1.5 Key Takeaways, Knowledge Check and Key Terms

Key Takeaways

In this chapter, we learned that:

  • Conflict occurs in interactions in which there are real or perceived incompatible goals, scare resources, or opposing viewpoints.
  • Conflict will inevitably occur and isn’t inherently good or bad. Conflict is a process that requires our time and energy. We can choose to be proactive and address conflict in functional ways. Conflict is as much about a relationship as the content of the conflict itself.
  • Conflict may be marked by disputes, competitions, and/or interpersonal violence. However, conflict does not need to be adversarial, competitive, and/or violent.
  • There are several views of conflict. In the traditional view, conflict is always bad and should be avoided. According to the human relations view, conflict can be helpful if it is harnessed efficiently. Finally, the interactionist view of conflict notes that conflict can be a challenge or benefit, depending on its characteristics.
  • Conflict can occur at different levels: within individuals, between individuals, between groups, and between organizations. Additionally, we need to consider that conflict within these various levels can be further impacted by differences in power.
  • The four types of conflict are:  goal conflict, cognitive conflict, affective conflict, and behavioral conflict.
  • There are many potential sources of conflict in the workplace including organizational structure, limited resources, task interdependence, incompatible goals, personality differences, and communication problems.
  • When faced with conflict, we have many choices on how to respond. These approaches be active or passive and constructive or destructive.
  • Depending on its characteristics, a conflict in the workplace can provide benefits or challenges to the performance of individuals, groups, and organizations.
  • Students can benefit from this information now by building their knowledge, mindset, and skillset surrounding the nature of conflict and how to manage it.

Knowledge Check

Review your understanding of this chapter’s key concepts by taking the interactive quiz below.



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Conflict Management Copyright © 2022 by Laura Westmaas, BA, MSc is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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