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Applying Constructive Conflict Management to a Conflict Essay

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Updated: Feb 13th, 2022

Prelude to Conflict

The prelude phase describes the situation that made the conflict possible, taking into account its participants, their relationship, and the environment where the conflict takes place. Organizational factors, such as the disparity in power and status, can also be a significant factor in creating interpersonal conflict (Anicich et al., 2015). These environmental factors strongly affect the development of a conflict.

Alice and Bob were two friends who have known each other for years, shared hobbies and social circles. The two were planning to host a social gathering and were inviting their mutual friends. Among those friends was Charlie, whose company Bob believed everyone would enjoy and personally wanted to see at the event. However, Charlie had recently made some disparaging comments about Alice, which have offended her. Alice thought that spending time around Charlie would upset her and possibly lead to further conflict between them, which could spoil the social gathering.

Triggering Event

The triggering event is the event or issue that one of the sides of the conflict finds objectionable. A triggering event can arise from causes such as a difference in personalities, lack of information, or, in this example, an ambiguity in responsibilities (Lalegani et al., 2019). This event is generally seen as the start of a conflict.

Bob invited Charlie to the event without asking Alice as the two had not discussed the possibility of one of them finding a mutual friend’s presence objectionable. Alice discovered Charlie’s name on the event page they had created on Facebook.

Initiation Phase

At the initiation phase, the conflict becomes overt and the two sides become aware that it exists.

Alice told Bob she did not want to see Charlie at the gathering but did not explain the reason for it.

Differentiation Phase

During the differentiation phase, the participants of the conflict attempt to resolve it through the use of conflict management tactics.

Bob was incredulous since he was unaware of the ongoing conflict between the other two. He thought Alice was being difficult or exaggerating some insignificant offense and insisted that Charlie should come. He suggested that Charlie will not cause any trouble, there will be enough people at the event, and that the two do not have to interact with one another if they do not want to. He also explained that it would be rude to cancel an invitation after it had been accepted. Alice conceded the point about rudeness but explained that Charlie had upset her and even without direct interaction, Charlie’s presence would spoil her mood, defeating the purpose of visiting the event. Eventually, she explained the whole situation to Bob, who acknowledged their conflict and chose not to discuss it further.

Resolution Phase

At the conflict’s resolution, both sides accept some outcome to it. It can be mutually beneficial, but the resolution can also be temporary or not beneficial to both sides.

The two came to a compromise: allow Charlie to come this time, but Bob would endeavor to keep Charlie and Alice from interacting. He would also be ready to mediate if an argument started and throw Charlie out at the first sign of escalation.

References

Anicich, E. M., Fast, N. J., Halevy, N., & Galinsky, A. D. (2015). When the bases of social hierarchy collide: Power without status drives interpersonal conflict. Organization Science, 27(1), pp. 123-140. Web.

Lalegani, Z., Isfahani, A. N., Shahin, A., & Safari, A. (2019). Developing a model for analyzing the factors influencing interpersonal conflict. Management Decision, 57(5), 1127-1144. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Applying Constructive Conflict Management to a Conflict." February 13, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/applying-constructive-conflict-management-to-a-conflict/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Applying Constructive Conflict Management to a Conflict." February 13, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/applying-constructive-conflict-management-to-a-conflict/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Applying Constructive Conflict Management to a Conflict'. 13 February.

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