Workplace Conflict: Three Paths to Peace
Conflict is, and always has been, part of human enterprise. So why do we act as if it doesn't exist or wish it would go away? Instead, by realistically acknowledging that conflict is inevitable and, in some cases, desirable, managers are in a much wiser position to develop constructive strategies and forums, not just for airing grievances, but to expand their knowledge base. After all, organizations that remain closed to input -- contentious or otherwise -- risk atrophying and failing to adapt to emerging environments. This article examines three distinct conflict management systems that organizations can use to reduce, mitigate or resolve conflicts: law-based, management-based and participation-based systems. Drawing on extensive research and business examples, the author highlights the particular strengths and weaknesses of each framework, so that companies can enhance the effectiveness of their own approach to resolving conflicts, while boosting commitment across the organization in the process.