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Conflict resolution is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict. Often, committed group members attempt to resolve group conflicts by actively communicating information about their conflicting motives or ideologies to the rest of the group (e.g., intentions; reasons for holding certain beliefs), and by engaging in collective negotiation.[1] Ultimately, a wide range of methods and procedures for addressing conflict exist, including but not limited to, negotiation, mediation, diplomacy, and creative peacebuilding.

The term conflict resolution may also be used interchangeably with dispute resolution, where arbitration and litigation processes are critically involved. Furthermore, the concept of conflict resolution can be thought to encompass the use of nonviolent resistance measures by conflicted parties in an attempt to promote effective resolution[2]


Theories and modelsEdit

Dual concern model of conflict resolutionEdit

The dual concern model of conflict resolution is a conceptual perspective that assumes individuals’ preferred method of dealing with conflict is based on two underlying themes or dimensions:[1]

  1. A concern for self (i.e. assertiveness), and
  2. A concern for others (i.e. empathy).

According to the model, group members balance their concern for satisfying personal needs and interests with their concern for satisfying the needs and interests of others in different ways. The intersection point between these two dimensions ultimately lead individuals towards exhibiting different styles of conflict resolution (Goldfien & Robbennolt, 2007).[3] The dual model identifies five conflict resolution styles/strategies that individuals may use depending on their dispositions toward pro-self or pro-social goals.

1. Avoidance conflict style

Characterized by inaction and passivity, avoidance conflict style is typically used when an individual has reduced concern for their own outcomes as well as the outcomes of others. During conflict, these avoiders adopt a “wait and see” attitude, often allowing conflict to phase out on its own without any personal involvement (Bayazit & Mannix, 2003).[4] Unfortunately, by neglecting to address high-conflict situations, avoiders risk allowing problems to fester out of control.

2. Yielding conflict style

In contrast, yielding or “accommodating” conflict styles are characterized by a high concern for others while having a low concern for one’s own self. This passive pro-social approach emerges when individuals derive personal satisfaction from meeting the needs of others and have a general concern for maintaining stable, positive social relationships.[1] When faced with conflict, individuals with a yielding conflict style tend to give into others’ demands out of respect for the social relationship (e.g., to maintain group unity) because they believe being “agreeable may be more important than winning” (Goldfien & Robbennolt, 2007).[3]

3. Competitive conflict style

Competitive or “fighting” conflict style maximizes individual assertiveness (i.e., concern for self) and minimizes empathy (i.e., concern for others). Groups consisting of competitive members generally enjoy seeking domination over others, and typically see conflict as a “win or lose” predicament.[1] Fighters tend to force others to accept their personal views by employing competitive, power tactics (e.g., argue; insult; accuse; violence) that foster feelings of intimidation (Morrill, 1995).

4. Cooperation conflict style

Characterized by an active concern for both pro-social and pro-self behavior, cooperation conflict style is typically used when an individual has elevated interests in their own outcomes as well as in the outcomes of others. During conflict, cooperators collaborate with others in an effort to find an amicable solution that satisfies all parties involved in the conflict. Individuals with this type of conflict style tend to be highly assertive and highly empathetic at the same time.[3] By seeing conflict as a creative opportunity, collaborators willingly invest time and resources into finding a “win-win” solution.[1] According to the literature on conflict resolution, a cooperative conflict resolution style is recommended above all others (Sternberg & Dobson, 1987; Jarboe & Witteman, 1996)[5][6]

5. Conciliation conflict style

Conciliation or “compromising” conflict style is typical of individuals who possess an intermediate-level of concern for both personal and others’ outcomes. Compromisers value fairness and, in doing so, anticipate mutual give-and-take interactions.[3] By accepting some demands put forth by others, compromisers believe this agreeableness will encourage others to meet half-way, thus promoting conflict resolution (van de Vliert & Euwema, 1994).[7] This conflict style can be considered an extension of both “yielding” and “cooperative” strategies.[1]

