Conflict Resolution Theory Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Conflict Resolution: Scenario Analysis

The purpose of this research paper is to find theories and ways on how people deal with conflict on a smaller scale.

Conflict arises from differences. It occurs whenever people disagree over their values, motivations, perceptions, ideas, or desires. A deep personal need is at the core of the problem, such as a need to feel safe and secure, a need to feel respected and valued, or a need for greater closeness and intimacy. The table below summarizes ways of managing conflicts by Unhealthy responses to conflict

Healthy responses to conflict

An inability to recognize and respond to the things that matter to the other person

The capacity to recognize and respond to the things that matter to the other person

Explosive, angry, hurtful, and resentful reactions

Calm, non-defensive, and respectful reactions

The withdrawal of love, resulting in rejection, isolation, shaming, and fear of abandonment

A readiness to forgive and forget, and to move past the conflict without holding resentments or anger

An inability to compromise or see the other person's side

The ability to seek compromise and avoid punishing

The fear and avoidance of conflict; the expectation of bad outcomes

A belief that facing conflict head is the best thing for both sides

It has been said that, "the discovery cannot be purely intellectual but must involve action; nor can it be limited to mere activism, but must include serious reflection " (Freire, 2000, p. 65).

According to author Dorwin Cartwright ('Group Dynamics', 1960) "a democratic society derives its strength from the effective functioning of the multitude of groups that it contains. Its most valuable resources are the groups of people found in its homes, communities, schools, churches, business concerns, union halls, and various branches of government." Research on group dynamics spearheaded after World War II, whereby social scientist began research on critical social problems. People carry out their activities in close interdependence with one another and rely heavily on the productivity of groups. It is important to ask how individuals relate to groups and how groups relate to larger society. Groups affect the behavior, thinking, motivation, and adjustment of individuals and may have large or small influence on its members. Though groups may been seen as a political ideology, it stresses the need for democratic leadership in order to avoid the pitfalls of the decline or disintegration of the group.

According to author Ho-Won Jeong ('Conflict Management and Resolution: An Introduction', 2009 ) "one of the primary tasks of conflict resolution is to avert the recurrence of destructive conflict by qualitatively altering antagonistic relationships…The nature of adverse relationships needs to be transformed by supporting consensus on power sharing, enhancement of individual and group well-being as well as a guarantee of security." In the examples shown below many of the common themes underlying group dynamics relies heavily on the concept of psychological perceptions, well-being and security. Communication in overcoming difference and the efforts to avoid harmful aspects of struggle are tools used in mitigating conflicts and leading to the resolution of these conflicts. Facilitation is often an essential tool in conflict management, whereby the two parties may enter into negotiations or initiate dialogue to promote understanding of difficult issues. The building blocks of conflict resolution also depend on the ability of the group to engage in problem solving to enhance reconciliation and justice. Ultimately, everyone experiences conflict as it may be internal or external, which may sometimes lead to opportunities such as enhanced knowledge and skills or sometimes to violent behavior that may be hurtful to others. Though conflict may be seen as negative it other cases it may lead to positive life outcomes of increased self-awareness and understanding of others.

Conflicts may arise as a result of a lack of trust in oneself or others; it may make people feel afraid, nervous, and overtly cautious. According to author Robert Wandberg ('Conflict Resolution: Communication, Cooperation, Compromise', 2005), "conflict resolution is one way to build or recapture trust in relationships…Along with our actions, our lifestyle choices can lead to conflict. Lifestyle includes the everyday behaviors people choose." The author states that there are six lifestyle areas that could affect internal and external conflicts. These lifestyle areas are defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as such: tobacco use, alcohol and other drug use, sexual behaviors that may result in sexually transmitted diseases or unplanned pregnancy, unhealthy eating patterns, lack of exercise, behaviors that result in unintentional or intentional injury. So it follows that one's lifestyle and livelihood affects ones choices. Poor choices may be a result of nature vs. nurture, meaning may be inherent in ones on personal characteristics as well the environment one experiences. According to teen studies, teenagers struggle with areas of the CDC lifestyles. For instance, teenagers might tend to experiment with drugs, smoke tobacco, have sexual intercourse and may experience internal conflicts. Peer pressure is fairly common in teenagers and group dynamics play an important role whether how much influence is exerted to its members.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, can be best described as working on our thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. According to author Daniel Dana, ('Conflict Resolution: Mediation Tools for Everyday Worklife', 2000) once disagreement is personalized and people become involved with their thoughts, behaviors, and emotions, this crosses the line to conflict. Conflict may often be confused with indecision about alternative courses of action, which can be resolved by sound decision making. Disagreements may also be confused as conflicts yet it might be just a form of communication in sharing the task of solving a problem. Actual conflict in the workplace among coworkers arises when their jobs are interdependent, when they experience strong emotions and perceive others at being at fault, and when they act in disruptive ways that causes a business problem.

Social norms have evolved in different circumstance, hence leading the way to different cultures. Here, we explore the evolution social norms that lead to the development of thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. According to author John Wear Burton ('Conflict Resolution: its Languages and Processes', 2006), "historically, the more privileged and influential members of societies have played a major role in determining norms, and in having them observed by others." The issue of social class plays a role in conflict resolution as it determines the amount of education obtained, the capacity to problem solve, and negotiate. The most basic distinction is between the powerful and the powerless. Various social and political theories propose that social classes with greater power attempt to cement their own ranking above the lower classes in the hierarchy to the detriment of the society overall.

Scenario 1: An analyst at an investment bank has just submitted a financial presentation to the Managing Director. She's been working from 9AM to 7PM this workday and is asked to wait at the office until 2AM for his revisions. The deadline with the client is not until three weeks from today, yet the Managing Director wants the presentation done by tomorrow. Further, it's a Saturday and by company standards and policy every analyst is required to work on Sundays as well. So the analyst is working on his/her only day off. This has been a frequent occurrence for the past several months partially because there has been an increase in deal flow and partially due to the fact that the Managing Director prefers to also work from home. The analyst decides to wait, knowing he/she will have to work throughout the whole night.

Scenario 2: A mentally ill patient sees his/her psychotherapist and is asked to perform the Rorschach inkblot test to better assess his/her personality characteristics, emotional functioning and to better aid the therapy. The patient has lived his/her entire life as an expatriate moving from one country to the other every four to five years since childhood. he/she has lived in South America, Europe and South-East Asia. The psychotherapist is a European national and has never treated patients outside of Europe. The psychotherapist gives the patient bad news about the test. The patient disputes the results on account of cultural differences, which influence texture, color, form responses. The psychotherapist contests this and explains to the patient that the inkblot test is based on complex algorithms and psychological interpretation. The patient decides to leave and seek treatment elsewhere.

Scenario 3: A newly hired recruit just relocated to a new city and is working as a research intern for a business intelligence news corporation that operates at market hours. After three months on the job, the intern has received little to no training and has mistakenly overlooked and failed to notice that one of their competitors has published a press release on a particular stock he/she was assigned to follow. The supervisor is unforgiving and in irritation tells her/him to "go back to wherever it is you came from! We do things differently here. Go water the plants if you cannot do the work" and sends an email to all the analysts regarding the mistaken event. The…

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