaborative influence between co-equal organizational partners. The application of the contingency framework to line and staff relations would avoid the potentially resultant top dog / underdog syndrome. The contingency framework should not use line-staff distinctions, but instead would foster a balancing of decision making, power and status, without labels of organizational inferiority implied to staff units.
Structural differences. Structural conflicts are caused by power struggles in which two or more individuals or groups strive for dominance. Reward systems for different groups also cause structural conflict. For example, production is rewrded for manufacturing the product while engineering is rewarded for improving quality, lowering costs, and introducing new products. But to accomplish engineering’s goals, production must be shut down and operators retrained, which hurts the number of units that production is capable of turning out. This lowered production affects the rewards of production managers.
One way reduce this kind of conflict may be to point out to the parties involved how an idea, program, or changes will benefit everyone. In the production example, for example engineering’s improvements may require shutting down the production line for eight hours but they would eventually reduce downtime to two hours a week. Also competitors are “breathing down necks”, or that we all have “to pull together”
Incompatible personal goals can trigger disagreements. For instance, a team has specific objective but one member wants to focus on achieving technical excellence while another member is satisfaction with present levels.
Personal conflicts are also determined by people’s interpersonal behavior – ho they behave in a conflict situation. Do they fight or do they run? Do they look for potential disagreements? How do they fight? Call names? Shout? Certainly when two individuals who are used to winning by force disagree, conflict will arise.
STRATEGIES FOR COPING WITH CONFLICT.
Interpersonal relations orientation affects the strategies that people use when faced with conflict. Some automatically assume that they are going to lose and consequently give up. Others try to win all costs. Some, if they can’t win will try to have the other party lose, too, Depending on the circumstances and the interpersonal behavior of the other party in the conflict, there are a number of stratifies that you as a supervisor could use to defuse a conflict situation.
Restart, avoidance, and withdrawal are strategies to use when an issue is not important or when you don’t feel that you can win this time. For an “always win” ubduvudyal these are losing strategies. But you as a supervisor should consider them when the costs or winning outweigh any possible benefits. by avoiding conflicts in which you are likely to lose, you save your resources. Over time, you can develop a reputation as winner since you win those disagreements that you enter. Hormone’s “first rule of conflict” is don’t get involved unless you are going to win and it is worthwhile. There are two exceptions to this rule. You should get involved regard less if the issue is important to subordinates. You should try to win even when you know there is little probability of success if winning is important to your employees. Your employees will respect you for recognizing their needs and going to bat for them. The other exception is why there are no conflicts worth winning. If you continue to give in, you will develop a reputation you must “win” one from time to time.