Managing Interpersonal Conflict and Negotiations

A look at the importance of successful negotiation and conflict resolution to an organization.

This paper examines how the importance of managing interpersonal conflicts and negotiations is best reflected in the fact that an organization, itself, is a structure or a set of interpersonal relationships by means of which the work of an organization is performed. It attempts to show how an organization depends on cooperation among its employees to meet its objectives, which can only be achieved through a reduction of the causes of friction or conflict. It discusses how conflict resolution has increased in importance in the current-day context of flatter, less hierarchical organizations and how successful negotiation and conflict resolution, at either an interpersonal or inter-group level, has become increasingly vital to both organizational and personal success.
“Conflicts arise when two or more interdependent parties perceive incompatible goals, interests, values or ideas (Ashmos & Nathan, 2002), which can only be resolved through a process of negotiation. In determining the process of negotiation, it is vital to understand that successful negotiation vests in agreement, not victory as an objective. Generally, however, responses to conflict have been classified in five modes of resolution depending on the relative importance of satisfying one’s own needs versus fulfilling the other person’s needs. These five modes are yielding, collaborating (integrative), compromising, avoiding and competing (distributive). Most successful negotiators assume a collaborative or win-win approach by seeming to “create value” that satisfies the needs of both parties (Wertheim).”