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Methodology for Conflict Assessment

Methodology for Conflict Assessment

Conflict Map: Background

In an educational setting, conflict is inevitable. Various parties are found within the setting, making it more complex due to their role or influence when conflict occurs (Valente, Lourenço, & Nemeth, 2020). In this map, the main conflict that is highlighted is between a teacher and a student. During such a conflict, there are multiple relationships, figures of authority, and alliances. The issues that could lead to such a conflict are also included in the map. The highlighted issues are not only causative but also highlight paths to resolution and more efficient management.

Tension between parties

Disagreement

Misunderstanding

Difference of opinion

Conflict of interest

Different goals

Disharmony

Altercation

Incompatibility

Rebellion

Competition

Rivalry

Strife

Clash

Prolonged struggle

Fight

Miscommunication

Relationship

While defining the term ‘conflict’, relationships between the parties were emphasized. Relationship refers to the nature of interactions between the parties, which leads to either closeness or disconnection. For instance, the relationship between teachers and learners is incomparable to that between parents and students or a conflicted student and fellow learners. The difference occurs because the faculty represents figures of authority. Therefore, the relationship between a superior and an inferior party seems to be guarded by various boundaries. These boundaries limit the extent of their interactions. The case is different for peers who are in the same level. Faculty members are likely to be viewed as each other’s supporters and so are students. These relationships are governed by each party’s level.

Relationships in the process of definition also feature the various elements of interactions between human beings. During the process of interaction, people disagree on issues. The difference of opinions creates tension that worsens with prolonged disagreements. At times, the tension occurs due to misunderstandings between the various parties. The conflicting goals may also lead to these misunderstandings. Such misunderstandings tend to worsen when personalities are incompatible for an amicable resolution. Therefore, it is through interaction that conflict is born.

Interest

Different individuals have unique interests, work-related or personal (Awan & Saeed, 2015). For instance, in a school setting, the teachers’ interests may be to instruct learners efficiently. To meet this interest, the teachers are likely to enforce certain enabling rules. It is during enforcement that learners and teachers conflict due to miscommunication, misunderstanding and different interests. Students can lack interest in learning. Such a situation could lead to conflict because the instructors are likely to take disciplinary action as they try to enforce the rules.

In the same work setting, goal conflicts are likely to occur. Conflicting goals tend to fuel conflict among team members. In an educational setting, teachers could have conflicts with their colleagues in senior or equal positions. Conflicting goals create ambiguity, and the involved parties divert their attention making it impossible to achieve the main goal (Black, Bright, & Gardner, 2012). In the case of senior colleagues, the junior teaching staff tends to give in to the requirements even when they disagree. This compromise occurs because the senior colleague has more power over the junior teaching staff and can easily dictate certain directions. In the case of equals, the conflict is likely to soar into frustration and other negative feelings that affect the performance of employees. However, such conflict is important because it highlights the different perceptions of certain goals, offers opportunities to air opinions, and leads to clear understanding upon clarification (University of California, 2021).

Types of Conflict

The terms used in the process of definition refer to at least three types of conflict. Firstly, these words address goal conflict. Goal conflict occurs when individuals have different perspectives and work towards varying goals. Teachers and other educators pursue multiple goals concurrently (University of California, 2021). However, it is sometimes challenging to do so successfully due to the scarcity of resources and energy. When a teacher is unable to achieve personal goals because of work-related goals, they are likely to be frustrated.

Secondly, the terms also address cognitive conflict. This type of conflict refers to the difference of perspectives. Cognitive conflict occurs when the ideas and opinions of team members are varied, and thus inconsistent (Maia & Lima, 2020). In the educational setting, this is likely to occur among members of staff. However, researchers emphasize that cognitive conflict is good, especially for decision-making. The quality of decisions that arise through such conflict is better than unopposed decisions. The involved parties brainstorm and air their opinions as they question others and critically think through the discussion. This conflict accommodates divergence. It also allows the parties to communicate openly, think innovatively, and find practical solutions for certain problems. During such conflict, the parties can use informal settings to discuss the issues and have a positive influence on the resulting future decisions (Maia & Lima, 2020).

