The first week was dedicated to the phenomenon of conflict and the study of various theories of conflict management. People’s differences of opinion, inconsistencies in perception and assessment of different events often lead to different situations (Wallensteen, 2018). Conflict should be perceived as a lack of agreement between two or more parties that may be represented by specific individuals or groups (Rahim, 2017). As any average person, I have been involved in several conflict situations. One of the most striking was the case when a manager at a job, where I had recently been employed, expected too much from me. My professional duties were to come to work on time and fulfil the tasks, but the employer pressured me, always demanding something extra. I was emotionally unstable and felt that the potential of my creative abilities, that I could offer the company, was fading. There was no actual confrontation, but I clearly understood what our differences could lead to. I believe that the manager did not present himself from a proper, professional side, because his primary role was to manage work processes by creating the right culture. In this situation, I did not want to continue working. The week of conflict studies helped me understand that the best way to deal with conflict is to manage it (Gilliland, Gross and Hogler, 2014). Then I decided to use Thomas and Kilmann’s model (1974), which showed that my style of conflict management was accommodating. Assessing my previous experience with conflict, I agree with the test results because I often had to sacrifice my interests for the needs of others.
Through this course, I have learned that conflict does not necessarily harm the parties. There are useful, functional contradictions that, on the contrary, promote growth and development (Raines, 2019). The model of conflict management that characterizes me fits my personality because it reflects my desire to avoid emotional arguments and to hurt people. Accommodation helps to eliminate confrontation and make conflict softer, but it is essential to understand that this style is a threat because I have to ignore my desires and interests to please others (Habas, 2019). Perhaps I should look at other ways to manage conflict or make a more practical assessment and understand when people are trying to manipulate me.
Having gone through a conflict with a manager and the conflict management course I have studied, I have concluded that there are no unambiguously positive and unambiguously negative contradictions between people. The phenomenon of conflict is that it can both cause psychological harm to a person and help him or her in artistic growth. Also, one of the most critical findings of conflict management research is that the phenomenon of conflict is crucial to organizational culture (Thakore, 2013). I now understand that it is essential to be able to manage conflict to reduce potential negative impacts and to channel them in the right direction. The next step is to conduct more detailed and extensive research on conflict, its human impact and analysis of management theories to find better solutions.
Gilliland, S.W., Gross, M.A. and Hogler, R.L. (2014)‘Is organizational justice the new industrial relations? A debate on individual versus collective underpinnings of justice’, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 7(3), pp.155-172.
Habas, C. (2019) 5 conflict management strategies. Web.
Rahim, M.A. (2017) Managing conflict in organizations. London: Routledge.
Raines, S.S. (2019) Conflict management for managers: resolving workplace, client, and policy disputes. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Thakore, D. (2013) ‘Conflict and conflict management’, IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 8(6), pp.07-16.
Thomas, K. and Kilmann, R. (1974)Thomas-Kilman conflict mode instrument (TKI). Tuxedo, NY:Xicom.
Wallensteen, P. (2018) Understanding conflict resolution. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE Publications Limited.