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Assignment 2: Conflict Perspectives Critical Analysis
The objective of this assignment is to, in a narrative form, identify the similarities and differences among the three conflict perspectives. To do this, create the following two-dimensional matrix:
|Pressure for resolution|
On the basis of this module’s readings and additional research, fill out the matrix with details on how power is typically displayed and handled in intrapsychic, interpersonal, and group-to-group conflicts. Repeat with the other two contextual factors—
information and pressure for resolution.
- By the due date assigned, post your response to the Discussion Area. Through the end of the module, review and comment on at least two classmates’ responses.
- In your discussion response, provide detailed support for your matrix, include appropriate citations, and assess how this matrix could be used as a tool to analyze and diagnose conflict.
All written assignments and responses should follow APA rules for attributing sources.
|Discussion Grading Table||Maximum Points|
|Quality of initial posting, including fulfillment of assignment instructions||
|Quality of responses to classmates||
|Frequency of responses to classmates||
|Reference to supporting readings and other materials||
|Language and grammar||
Textbook links should be italicize
If we accept the definition that conflict is essentially a state of differences and/or disagreements regarding a person’s values and wants—whether it be an interpersonal, group-to-group, or organizational arrangement—then it would seem appropriate to investigate these differences seeking some kind of resolution.
This course expands on this rudimentary platform, guiding you in interactive learning assignments that address the complexities, possibilities, and processes of conflict management and resolution.
Conflict can take many forms, or modes. Intrapsychic, interpersonal, and group-to-group conflicts are three of the more common contexts of conflict and will be the focus in this course. Each of these types of conflict requires unique approaches when you attempt to understand, act upon, and/or resolve the situation.
Conflict resolution may conceptually appear as a well-defined event or series of events having a point of closure or finality. Real-world experiences lead us to believe otherwise. The learning assignments in this course will help you discover how tolerance for ambiguity can be a useful skill when identifying the linkages and interactions of conflict situations.
This course also provides direction and guidance when you examine individual and interpersonal behavior as a function of historical impact, current focus at work, and changing agendas. A person’s temperament, personality, and values may block attempts in his or her psyche to forgive and forget or turn the other cheek. Thus, an examination of one’s personal attributes is worthy of inclusion in this learning experience.
To achieve this, you will complete different kinds of assessments—emotional intelligence, personality, values clarification, and conflict style. This information, coupled with case study analysis, interview data, and simulations completed in the different modules, will be integrated in a final portfolio project.
The structure of any given conflict has components that may be generic to the conflict type or very unique. Different types of conflict will be studied in this course as a way to understand their composition. Power, influence, information, trade-offs, and urgency are all different parts of a given conflict’s engineering. Through analyzing these different parts, your perspective will be transformed.
While analysis and discovery of givens are important, equally so is the ability to use a model that becomes your modus operandi. This facet of the course emphasizes identifying different models for conflict management and resolution, as well as creating and testing your own model for interpersonal conflict resolution. During the process of assessing and creating a model, you will pay attention to strategies for conflict resolution.
The model identifies the components; the strategy helps you know how to integrate and use them. Additionally, issues and needs regarding leadership in conflict resolution present challenging questions to consider. How does one lead in a chaotic conflict situation? What are the options? Moreover, is there one leadership style that appears more effective than others in conflict management? These and related questions will be addressed in the assignments.
Throughout this course, you will be constructing new and different approaches to understanding the various venues of conflict, coming to grips with your values related to conflict dynamics, and becoming better prepared to manage conflict situations. You will become more sensitized to developing conflicts, thus becoming able to find effective interventions rather than act precipitously.
Module 1 Overview
Definitions and Perspectives
Module 1 sets the stage for the course by first assisting you in forming communication bonds necessary for the assignment interaction. This starts with sharing introductions, reading, and sharing perceptions with your classmates and providing feedback to and getting feedback from your classmates. The module presents a set of definitions regarding conflict in order to establish common and necessary referents. Emphasis is placed on a greater understanding of context as a dynamic rather than a static description since context has meanings and implications much beyond the setting of a given conflict.