Culture-basedEdit

Conflict resolution as both a professional practice and academic field is highly sensitive to culture. In Western cultural contexts, such as Canada and the United States, successful conflict resolution usually involves fostering communication among disputants, problem solving, and drafting agreements that meet their underlying needs. In these situations, conflict resolvers often talk about finding the win-win solution, or mutually satisfying scenario, for everyone involved (see Fisher and Ury (1981), Getting to Yes). In many non-Western cultural contexts, such as Afghanistan, Vietnam, and China, it is also important to find "win-win" solutions; however, getting there can be very different. In these contexts, direct communication between disputants that explicitly addresses the issues at stake in the conflict can be perceived as very rude, making the conflict worse and delaying resolution. Rather, it can make sense to involve religious, tribal or community leaders, communicate difficult truths indirectly through a third party, and make suggestions through stories (see Vinod Swami (1992), Conflict Mediation Across Cultures). Intercultural conflicts are often the most difficult to resolve because the expectations of the disputants can be very different, and there is much occasion for misunderstanding. [citation needed]


EducationEdit

Universities worldwide offer programs of study pertaining to conflict research, analysis, and practice. The Cornell University ILR School houses the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution, which offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional training on conflict resolution.[8] Eastern Mennonite University's Center for Justice and Peacebuilding offers a BA and MA with a focus on practical applications in conflict-affected communities and regions. Additional graduate programs are offered at Georgetown University, and Trinity College Dublin.[9] George Mason University’s Institute of Conflict Analysis and Resolution offers undergraduate, certificate and masters programs in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and a Ph.D. program in The Philosophy in Conflict and Conflict Resolution.[10] Nova Southeastern University offers a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis & Resolution which trains students in the skills and techniques of practice, interdisciplinary research, policy and program development, historical critique, cultural analysis, and theoretical foundations of the field. It is offered in both online and on-campus formats. [11]

Many students completing a doctoral program enter the field as researchers, theorists, analysts, policy makers and professors in higher education.

Furthermore, the Pax Ludens Foundation based in the Netherlands is an organization that puts together conflict resolution simulations set in an International Relations scenario to help students learn about the intricacies of where conflict emerges in the world of international politics.

Conflict resolution is a growing area of interest in UK pedagogy, with teachers and students both encouraged to learn about mechanisms that lead to aggressive action, and those that lead to peaceful resolution.

Tel Aviv University offers two graduate degree programs in the field of conflict resolution, including the English-language International Program in Conflict Resolution and Mediation, affording students to learn in a region which is the subject of much research on international conflict resolution. The Nelson Mandela Center for Peace & Conflict Resolution, Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi is one of the first centers for peace and conflict resolution to be established at an Indian university. It offers a two-year full-time MA course in Conflict Analysis and Peace-Building, as well as a PhD in Conflict and Peace Studies. [12]

Conflict managementEdit

Conflict management refers to the long-term management of intractable conflicts. It is the label for the variety of ways by which people handle grievances—standing up for what they consider to be right and against what they consider to be wrong. Those ways include such diverse phenomena as gossip, ridicule, lynching, terrorism, warfare, feuding, genocide, law, mediation, and avoidance.[citation needed] Which forms of conflict management will be used in any given situation can be somewhat predicted and explained by the social structure—or social geometry—of the case.

Conflict management is often considered to be distinct from conflict resolution. In order for actual conflict to occur, there should be an expression of exclusive patterns, and tell why the conflict was expressed the way it was. Conflict is not just about simple inaptness, but is often connected to a previous issue. The latter refers to resolving the dispute to the approval of one or both parties, whereas the former concerns an ongoing process that may never have a resolution. Neither is it considered the same as conflict transformation, which seeks to reframe the positions of the conflict parties.

CounselingEdit

When personal conflict leads to frustration and loss of efficiency, counseling may prove to be a helpful antidote. Although few organizations can afford the luxury of having professional counselors on the staff, given some training, managers may be able to perform this function. Nondirective counseling, or "listening with understanding", is little more than being a good listener—something every manager should be.[13]

Sometimes the simple process of being able to vent one's feelings—that is, to express them to a concerned and understanding listener, is enough to relieve frustration and make it possible for the frustrated individual to advance to a problem-solving frame of mind, better able to cope with a personal difficulty that is affecting his work adversely. The nondirective approach is one effective way for managers to deal with frustrated subordinates and coworkers.[14]