Thirdly, the terms also highlight behavioral conflict. Behavioral conflict occurs when certain behaviors that other people do not agree with are demonstrated by other individuals (Adegbonmire, 2016). In an educational setting, this type of conflict could occur between faculty members and students. The institutions of learning are governed by rules and regulations. This means that students will at times defy the rules and regulations. Such behaviors are likely to create conflict, which may be escalated to the senior faculty members such as the disciplinary committee. Such conflict is likely to affect the student negatively, especially if it remains unresolved over a long time. Their concentration, attitude, and work performance are likely to suffer.

Perception of Conflict

The conflict has both positive and negative aspects. Cognitive conflict offers a positive interaction because the parties have an opportunity to openly highlight their issues and question the others.’ The nature of cognitive conflict is appraised for decision-making, especially for strategic management purposes (Maia & Lima, 2020). The involvement of critical thinking during the conflict improves the quality of decisions. In an educational setting, the management could require creating new policies that offer a more preferred direction. Such a session is likely to instigate intense debate that highlights major differences of opinion. By the end of the session, the group can reach an agreement that is better informed and thoroughly investigated. These resulting policies tend to deliver the expected results better because of the conflict. Therefore, such conflict delivers positive elements that include open communication, divergence, critical thinking, and better quality of decisions.

Behavioral conflict also has its negative and positive aspects. The positive aspect of this conflict is the creation of an opportunity to explain and clarify the reasons that make some behaviors unacceptable. In an education context, the students, after defying certain rules, may go through a session that enlightens them on the need for such regulations. At the same time, the administration may get a glimpse into certain faults or irregularities in the current rules and regulations. This may call for reviewing certain regulations to seal the loopholes. The negative aspects of behavioral conflict include the consequences or outcomes that manifest. These outcomes can affect the individual learner and other students or faculty members adversely. For instance, if a learner assaults a fellow colleague or instructor, they could cause bodily harm to the individual. This could lead to expulsion from the institution, which affects the student’s welfare and academic performance. These effects could ripple through and affect other stakeholders.

Goal conflict tends to have both positive and negative aspects too. The positive aspects include re-strategizing and putting more effort toward goal achievement. Since goals are pursued concurrently, people are compelled to review their strategies whenever one goal is achieved at the expense of another. An individual in such a situation can find alternative strategies, and allocate more resources to ensure achievement. At times, the person may adjust by putting in more effort. Therefore, this type of conflict enables individuals to achieve more goals. The negative aspects include the consequences that may arise from failure to achieve certain goals (Rechtman, 2020). When a person fails to achieve a work-related goal, they could lose their job or face other disciplinary action. This outcome occurs because work-related goals are interconnected to the major mission that an organization seeks to achieve. Therefore, an individual’s failure tends to have adverse effects for the entire entity. If an individual does not achieve their personal goals, they could lose critical opportunities.

My preferred perspective about conflict is the opportunity to find solutions to problems. This perspective has developed over the years, where I had to find solutions when I encountered challenges. Some of the personal or professional challenges presented as conflict with others or within me. The conflicts offered a chance to learn about new things in the process of problem-solving. In addition, these conflicts created chances to learn about other people and elements that offend them as well as aspects about them that offend me. With this knowledge, I created coping mechanisms or permanent solutions. In some cases, I vocalized the issues that led to the conflict, which led to clarification. Therefore, I consciously choose to view conflict as progressive rather than retrogressive.

This perspective is quite related to the terms listed in the definition of conflict. This is because the perspective acknowledges that various aspects could cause varied conflicts. In addition, acknowledging the different directions that each conflict could take depending on the management is important. Based on the strategies that are used to manage conflicts, different outcomes are achieved. This means that different situations of conflict yield varied results. It therefore follows that different people obtain varied results or experiences from conflict. Possessing such a perspective facilitates more effective and efficient conflict resolution because of open-mindedness. This approach could facilitate better problem-solving to maximize the positive elements or mitigate the negative effects that could arise from such situations.

References

Adegbonmire, A. (2016). Conflict Situations and Ways to Resolve Conflicts. doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.3617.8002

American Management Association. (2021). The Five Steps to Conflict Resolution. Retrieved from https://www.amanet.org/articles/the-five-steps-to-conflict-resolution/

Awan, A. G., & Saeed, S. (2015). Conflict Management and Organizational Performance: A Case. Research Journal of Finance and Accounting, 6(11), 88-102.

