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Conflict and Negotiation

Conflict and negotiation are two of the most important parts of organizational life. They are also two sides of the same coin, which means that each can affect the other. Conflict is a natural part of human interaction, but how we handle it can significantly impact our ability to accomplish our goals. Negotiation is when people work together to reach an agreement that satisfies them. Effective negotiation helps people reach agreements they can live with, even if they don’t completely agree with each other (DuBrin, 2013). Negotiations can be difficult because they require multiple parties to come together and negotiate an outcome that suits everyone involved.

Conflict is not always bad. Sometimes conflict is necessary for progress or when two individuals must work together toward common goals. Sometimes conflict can be destructive, especially if one person cannot resolve their differences with another person or group of people at work or home. It’s important for managers and employees alike to understand how conflict works and how to avoid or resolve disputes before they escalate into bigger problems. Everyone involved in the conflict may be affected in one way or another. For example, the boss may tell an employee that they need to take on more responsibility; the employee may disagree, saying that they are already doing enough work and shouldn’t have to take any more time away from their family obligations.

Functional or Dysfunctional

The conflict and negotiation process is a way to resolve issues before they become problems. Conflicts often arise because people don’t understand each other’s goals, values, or needs. Conflict can be functional or dysfunctional, depending on how it is handled.

Functional conflict occurs when two or more people share similar goals, values, and needs, as well as an understanding of each other’s priorities. This type of conflict is constructive and productive because everyone involved has the same goal: to reach an outcome that benefits all parties involved. Dysfunctional conflict occurs when there are differences in goals or priorities between two or more people. Dysfunctional conflicts are less likely to be resolved because they do not have a common purpose; therefore, the solution will be difficult to implement due to differing perspectives and interests on what should be done next. In addition, there are times when conflict occurs in organizations because people do not understand each other or communicate well with each other (Luthans et al., 2021). These types of situations can lead to conflict and poor relationships, which can decrease the organization’s effectiveness. Conflict can also be dysfunctional if it causes the organization to lose focus on its objectives or has negative consequences such as decreased productivity or loss of customers.

The way one handles conflicts can help determine whether they are functional or dysfunctional. Suppose you raise your voice or become defensive during a disagreement. In that case, this may signal that you are not open to working together towards a resolution and/or sharing information about your thoughts and feelings regarding the situation.

Styles of Conflict

In the current world of conflict resolution, people employ several styles to resolve conflicts. Some are more effective than others.


This is one of the most effective conflict resolution styles (Liddle, 2017). It requires that both parties involved in the conflict put their differences aside and find a solution that works for both sides. The win-win approach involves both parties coming together and working toward a solution that satisfies everyone involved. This means that even if one party thinks the process has disadvantaged them, they will still be satisfied with what came from it. The win-win approach is often called “mutual gain” because both parties see their needs met by the arrangement. In fact, this style is so effective that it can be applied to many situations outside of business settings, such as sports and politics (Liddle, 2017).


Compromise is another effective way to resolve conflicts (Liddle, 2017). It requires both parties involved in the conflict to compromise on their positions to come up with something they can all agree on (Luthans et al., 2021). This approach may require each party to give up something they want so that the other party can get what they want. The key to compromise is that both parties feel like they have given up something, but they can still get something out of the situation. This approach is often used in business settings because it allows both sides to come away with something instead of nothing (Winston & Edwards, 2011).


The lose-win approach is one of the least effective ways to resolve conflict (Liddle, 2017). This style involves one party giving in to the demands of the other party so that they can avoid the conflict altogether. This usually happens when one party fears confrontation or doesn’t want to rock the boat. The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t solve the conflict, and it often leads to resentment from the party who gave in (DuBrin, 2013).

No matter what conflict one finds themselves in, it is important to remember that effective negotiation skills are necessary to resolve the issue. Below are some tips on how to negotiate effectively;

-Be assertive but not aggressive. It is important to be clear about what you want, but you don’t want to come across as demanding or pushy.

