Sunday, April 4, 2010


Conflict resolution is key to success in any organization. It is up to each individual employee and manager to effectively resolve problems that arise between co-workers. Special methods must be employed to promote constructive rather than destructive conflict. When conflict gets in the way of effective decision making, it is destructive to the organization's goals, and when conflict is constructive, providing for new insights, critiques, and ideas, it helps the organization to achieve it's goals. When too much destructive conflict ensues, it is up to the manager to promote constructive conflict by employing a dialectic or devil's advocate method, in which a person or a group of individuals is designated the task of criticism and questioning of the decision making process. This method provides for alternative ideas and ultimately, more creative solutions to conflicts. All sides of every issue are explored when using these methods to promote constructive conflict.

The Relational Leadership Model argues that leadership is defined by the relationships we have with those around us. If conflict is highly prevalent in our relationships, it will certainly have an effect on our capability to influence others. The book recommends certain behaviors to build cross-cultural relationships on pg. 383. I believe these behaviors can be applied to any situation, including people of one's own culture. An effective leader can promote these behaviors to build the relationships he/she has, and therefore promoting constructive conflict resolution.

Kreitner, Robert. Organizational Behavior. 9th ed. Vol. 1. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2010.

Komives, Susan R. Et al. Exploring Leadership. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. San Francisco: 2007.


  1. I think that destructive conflicy also encompasses situations where it gets personal. A destructive conflict can occur when 2 opposing sides stop arguing facts and start dishing low blows to specific individuals on the opposite teams. This type of situation then escalates to a personal conflict and shifts the focus from the original issue at hand. In order to avoid this type of situation, people should learn how to have discussions that focus solely on the issue at hand and try to make their point without offending the opposing team.

  2. Conflict resolution is definitely essential for the success of an organization. Through Communication the resolution of conflicts are more likely to occur. Not only does conflict resolution help work run smoothly, but speaking to others about can help the work environment.

    Communication is vital because by listening to employees' concerns and ideas, management can alter the way the business is run in order to increase employee satisfaction and overall job performance. This idea is used in our class as well. John Stayton takes our advice into account and revises the syllabus accordinglyt issues can help the work environment.

  3. Agreed. Conflicts can hurt the whole workplace, be it through lost productivity, or a rise in stabbing deaths. Making sure that people communicate the problems and work through them goes a long way to not only keeping your workers focused, but engaging them, and creating an environment that makes them comfortable. Minimizing conflict is a very important function in the workplace, and I think that companies should always put that in the front of their minds.