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Frames of Reference in Conflict Management


Submitted By GeorgeN
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Conflict management refers to the long-term management of obstinate conflicts. It is the label for the variety of ways by which people handle injustices. Conflict management involves implementing strategies to limit the harmful characteristics of conflict and to increase the positive ones to a level equal to or higher than currently prevalent where the conflict is taking place. Furthermore, the aim of conflict management is to enhance learning and group outcomes. It is not concerned with eliminating all conflict or avoiding conflict because some conflict can be valuable and constructive to organizations. Conflict must be effectively managed for an organization to reach it goals. Before it is managed, conflict must be recognized and defined by the disputants. Conflict frames are eyes through which disputants can view the conflict with an aim to resolve it. They are orientations that lead disputants to view or focus on some facets of the conflict while ignoring others. These frames can be defined as viewpoints through which the problems arising from conflict can be viewed more realistically with the aim of resolution. The frames mentioned above are listed as: i. Unitarist and Unitarism ii. Pluralist and Pluralism iii. Marxist or Radical

Unitarist and Unitarism This frame of reference reveres the organization as harmonious and in agreement. This accord approach thus leaves little or no room for conflict. This frame of reference views conflict as ‘bad’ and detrimental to the augmentation of the organization. It views conflict as a psychological problem, a failure of coordination and failure by the management. This is because holders to this frame-set assume that managers can permanently change and manipulate the behaviour of the employees in conflict. Managers who subscribe to this frame of reference create a sense of

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