Chapter 5 provides an in-depth analysis of dimensions and dynamics of conflicts, as they exist in communities. As indicated in the chapter, the community is awash with conflicts given the fact that every single facet of life can produce conflicts. For instance interpersonal relations amongst members results into conflicts. In access of resources in a given community members of that community are likely to be involved in conflicts in the competition of resources especially in situations whereby resources are scarce and there exists no proper structure in society to lead to the fair distribution of the resources.
It is better to prevent conflicts where possible than waiting the conflicts to take place and then resolving them. However as Dalton, and Kellet, (2001) observes, the conflicts witnessed in communities are bound to occur as preventing the conflicts is not very practical given the fact that sources of conflicts are very diverse and very difficult to predict.
In a community conflicts are bound to arise and resolution of conflicts involves a good understanding of conflict resolution strategies such as avoidance, win-win and accommodation. Personally, I have been involved in conflicts with my brother, which really left me feeling like it was wrong and unacceptable to get into conflicting situations with my brother. However the content of chapter five has opened my thinking and enabled me to understand that conflicts do not have always to be wrong or negative.
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Indeed conflicts if resolved well are a source of great learning. Whenever I differ with my brother, I will be looking at it as an opportunity to learn more and understand ourselves better. Especially in cases whereby the conflicts result from differences in opinions, the conflict situation should serve to build our relationship and learn a lot from each other. Conflicts enable people to come up with the best solutions to problems considering the fact that after brainstorming on the opinions generating the conflict, one is likely to settle for the best solutions especially where a win-win conflict resolution strategy is preferred. Conflicts on the other hand can negatively affect the quality of life of those involved in the conflict especially in cases whereby people fail to resolve such conflicts amicably.
Chapter 6 provides a deep insight on how to identify conflicts in the work place as well as the different strategies, which can be useful in work place conflict resolution strategies. Chapter 6 identifies major sources of conflicts in the work place as poor team leadership, difference in opinions, personal differences as well as various cultural diversity in the work force as well as in situations whereby the organization recruits staff from various backgrounds.
Cultural differences as a source of conflicts is more common in cases whereby the organization is either a multinational corporation or it has presence in many countries or in some cases, it out sources from offshore. Work place conflicts just like conflicts in the community could have both positive and negative effects on job performance and employee morale depending on how well they are resolved.
The management must be able to identify and deal with conflicts as and when they emerge. This is necessary considering the fact that the organization largely relies on teamwork to function smoothly and any source of conflicts, which serve to prevent smooth coexistence of employees, must be identified and dealt with before they get out of hand and interfere with job performance.
Conflict resolution strategies in the work place include avoidance strategy, win-win strategy and accommodation strategy and should be administered to all suitable situations to resolve disputes and conflicts in a positive manner. The major reason why managers need to have good conflict management skills is the fact that the success of an organization is largely determined by how well the managers can organize workers to function as teams as opposed to functioning as individuals.
Therefore conflict management calls for the mangers to form teams, which can work well despite the challenges and end up achieving the much-needed synergetic effect. Chapter 6 helps us to appreciate the importance of conflict resolution in the work place as well as the negative effects of failing to resolve conflicts as they emerge. As noted in the chapter failure to properly resolve conflicts can result into a reduction in job output as well as likelihood of an increased employee turn over for those employees who feel discontented with the management of the organisation.
That is worst-case scenario resulting from conflicts and organisations though the management are supposed to prevent such eventualities by practicing good conflict resolution strategies. By appreciating the causes of organizational conflicts one is able to negotiate the conflicts and come out of the conflicts stronger. Personally I have in some instances been engaged in conflicts with work mates.
For example I was once put in the same team in the production department with a colleague with whom we always had different viewpoints of dealing with situations at work. However I learnt to use the accommodative strategy as opposed to the avoidance strategy and as such I was able to overcome the conflicts. From the conflicts, I learnt that the solution to conflicts was in resolving them but not ignoring the problems. I also learnt that conflicts should not interfere with job performance and thus should be resolved as soon as they occur.
Chapter 7 provides a deep insight on how to identify conflicts in the family as well as how to deal with those conflicts. Unless well resolved, the family conflicts are likely to spill over to the community and eventually to the work place. Therefore conflict resolutions at the family level are very important in achieving a coherent society whereby people coexist well.
Poor conflict resolution strategies in the family often lead to domestic abuse, child abuse as well as elder abuse. Therefore putting the needed effort inorder to deal with the family conflicts is very desirable in that it is likely to cause harmony not only at the community level but also in the work place. Families are an integral part of the society especially given the fact that human beings are social beings who need love, care and recognition. The quality of relationship a family is involved in has been found to have an impact on the unity of the society.
Family relationships are complex and understanding of expectations both male and females have of each other is a daunting task. The fact that relationships are both dynamic and situational further complicates the nature of relationships. To ensure that, families continue to play their role in the society, there is a need for proper conflict resolution strategies to solve challenges which emerge and threaten the very existence of the family as an institution.
However, it is not possible to achieve such unity, harmony and organization without proper law structures and system to protect the rights of the family to exist as well as that of the child to belong to the family and be treated in accordance with the law. Despite the existence of laws governing the family and children, problems and challenges continue to face today’s families. With the divorce and separation rates soaring up disproportionately, more and more people opting not to marry, the family as a core part of the society is constantly under threat.
Personally I have really admired the conflict resolution skills of my parents who have been able to keep our family together and very united. When I start my own family I will always apply the necessary conflict strategies for example avoidance, accommodation or win-win strategy to resolve conflicts.
Dalton, D., and Kellet, P. (2001). Managing Conflict in a Negotiated World. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
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