There are other more direct and more diagnostic ways that might be used in appropriate circumstances. The great strength of the nondirective approach (nondirective counseling is based on the client-centered therapy of Carl Rogers), however, lies in its simplicity, its effectiveness, and the fact that it deliberately avoids the manager-counselor's diagnosing and interpreting emotional problems, which would call for special psychological training. Listening to staff with sympathy and understanding is unlikely to escalate the problem, and is a widely used approach for helping people to cope with problems that interfere with their effectiveness in their place of work.[14]

In animalsEdit

Conflict resolution has also been studied in non-humans, like dogs, cats, monkeys, snakes, elephants, and primates (see Frans de Waal, 2000). Aggression is more common among relatives and within a group than between groups. Instead of creating a distance between the individuals, however, the primates were more intimate in the period after the aggressive incident. These intimacies consisted of grooming and various forms of body contact. Stress responses, like an increased heart rate, usually decrease after these reconciliatory signals. Different types of primates, as well as many other species who are living in groups, show different types of conciliatory behaviour. Resolving conflicts that threaten the interaction between individuals in a group is necessary for survival and hence has a strong evolutionary value. These findings contradicted previous existing theories about the general function of aggression, i.e. creating space between individuals (first proposed by Konrad Lorenz), which seems to be more the case in conflicts between groups than it is within groups.

In addition to research in primates, biologists are beginning to explore reconciliation in other animals. Until recently, the literature dealing with reconciliation in non-primates have consisted of anecdotal observations and very little quantitative data. Although peaceful post-conflict behavior had been documented going back to the 1960s, it wasn’t until 1993 that Rowell made the first explicit mention of reconciliation in feral sheep. Reconciliation has since been documented in spotted hyenas,[15][16] lions, dolphins,[17] dwarf mongoose, domestic goats,[18] and domestic dogs.[19]

Conflict resolution is an expanding field of professional practice, both in the U.S. and around the world. The escalating costs of conflict have increased use of third parties who may serve as a conflict specialists to resolve conflicts. In fact relief and development organizations have added peace-building specialists to their teams. Many of the major international non-governmental organizations have seen a growing need to hire practitioners trained in conflict analysis and resolution. Furthermore, this expansion of the field has resulted in the need for conflict resolution practitioners to work in a variety of settings such as in businesses, court systems, government agencies nonprofit organizations, government agencies and educational institutions serving throughout the world.


See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Forsyth, D. R. (2009). Group dynamics (5th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
  2. For examples of large-scale civil resistance campaigns, see Adam Roberts and Timothy Garton Ash (eds.), Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present, Oxford University Press, 2009. See [1]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Goldfien, J. H., & Robbennolt, J. K. (2007). What if the lawyers have their way? An empirical assessment of conflict strategies and attitudes toward mediation styles. Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, 22, 277-320.
  4. Bayazit, M. & Mannix, E. A. (2003). Should I stay or should I go? Predicting team members intent to remain in the team. Small Group Research, 34(3), 290-321.
  5. Sternberg, R. J., & Dobson, D. M. (1987). Resolving interpersonal conflicts: An analysis of stylistic consistency. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 794-812.
  6. Jarboe, S. C., & Witteman, H. R. (1996). Intragroup conflict management in task-oriented groups: The influence of problem sources and problem analysis. Small Group Research, 27, 316–338.
  7. Van de Vliert, E., & Euwema, M. C. (1994). Agreeableness and activeness as components of conflict behaviors. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 674–687.
  8. About Cornell ILR Scheinman Institute. Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. URL accessed on 23 August 2009.
  9. "Peace and Collaborative Development Network".http://www.internationalpeaceandconflict.org/profiles/blogs/guide-to-ma-program-in-peace"
  10. THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN CONFLICT ANALYSIS AND RESOLUTION - Ph.D.".http://icar.gmu.edu/ICAR_phd.html"
  11. "NSU - Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis & Resolution." http://shss.nova.edu/programs/dcar/phddcar/
  12. http://jmi.ac.in/aboutjamia/centres/conflict-resolution/introduction
  13. Henry P Knowles; Börje O Saxberg (1971). Personality and leadership behavior, Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co..
  14. 14.0 14.1 Richard Arvid Johnson (1976). Management, systems, and society : an introduction, 148–142, Pacific Palisades, Calif.: Goodyear Pub. Co..
  15. Wahaj, S. A., Guse, K. & Holekamp, K. E. 2001: Reconciliation in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta). Ethology 107, 1057—1074
  16. Smith, J.E., *Powning, K.S., *Dawes, S.E., *Estrada, J.R., *Hopper, A.L., *Piotrowski, S.L., and K.E. Holekamp. 2011. Greetings promote cooperation and reinforce social bonds among spotted hyaenas. Animal Behaviour 81:401-415.
  17. Weaver, A. 2003: Conflict and reconciliation in captive bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. Marine Mammal Science 19, 836—846.
  18. Schino, G. 1998: Reconciliation in domestic goats. Behaviour 135, 343—356.
  19. Cools, A. K. A., Van Hout, A. J.-M., Nelissen M. H. J. 2008: Canine Reconciliation and Third-Party-Initiated Postconflict Affiliation: Do Peacemaking Social Mechanisms in Dogs Rival Those of Higher Primates? Ethology 114, 53—63.

