Handling Diverse Conflict Resolutions

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Introduction

Globalization has allowed millions of individuals to seek new challenges and better job opportunities and futures. The melting pot has allowed workforces to become filled with many cultures, in which, has benefited many organizations, but does raise new challenges. Since the world is becoming so culturally diverse, it has raised the requirements and skills for conflict resolution strategies.

Over the past few decades, business’ have been progressing and improving at a rapid rate which makes the workers have to adapt. Society’s view on conflict has vastly change as it previously had an authoritative approach but has swiftly changed direction toward a more cultural approach and being aware of other individual’s beliefs and values.

With business plans consistently changing to better success, researchers are always researching for new strategies focused on individuals’ values that drive their actions and understanding of other cultures to provide healthier work environments. With the rapid changes to business’s structures we will look at the challenges in a diverse workplace, managing diversity, and Thomas and Kilmann’s model to focus on conflicts.

Diversity Workplace Challenges

Before discussing the cause of diversity workplace challenges, we need to define diversity, which is “acknowledging, understanding, accepting, valuing, and celebrating differences among people with respect to age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, race, sexual orientation, spiritual practice, and public assistance status” (Green, López, Wysocki, and Kepner, 2002). It is crucial for individuals to use their emotional intelligence and other skills to understand the people they are working with. Individuals in workforces need to focus on the dissimilarities of the people around them which will help minimize conflicts. Conflicts that are handled professionally can actually drive an organization into a better direction or could cause an organization a lot more problems.

Managing Diversity

Managing diverse cultures is not easy and takes effective decision making. When dealing with conflict it can be difficult to develop a solution, but the process is quite simple. Individuals need to recognize the need for decision, generate ideas and alternatives for conflict, analyze each idea, and then put it into place. After implementing the alternative, it is always important to collect feedback to evaluate the outcomes of chosen alternatives (Jones & George, 2014). It is crucial for individuals to have a good sense of diversity awareness so they can find different alternatives or change their attitudes and behavior for certain individuals and in result create a more motivating and conflict reduced environment.

For individuals managing diverse workforces, they need to take that extra step of empowering employees to challenge conflicts before they rise and reward them for effectively managing diversity. This extra step for managing diversity will create a domino effect and help create better leaders and keep the values in place when management is not there.

In reality, these steps might help leaders in the creation of a non-stop diversity management, even when the managers themselves cannot participate directly.

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Not being able to recognize cultural differences in values can be detrimental to organizations; however, having a clear understanding on other cultures can greatly impact the organization’s reputation, morale, and motivation. Being culturally informed is one part of dealing with diverse individuals, but then there has to be a strategy that is used toward the conflict.

Conflict Resolution Strategies

Throughout history there has been many conflict resolution strategies created, but for this topic we are referencing Thomas and Kilmann’s model. The model uses five resolution strategies that individuals use to handle conflict, including avoiding, competing, accommodating, collaborating, and compromising.

The first strategy discussed in Thomas and Kilmann’s model is avoiding, which is “when a person neither pursues his/her own concerns nor those of the other individuals” (Kilmann, 2007). When it comes to situations that use avoiding, one of the parties does not have interest in developing a solution. When individuals use this tactic, it can be hard to negotiate because they are not paying attention and they would rather just brush the issue to the side as if it never happened rather than fixing it.

The second strategy discussed in Thomas and Kilmann’s model is competing, which is “when an individual pursues his/her own concerns at the other person's expense (Kilmann, 2007). This strategy tends to use a more forcing and authoritative approach. Since an individual believes they hold more “power” of another, they are more forcing and demanding on their approach to satisfy their needs and desires. Many instances this strategy is used to get things done in a time constraint and lacks the awareness for other individuals.

The third strategy discussed in Thomas and Kilmann’s model is accommodating and is defined as giving into one individual’s interest or demands for progression. This conflict is used when both parties are corporative and are willing to help the other party out by giving up something. This conflict can be just as bad as avoiding if a party is giving up something just to keep harmony or avoid a bigger situation.

The fourth strategy that Thomas and Kilmann use is collaborating, often called “win-win” is when the solution benefits or satisfies the parties. For a collaborating strategy to be successful all parties must be informed and hear the concerns of others to develop a solution that has a beneficial outcome to all.

The fifth and final strategy that Thomas and Kilmann use is compromising, in which develops a solution to the conflict that meets partial satisfaction of the parties. This strategy usually only “band-aids” the problem as the result can create issues overtime. With this strategy all parties give up a little of what they want, and no party gets everything they want.

Conclusion

Handling conflict is not always easy, especially when it includes diverse individuals that all have different values and personality types. It is important for individuals to have a strong awareness when it comes to others. The conflicts in a diverse workforce are not always clear and there are many ways to focus on managing diverse conflicts, but Thomas and Kilmann’s model covers almost all situations that an individual might face, and they will need to adapt to that. The goal for managing diverse cultures is to create a positive change that considers all cultures and to find a solution to the conflict that will better the individuals.

References

  1. Green K. A., López M., Wysocki A., Kepner K. (2002). Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges, and the Required Managerial Tools. University of Florida, HR# 022. Retrieved on August 26, 2014, from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hr022.
  2. Jones G. R., George J. M. (2014). Contemporary Management, 8th edition. McGraw Hill, New York.
  3. Kilmann, R. H., Thomas, K. W. Interpersonal conflict-handling behavior as reflections of Jungian personality dimensions. Psychological Reports, 2007, 37, 971–980.
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Handling Diverse Conflict Resolutions. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/handling-diverse-conflict-resolutions/
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Handling Diverse Conflict Resolutions [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 29 [cited 2024 May 21]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/handling-diverse-conflict-resolutions/
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