Black, J. S., Bright, D. S., & Gardner, D. G. (2012). Conflict in Organizations: Basic Considerations. OpenStax.

Maia, T. S., & Lima, E. (2020). Cognitive Conflict In Strategic Decision Of Management Teams In Small Enterprises. Rev. Adm. Mackenzie , 21(3). doi:https://doi.org/10.1590/1678-6971/eRAMR200177

Rechtman, Y. (2020). Goal Conflict or Goal Confluence? The CPA Journal. Retrieved from https://www.cpajournal.com/2020/08/31/goal-conflict-or-goal-confluence/

University of California. (2021). Resolving Conflict Situations. Retrieved from https://hr.berkeley.edu/hr-network/central-guide-managing-hr/managing-hr/interaction/conflict/resolving

Valente, S., Lourenço, A. A., & Nemeth, Z. (2020). School Conflicts: Causes and Management Strategies in Classroom Relationships.

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Question 


Nature and Sources of Conflict
In many situations involving conflict, one party often has a significant amount of power over the other, resulting in an advantageous situation for the stronger party. This can be detrimental to resolving the conflict because the high-power party may feel no need to meditate, and the lower-power party may feel any attempt at resolution will automatically fail because they will be forced to acquiesce to the higher-power party’s demands. This situation creates an imbalance between the two parties where the conflict cannot truly be resolved in the best manner for all involved.

Methodology for Conflict Assessment

Methodology for Conflict Assessment

As an organizational leader, you will need to become well-versed in ways to avoid this type of power struggle. One way to overcome the complexity of the conflict is to become adept at mapping its origins, nature, dynamics, and potential for resolution. This type of mapping is one way to take a snapshot of the conflict at a certain point in time to understand the viewpoints of all interested parties to the conflict. Remember, as an intervener, you are also an interested party. Once a conflict has been mapped, you can take a step back, review the snapshot, and identify potential areas to begin the process of resolution. As you digest the readings for this week, take some time to stop and reflect upon how mapping a conflict will help you resolve it in practice.

Be sure to review this week’s resources carefully. You are expected to apply the information from these resources when you prepare your assignments.

It is time to begin connecting theory to practice. This week, you will take everything you’ve learned in the course to this point, and then create a way to identify (or map) the nature of a conflict. You will refer to this document for later assignments, so be sure to craft it carefully.

In your map, be sure to include items such as:

Background
Parties to the conflict (primary, secondary, interested others, including groups)
Context (issues – needs, interests, positions based; conflict dynamics – antecedents, stereotyping)
Resolution potential (alternative routes to a solution, limiting factors, techniques of management)
The finished product should be a one-page form you can complete any time you are confronted with a conflict. If you fall short of ideas, refer to your Week 1 assignment for help.

Once you’ve crafted your conflict map, take a few minutes to think about the term conflict and what it means to you. As an intervener, it is important to know your own biases coming into the process. For the first part of this assignment, determine 10-20 different words or phrases that help you define conflict. Then, draft analysis of your definition and words/phrases based on the ‘types’ of conflict listed in the first bulleted item below.

Identify which word you focused on from the list you created to define conflict: relationship, data, interest, structural, value, and/or pseudo. Be specific and detailed in your response.
Determine if your words tend to be directly related to only one or two types of conflict, and then explain why you think this occurred. Be sure to use specific examples and concepts from the readings and research as well.
Indicate your thoughts when you think of conflict. Do you tend to view it as a negative interaction, or do you view conflict as more of an opportunity to solve problems? Analyze how you believe you gained this viewpoint regarding conflict.
Analyze whether your perception of conflict, based on what you have listed and what you have read, is an accurate perception and whether it can positively contribute to your success in conflict resolution.
Length: 5-7 pages, including your conflict map, but not including title or reference pages

References: Support your analysis with at least five scholarly resources. In addition to these specified resources, other appropriate scholarly resources, including older articles, may be included.

Your assignment should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Critical to this assignment is a “One-page Conflict Map,” Identifying the 10-20 words or phrases to define conflict, and a 5-page paper as explained above.

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