Conflict Management in Negotiations

Essay by LueGinaA+, July 2005

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Conflict Management in the Negotiation is an expressed struggle between two or more interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce resources, and interference from others in achieving their goals (Wilmot, 1998, pg.34). It would seem strange to have a conflict within a conflict, wouldn't it? The whole negotiation process is in existence because of some sort of disagreement or conflict, and aside from the actual act of the negotiation, I want to discuss some of the "behind the scenes" conflict that can exist. Since people do the negotiating, it us understood that the people can act or behave in ways that can either make the process function or render it dysfunctional. There are three different types of outside conflict during the negotiation process I will discuss: task/person conflict, content/relationship conflict, and conflict as a constructive/positive force. Task/Person Conflict If a team is negotiating against another team; there may be conflict within the team.

We experienced this in our class simulation when the spokesperson for management kept making things up, this upset his team because they didn't know where he would end up with his comments. Also, what he said didn't always coincide with what his group had decided to do during meetings and caucuses. Task conflict in team decision-making refers to the disagreements about work to be done. This includes the allocation of resources, or maybe the development and implementation of policies. This type of conflict has beneficial effects on the quality of team decision-making. Initially, task-oriented disagreement rather than consensus appears to facilitate dialectically styled discussions, which prevent groupthink (Janis, 1982). It also stimulates the identification, securitization, and ultimate integration of different perspectives needed to produce high-quality implemental decisions. Task conflict was also found to enhance affective acceptance among management team members due to the intellectual consideration and utilization...