Conflict resolution involves designing effective strategies to minimize the dysfunctions of conflict and enhancing the practical functions of conflict in order to advance learning and effectiveness in an organization. Rahim (2010) says that organizations should design new conflict resolution strategies based on contemporary literature that are likely to satisfy the entire organization. The first strategy that organizations can use is to minimize conflict. Rahim (2010) says that affective, process and substantive conflict should be minimized to reduce the adverse impacts on individual and group effectiveness.
The second strategy of conflict resolution in organizations is ensuring that a moderate amount of substantive conflict is attained and maintained for non-routine tasks. Rahim (2010) noted that “although substantive conflict enhances group performance, like affective conflict, it can diminish job attitudes” (p. 56). Studies indicate that interventions for conflict management should be designed to develop cultural norms to support disagreement among group members in connection with tasks and other related management issues without generating affective conflict (Rahim, 2010).
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Thirdly, organizations should embrace various styles of behavior such as integrating, obliging, dominating, avoiding and compromising to deal with affective, substantive and process conflicts. Rahim (2010) says that through this strategy organizational members require training and ob the job experience to select and use the styles of handling conflict. This ensures that various conflict situations can be appropriately dealt with. Rahim (2010) mentioned that “conflict resolution strategies require the use of integrating or problem solving conflict handling strategy and not bargaining strategy” (p. 58).
In conclusion, the concept of collaboration plays a fundamental role in conflict resolution within organizations. Pieczka (2006) indicated that “all parties within the organization should collaborate to actively and assertively seek a mutually acceptable solution and be willing to spend large amounts of time and energy to achieve an outcome” (p. 75). In conflict resolution, the key relational elements of trust, openness, communication, mutual understanding, power, and collaboration play a significant role in restoring relationship between people.
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