Conflict Resolution and Peacemaking Social Psychology-PSY/400 August 16, 2010 Matt Diggs Conflict Resolution and Peacemaking Conflict resolution is used in a variety of ways and includes many elements. The goal in this paper is analyze the chosen article for the elements of conflict resolution and peacemaking discussed by David G. Myers in his Social Psychology textbook and to draw parallels. The Article: The Critical Role of Conflict Resolution in Teams: A Close Look at the Links Between Conflict Type, Conflict Management Strategies, and Team Outcomes, by Kristin J. Behfar, Randall S. Peterson, Elizabeth A.
Mannix and William M. K. Trochim The idea was to find which conflict resolution strategies helped teams be the most successful in his or her current team and what each team experience brings to the next team experience. The study focuses on group satisfaction and performance based on how the team members handle conflict that arises throughout the experience and which conflict resolution strategies provided the team with the most success in both the project given and the social aspect. The groups were newly formed with no assigned leader to ensure the group developed the conflict resolution strategies.Elements of Conflict Resolution Cause of Conflict The examples of what causes conflict given in the article are similar to that of the textbook. Though the textbook outlines the causes for simpler reading the article makes it clear what elements may cause conflict.
The textbook outlines social dilemmas, competition, perceived injustice, and misinterpretations as causes of conflicts, the examples in the article talk about how the conflicts can manifest into the form of passive aggressive behaviors such as power plays, blaming one another, attendance issues as well as withholding vital information from the group.According to Myers (2008) when two or more people interact their perceived needs and goals may conflict, indeed the goal in a team is to achieve the best outcome, though some people may have a different perception of that outcome or how to achieve it. Conflict Resolution Strategies (Article) The article outlines the conflict resolution process with a wide variety of behaviors including problem solving skills, communication, understanding the positions of others, as well as dealing with emotions (Behfar, Peterson, Mannix, and Trochim, 2008).The actual strategies include open communication, discuss or debate, and compromise and consensus where each party says what is on their mind and work out the issue from there, the team goes through each solution and determined which was the easiest to defend with the information given or instead of debating the team focuses on compromise; rotating responsibilities, when the team changes or rotates responsibilities to foresee member conflicts, for example, “we tried a new way of working together that better considered our busy schedules” or “we plotted out our busy times before the deadline and avoided meeting during those times” (Behfar, Peterson, Mannix, and Trochim, 2008); Avoiding the conflict, the teams divided the work so the people that had a conflict never had to work directly together which is not the ideal usage of conflict resolution based on the fact that the conflict is only being ignored rather than solved. Conflict Resolution Strategies (Textbook)The text has similar ideas such as contact with one another, putting the group together can cause a more tolerant attitude; cooperation, people having a common goal and working together to achieve it; communication, people can bargain (seek an agreement to a conflict through direct negotiation between the people) seek mediation (an attempt by a neutral person to resolve a conflict by facilitating communication and offering suggestions) or they can arbitrate (resolution of a conflict by a third and neutral person who studies both sides of the conflict and imposes a settlement); lastly is conciliation, this means that each party is not willing to just turn and walk away so one party slows steps back and in return as does the other party, it can be described as not turning their backs to each other but cautiously walking away. Article Conclusion Results of the study showed that majority rule voting was associated with high and increased task performance but had a low and decreasing member satisfaction.These results show that it is beneficial to all members and performance to resolve conflict rather than ignoring or avoiding it, if two members of the team believe that he or she is not being heard (perceived injustice) then he or she will be unhappy in the group and in turn can cause further conflict within the group as previous examples show; passive aggressive behaviors such as power plays, blaming one another, attendance issues as well as withholding vital information from the group.
The teams that were high and increasing in performance and member satisfaction developed equity, not necessarily equal, but a suitable way for all members of the team to contribute given any restrictions.The idea is for the performance and member satisfaction to be at its highest, to do so members of the team must keep this in mind when discussing contributions and ideas. The conclusion of the study is parallel to what would make sense as read in Myers textbook. If the proper steps are taken, most conflicts can be resolved through the conflict resolution and peacemaking elements. Conclusion The chosen article and the textbook discussed the same elements of conflict resolution and peacemaking, though described in alternative terms, the concepts were the same. There are several ways conflict can occur and with that there are several ways conflicts can be managed or solved. The conflict resolution strategy used would depend on the type of conflict as well as the type of people or behaviors involved.
The main elements of conflict resolution are contact, cooperation, communication which includes bargaining, mediation, and arbitration, and finally conciliation. Within these elements several approaches can be used to resolve conflict. The ideal situation would be all members involved in the conflict walk away feeling that he or she has been satisfied but not necessarily that he or she has won.References Behfar, K. J. , Peterson, R. S.
, Mannix, E. A. , & Trochim, W. M. (2008). The Critical Role of Conflict Resolution in Team: A Close Look at the Links Between Conflict Tyoe, Conflict Management Strategies, and Team Outlooks. Journal of Applied Psychology , 170-188.
Meyers, D. G. (2008). Social Psychology. New York City : McGraw-Hill.
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