Management: Conflict Resolution In Work Teams.

1591 words - 6 pages

Your boss comes into your office and tells you that you are going to be on the next employee task force. Immediately you start having flashbacks of cold conference rooms, stale donuts and caffeine fed arguments. Why does the thought of being part of a team scare us? It does not have to anymore. Building effective teams requires recognizing that conflict will occur, and managing its resolution effectively. This essay will explain how some level of conflict is necessary. It will talk about how to manage conflict properly and how unmanaged conflict reduces team effectiveness.Some Level of Conflict is NecessaryThere are different ways to view conflict. There can be advantages and disadvantages, depending on how they are perceived and managed. When the word conflict is mentioned, the first thing that comes to our minds is war, arguments, and tension. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that you may or may not agree with; it said "Nothing good has ever come from war." War is definitely a very harsh word for this project, but below the statement in small letters it said, "Except slavery and independence." I think of this on occasion, some conflicts may be a great way to solve issues.Conflicts can be considered a very successful tool if we handle them carefully and with respect. There are some things to look for to decide if the conflict is considered to be constructive. People can definitely change and grow personally, but this is very difficult. If people are addressed with respect during a conflict, change is inevitable. Conflict can increase everyone's involvement; this gives the issue at hand more opportunities and ideas for resolution (Capozzoli, 1999). Take a look at conflict as a drop box at your local restaurant that receives suggestions or complaints. You will serve as the team leader and your customers will be your team members. This is a great advantage, if you receive complaints about the food; you know where there is a problem. When you receive suggestions, these will help solve the problems. This may seem like a simple analogy, but it works.Past research finds disagreements about a task are the most beneficial type of conflict (Amason, 1996; Jehn, 1995, 1997; Jehn & Mannix, in press). Task conflict often includes constructive debates that may lead to better decision-making. This can lead to a brainstorming or a groupthink session that can lead to interesting, creative and effective solutions to problems or certain tasks (K.A. Jehn and J.A. Chatman, 2000). With the advantages, we will always encounter disadvantages, but if we handle conflict effectively, our road to success will be much smoother.With our minds programmed to believe conflicts are negative, our intuitions on conflict may be correct. I have given the advantages above to promote conflicts as an excellent way to solve or provide improvement on how we do things as a team, but there are some downfalls of conflict. Conflict can be very destructive during decision making,...

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