Cooperation and Competition
Interdependence on the goals of the parties involved in conflicts perhaps aids in understating the nature of the conflicts. In situations where one party voices success, as the other forecasts failure, the relationship is success-failure oriented. As a result, a competitive relationship characterized by win-lose orientation dominates (Morton, 2000, p.21). On the other hand, in situations in which both parties in conflict predict failure or success, the existing relationship between the parties is lose-lose or win-win oriented.
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Consequently, parties tend to foster cooperative relationships. From Morton Deutsch’s perspective of view, a cooperative relationship always incites positive attitudes among the parties such as the willingness of either party to escalate the other party’s powers, coordination, and friendliness while not negating coordinated and cute communication between the parties involved (2000, p.23). On the other hand, hostility altitudes that reflect exactly opposite traits of cooperative relationships characterize competitive relationships.
According to Morton, “constructive processes of conflict resolution are similar to cooperative processes of problem-solving, and destructive processes of conflict resolution are similar to competitive processes” (2000, p.27). This view is perhaps reflective of the practical approaches in conflict resolution. Where the parties involved in conflicts have varying interests and goals that bring about mayhem instead of fostering unity and peace.
On the other hand, in practical scenarios where the parties involved in conflicts have similar goals and intents, the results of negotiations tend to yield positive fruits since each party places demands that are realizable by the other party. In the case where one party cannot realize them, either party is always willing to bargain for an agreeable treat. Constructive strategies of conflict resolutions lie squarely on the foundations of equity, peace, and human fallibility. With the deployment of efficient and effective conflict resolution management knowledge and skills, common grounds are realizable, upon which the parties involved in conflict attempt to invoke cooperative relationships.
However, a question remains; how can one foster these relationships? In an endeavor to answer this question, Morton Deutsch posits, “The characteristic processes and effects elicited by a given type of social relationship also tend to elicit that type of social relationship” (2000, p.29). This means that with the necessary skills to establish cooperative relationships as well as maintaining them through the utilization of friendly attitudes, successful resolution of the conflict is possible.
Justice and Conflict
Perceptions of injustices attract the emergence of conflicts. When the emerged conflicts end up being destructive, further incidences of injustice take a toll. For training on conflict resolutions, Morton Deutsch looks through the various forms of injustices. Distributive justice, according to him, relies on the need for fair outcomes. Varying grounds exist upon which the principles of equitable and fair distribution rely.
As a way of example, Conflict Research Consortium claims, “justice requires that votes be distributed equally, medical care be distributed according to need and wages be paid equitably according to work done” (2010, Para. 2). However, the comparison used by people in an attempt to dig out the information as to whether they are deprived of their justice in terms of fair distribution depends on how and with whom they make comparisons.
Another element of justice: procedural justice focuses on fair treatment. In this regard, Deutsch sets lights that “fair procedures yield good information for use in decision-making processes as well as a voice in the processes for those affected by them, and considerate treatment during the course of implementing the procedures (Morton, 2000, p.45). People deploy ardent need to maintain a positive self-image.
Those who perpetrate injustices, therefore, may fail to recognize their injustice acts. Confirming this, Conflict Research Consortium adds, “The sense of injustice may be activated by challenging social ideologies and stereotypes that rationalize the injustice and by the community -building among the victims” (2010, para.4).
The fourth element of injustice entails reparative justice. This kind of justice serves to advocate for the norm violated. Retributive or rather reparative justice has the capacity to lead to an emotional relief of the community affected by the injustice acts. Deutsch comments that the reasons people engage in acts of wrongdoing face the “influenced of the nature of the transgression, the transgressor, the victim, and the amount of harm suffered by the victim, as well as by the person’s relations to the transgressor and victims (Morton, 2000, p.48).
In some instances, the scope of justice is vital to consider in relation to conflicts. In such instances, some groups of people may perceive acts of fairness as irrelevant. As a way of example, in real practical scenarios, during the time when people perceived the slave trade as a legal business, white slave owners had no regard for the need for fairness and justice extension to the slaves. Furthermore, more examples of the situation in which justice exclusion occurs are evident.
Conflict Research Consortium gives examples of such scenarios, which include “conditions of perceived material hardship and political instability and in the presence of authoritarian social institutions, chauvinist ideologies, and culturally sanctioned violence” (2010, Para.5). Understanding justice incredibly helps in understanding the nature of conflicts, as one major milestone of the conflict resolution process.
Conflict Research Consortium. (2010). Article Summary of “Justice and Conflict” By Morton Deutsch. Web.
Morton, D. (2000).Cooperation and Competition: Morton, D, and Peter, T., Eds. The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bas Publishers.