ReferencesEdit

  • Augsburger, D. (1992). Conflict mediation across cultures. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster / John Knox Press.
  • Bannon, I. & Paul Collier (Eds.). (2003). Natural resources and violent conflict: Options and actions. Washington, D.C: The World Bank.
  • Ury, F. & Rodger Fisher. (1981). Getting to yes: Negotiating agreement without giving in. New York, NY: Penguin Group.
  • Wilmot,W. & Jouyce Hocker. (2007). Interpersonal conflict. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies.
  • Bercovitch, Jacob and Jackson, Richard. 2009. Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-first Century: Principles, Methods, and Approaches. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor.
  • de Waal, Frans B. M. and Angeline van Roosmalen. 1979. Reconciliation and consolation among chimpanzees. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 5: 55–66.
  • de Waal, Frans B. M. 1989. Peacemaking Among Primates. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.
  • Judge, Peter G. and Frans B. M. de Waal. 1993. Conflict avoidance among rhesus monkeys: coping with short-term crowding. Animal Behaviour 46: 221–232.
  • Veenema, Hans et al. 1994. Methodological improvements for the study of reconciliation. Behavioural Processes 31:29–38.
  • de Waal, Frans B. M. and Filippo Aureli. 1996. Consolation, reconciliation, and a possible cognitive difference between macaques and chimpanzees. Reaching into thought: The minds of the great apes (Eds. Anne E. Russon, Kim A. Bard, Sue Taylor Parker), Cambridge University Press, New York, NY: 80–110.
  • Aureli, Filippo. 1997. Post-conflict anxiety in non-human primates: the mediating role of emotion in conflict resolution. Aggressive Behavior 23: 315–328.
  • Castles, Duncan L. and Andrew Whiten. 1998. Post-conflict behaviour of wild olive baboons, I. Reconciliation, redirection, and consolation. Ethology 104: 126–147.
  • Aureli, Filippo and Frans B. M. de Waal, eds. 2000. Natural Conflict Resolution. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
  • de Waal, Frans B. M. 2000. Primates––A natural heritage of conflict resolution. Science 289: 586–590.
  • Hicks, Donna. 2011. Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict. Yale University Press
  • Silk, Joan B. 2002. The form and function of reconciliation in primates. Annual Review of Anthropology 31: 21–44.
  • Weaver, Ann and Frans B. M. de Waal. 2003. The mother-offspring relationship as a template in social development: reconciliation in captive brown capuchins (Cebus apella). Journal of Comparative Psychology 117: 101–110.
  • Palagi, Elisabetta et al. 2004. Reconciliation and consolation in captive bonobos (Pan paniscus). American Journal of Primatology 62: 15–30.
  • Palagi, Elisabetta et al. 2005. Aggression and reconciliation in two captive groups of Lemur catta. International Journal of Primatology 26: 279–294.
  • Lorenzen, Michael. 2006. Conflict Resolution and Academic Library Instruction. LOEX Quarterly 33, no. ½,: 6–9, 11.
  • Winslade, John & Monk, Gerald. 2000. Narrative Mediation: A New Approach to Conflict Resolution. Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco.
  • Bar-Siman-Tov, Yaacov (Ed.) (2004). From Conflict Resolution to Reconciliation. Oxford University Press
  • Tesler, Pauline. 2001, 2008. Collaborative Law: Achieving Effective Resolution in Divorce without Litigation (American Bar Association).
  • Tesler, Pauline and Thompson, Peggy. 2006. Collaborative Divorce: The Revolutionary New Way to Restructure Your Family, Resolve Legal Issues, and Move On with Your Life (Harper Collins).
  • Kellett, Peter M. (2007). Conflict Dialogue, London: Sage Publications.