Whether it is an individual, a small group, or a large organization, a rather elaborate set of historical experiences precedes any given current state. The ongoing energy, direction, and effects accumulated from the past all have a variety of effects in the present. Propensity is defined as the tendency to continue a momentum of ideas or actions created by dynamic forces.
Historical propensity could range from a deep-seated prejudice continuing to influence a person’s intrapsychic thoughts and actions to an imbedded, traumatic conflict between two countries unable to resolve the multilayered differences existing between them.
In one of your assignments in this module, the three basic venues of conflict (intrapsychic, interpersonal, and group-to-group) will be explored in terms of three attributes related to context (power, information, and pressure for resolution). The development of definitions and explanations in a matrix having these two dimensions will expand your perspective.
Knowledge of Self; Conflict Resolution
Knowing oneself can be very important when attempting to resolve conflict. You must know some of your own beliefs, desires, abilities, limitations, sensations, perceptions, etc., as they may come into play when you deal with conflict management. A vast amount of our self-knowledge depends on observation of our own behavior and the perceptions that others may have of us. Basically, most of our self-knowledge is similar to the knowledge of others’ perspectives. Therefore, while you may learn of what someone else believes or his or her attitude of what he or she may say or do, you may still determine knowledge of self that is not based on evidence or observation of your own. You may know your own perspective immediately, and you may declare your belief with authority, but your perception may be changed by others through external evidence. The knowledge of self is significant because it can reveal desired and undesired behavior through future events and may help you to avoid undesired behavior. By understanding yourself, you may be able to omit biases when attempting to resolve conflict.
Conflict Resolution and Control
Just as the knowledge of self is important in resolving conflict, it is important to understand that the past behavior and knowledge of situations can also have an effect on our current decision making. Therefore, you have to try and detach yourself from the situation and think it through. It is important to evaluate the problem and not the individuals involved. You have to focus on the issue and not the position of the individuals. While you may want to develop a win-win situation, you should not approach the situation wherein one side has to win. You have to try and focus on what is in the interest of the organization and should not jump to conclusions. This again is why it is important to try and have knowledge of self and try to stay in the present. Conflict will always exist, and the best you can do is to learn to manage it well and learn to appreciate some of the benefits.
Nature of Conflict and Introduction to the Level of System for Conflict
The nature of conflict is that it will always exist as it is multidimensional. It is a distinct category of social behavior wherein two parties attempt to obtain something they both cannot have. Therefore, what manifests from the conflict depends on the dialectical confrontation between the reality and our perception of what it should be. Conflict is basically a clash of powers that are pushing and pulling, and, therefore, conflict is correlative to power. Conflict can be destructive, resulting in low productivity, low quality of performance, a weakening of relationships, a lack of collaboration, and hurtful behavior. It can also be constructive, leading to improved quality, problem solving, cooperation, and the strengthening of relationships and personal growth.
Looking Ahead—A Portfolio Project
Philosophy and Purpose
A portfolio is intended to be a catalyst to understand yourself in terms of various perspectives regarding conflict and conflict management. In order to do this, you will engage in various activities related to the main construct, accompanied by reflections and mindful exploration. The process assists you in identifying and understanding key terms and principles by reinforcing self-expression and exercising individual choices.
The objective is to extrapolate the implications emerging from your work and use them in the assignments and your self-assessment data. This process of integrating and analyzing the information in the portfolio is a reflective or discursive exercise—a means to organize and understand the information such that you become increasingly aware of the forces at work in conflict situations and add skills when coping with or managing conflict.
Submitted by the due date assigned, the conflict management portfolio is a purposeful collection of your work exhibiting information relevant to conflict resolution. The portfolio will:
Additionally, the portfolio project will enable you to:
The finished portfolio will include the following contents:
The final portfolio should be in APA format, including a cover page, an abstract, a table of contents, and references and an appendix, if appropriate. You should use the above five subheadings to organize the paper into clear and logical components. The portfolio will be 10–15 pages in length (not including the cover page, references, and any appendices).