– Be willing to compromise. As mentioned before, compromise is often necessary to reach an agreement.

– Be open to new ideas. It is important to keep an open mind during the negotiation process to consider all options.

– Be prepared to walk away. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is walk away from the negotiation if it isn’t going in your favor. This doesn’t mean you have to give up, but it does mean that you are willing to walk away from the situation if necessary.

– Seek a win-win solution. The goal of negotiation should be to find a solution that works for both parties. Focusing on finding a win-win solution can increase the chances of reaching an agreement.

Therefore, Conflict and negotiation are inevitable in any business setting. By understanding the different styles of conflict and being prepared with effective negotiation techniques, one can improve their chances of resolving the issue positively.

Conflict Management

Conflict management is a process used to reduce the level of conflict in an organization. Conflict can occur because of differences in opinions, values, or interests. These differences can be between employees or between groups within an organization. Conflict management helps people resolve their differences by searching for common ground or finding a way to work together that respects each person’s rights and needs (Guttman, 2009). For example, workplace conflict may occur over salary and benefits. An employee may be upset about the amount of money he or she makes, while the employer may feel that the employee is not performing up to expectations. In this type of situation, conflict management can help both parties reach an agreement that both feel comfortable with.

Conflict management involves recognizing and understanding different types of conflicts, identifying common causes of these conflicts, and developing skills to resolve them (Liddle). This will help individuals become more effective at resolving their problems and those of others in their workplace or community.

Categories of Conflict Management

Preventing conflict from arising involves identifying potential sources of conflict and neutralizing them before they lead to an incident requiring a response. This can include improving organizational communication, training personnel on how to handle situations before they arise, and reducing employee stress.

Managing conflict once it has occurred – involves dealing with issues as they arise, so they do not escalate into a crisis. It also involves dealing with complaints about performance or policies, resolving disputes between team members, and solving problems at work through discussions rather than through confrontation or complaint letters.

Resolving conflicts among people – some conflicts can only be resolved by one person or group. In contrast, others require collaboration between multiple parties to resolve acceptable to all parties involved. This can include mediation, arbitration, or negotiation.

Ending conflict – this stage is reached when all parties involved have agreed to a resolution and are willing to implement it. This may require changes in policies, procedures, or how work is done to prevent the conflict from recurring. It may also involve apologies, praise, or other forms of recognition for those who have worked to resolve the conflict.

Therefore, Conflict management is a necessary skill for anyone in a position of authority, such as a manager, supervisor, or team leader. It is also useful for anyone who wants to improve their ability to resolve personal conflicts. Learning how to prevent and manage conflict can help reduce stress in the workplace and make it a more productive and positive environment.


The most important thing to do when you are in conflict at work is to identify the conflict. The next step is to find out who started the problem, why they started it, and what they want from the situation.

The next step is to understand why each person thinks that way. This can be very difficult because people often feel that their opinions are justified and that their opponent’s opinions are wrong or even offensive. However, both parties need to understand why the other person feels this way to devise a solution that will satisfy both parties’ needs. After understanding each other’s perspectives, you should try to reach a compromise between your points of view. It is important for yourself, your team members, and your boss. Problems within an office or organization can be difficult for everyone involved because they have different perspectives on things, such as how much time they spend on different projects or what policies should be implemented in certain situations. If one has difficulty resolving a conflict, one may need to seek outside help from a mediator or arbitrator. These people are trained to help two parties reach an agreement. They can help you by facilitating discussions and helping to understand each other’s perspectives. They can also help you reach an acceptable compromise for both parties.


DuBrin, A. J. (2013). Fundamentals of organizational behavior: An applied perspective. Elsevier.

Guttman, H. M. (2009). The new high-performance, horizontal organization. The organization of the future2, 268-281.

Liddle, D. (2017). Managing conflict: A practical guide to resolution in the workplace. Kogan Page Publishers.

Luthans, F., Luthans, B. C., & Luthans, K. W. (2021). Organizational Behavior: An Evidence-Based Approach Fourteenth Edition. IAP.


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