Natures of Styles and Tactics
Conflicts arise when two interdependent individuals had a perceived or actual misunderstanding and/or discord due to opposition among interest, values and needs (Wilmot and Hocker, 2005). In case of organizational conflicts the opposition might come from role conflicts and role ambiguities. Ambiguous roles are those that do not have a strict limitation or clear boundary with regards to duty and responsibility while role conflicts happen when two different individuals have overlapping roles. In the given situation, Wendy is the leader of the group, thus resolving conflicts is his/her responsibility.
Primarily, organizational conflicts are rooted on communicative behaviors among the individuals. Wilmot and Hocker (2005) argued that communication plays a vital role in interpersonal affairs such as conflicts. To be able to resolve organizational conflicts, there are five alternative strategic approaches (Masers and Albright, 2002). These are accommodation, avoidance, competition, collaboration and compromise. Cahn (1987) describe further that this five strategies in terms of the role of communication. Accommodation, according to Cahn (1987), strategically tries to acquiesce. Its objective is basically a lose-win situation in which the communicator basically concedes to the other’s position.
Avoidance, on the other hand is a lose-lose situation, wherein both individual would not take heed of the other persons need (King, 1989). The person would only be silent or ignore the whole issue. Francis emphasize that both parties try to avoid the issue and confrontation. Wilmot and Hacker mentioned that avoidance represents low assertiveness and low cooperation. Competition happens when one party is selfishly motivated (Masters and Albright, 2002). This strategy is also known as aggressiveness whereby it is a win-lose situation which is aggressive and selfish (Cahn, 1987). Collaboration is a win-win situation wherein both parties are willing to support each others concept. In this strategy the person asserts him/herself while also trying to put into consideration the other person’s position (Manusov and Harvey, 2001 ). Lastly, Compromise is a win and loses strategy. The person is willing to sacrifice some of his/her position and/or beliefs to settle the issue (Maters and Albright, 2002).
The organizational conflict that is being addressed involves two people engaging in a structural power conflict. Willie and Mattie are both members of Wendy’s team. As can be interpreted a resolution is immediately needed so as to prevent the rift that exist between the two individuals and those who supports them.
From a quick look, one might realize that both are in competition. One would not listen to the other. However, it must be noted that both works for the same project; meaning, the wider the rift between the sub-teams, the lesser is the capability of the whole team to function. Moreover, as a leader of the group, Wendy must try to help the two parties to reach a compromise, thus Wendy shall engage both parties to determine what causes the problem and what can be done. Afterwards, a collaborative strategy shall also apply to integrate negotiations. This constructive conflict strategy shall be used with flexibility to grasp a better understanding of the position of each party while maintaining a neutral stand.
Cahn, DD. (1987). Letting Go. Suny Press.
King, SS. (1989).Human Communication as a Field of Study: Selected Contemporary Views. Suny Press.
Masters, MF., and Albright, RR. (2002). The Complete Guide to Conflict Resolution in the Workplace. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.
Manusov, VL., and Harvey, JH. (2001). Attribution, Communication Behavior, and Close Relationships. Cambridge University Press.
Wilmot, W and Hocker, J. (2005). International Conflict 7th Edition. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.