Further readingEdit

  • Peter T. Coleman (2011). The Five Percent: Finding Solutions to Seemingly Impossible Conflicts.

Historical bibliography for primate conflict resolutionEdit

  • de Waal, Frans B. M. and Angeline van Roosmalen. 1979. Reconciliation and consolation among chimpanzees. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 5: 55-66.
  • de Waal, Frans B. M. 1989. Peacemaking Among Primates. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.
  • Judge, Peter G. and Frans B. M. de Waal. 1993. Conflict avoidance among rhesus monkeys: coping with short-term crowding. Animal Behaviour 46: 221-232.
  • Veenema, Hans et al. 1994. Methodological improvements for the study of reconciliation. Behavioural Processes 31:29-38.
  • de Waal, Frans B. M. and Filippo Aureli. 1996. Consolation, reconciliation, and a possible cognitive difference between macaques and chimpanzees. Reaching into thought: The minds of the great apes (Eds. Anne E. Russon, Kim A. Bard, Sue Taylor Parker), Cambridge University Press, New York, NY: 80-110.
  • Aureli, Filippo. 1997. Post-conflict anxiety in non-human primates: the mediating role of emotion in conflict resolution. Aggressive Behavior 23: 315-328.
  • Castles, Duncan L. and Andrew Whiten. 1998. Post-conflict behaviour of wild olive baboons, I. Reconciliation, redirection, and consolation. Ethology 104: 126-147.
  • Aureli, Filippo and Frans B. M. de Waal, eds. 2000. Natural Conflict Resolution. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
  • de Waal, Frans B. M. 2000. Primates––A natural heritage of conflict resolution. Science 289: 586-590.
  • Silk, Joan B. 2002. The form and function of reconciliation in primates. Annual Review of Anthropology 31: 21-44.
  • Weaver, Ann and Frans B. M. de Waal. 2003. The mother-offspring relationship as a template in social development: reconciliation in captive brown capuchins (Cebus apella). Journal of Comparative Psychology 117: 101-110.
  • Palagi, Elisabetta et al. 2004. Reconciliation and consolation in captive bonobos (Pan paniscus). American Journal of Primatology 62: 15-30.
  • Palagi, Elisabetta et al. 2005. Aggression and reconciliation in two captive groups of Lemur catta. International Journal of Primatology 26: 279-294.

External linksEdit

  • The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University was one of the first Masters programs in conflict resolution and is the largest recipient of Fulbright Scholars in conflict resolution.
  • CUNY Dispute Resolution Consortium- 'The Dispute Resolution Headquarters in New York City.
  • Wikia: Conflict Resolution -A wikia dedicated to conflict resolution
  • Peace Forge -A wiki dedicated to best practices in peace and conflict resolution
  • The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University is the oldest graduate program in Conflict Analysis and Resolution in the United States and was the first PhD program in the field
  • The University for Peace The University for Peace was created in 1980 by the United Nations “to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations.” It is the only University in the UN family able to grant degrees and it has eight master's programmes related to conflict resolution and peace building.
  • New Conversations Online Library Communication-skills and conflict-resolution books, essays, articles, scholarly papers & teaching materials (all free of charge in PDF or web format).
  • Peacemakers Trust Peacemakers Trust, based in Victoria, Canada, is a non-profit organization for research and education in the field of conflict resolution and peacebuilding with an extensive searchable online bibliography.
  • Riverhouse ePress is a web publisher of edocs on conflict resolution, including a conflict style inventory with similarities to the Thomas Kilmann inventory but with built-in cultural sensitivities, and how-to booklets on group facilitation, dialogue, and consensus-building.
  • Search For Common Ground - One of the world's largest non-government organisations dedicated to conflict resolution
  • Socratic Method Society - Uses a "modified version" of the Socratic method to resolve interpersonal conflict
  • U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution - The U.S. Institute provides a neutral place inside the federal government, but independent of other agencies, where public and private interests can reach common ground through the use of non-adversarial, interest-based negotiation.
  • Party-Directed Mediation (mediation of interpersonal conflict) - Download 'Helping Others Resolve Differences: Empowering Stakeholders.'
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