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NCM/U1 Topic 4 Traditional and Modern Approaches to Conflict

Traditional Approach to Conflict

The traditional approach to conflict is the one suppression and elimination, meaning that conflict is not voiced out. This is viewed as something bad, which can lead to organization complete failure. Thus, traditional management do not encourage employees to voice out their grievances and dissatisfaction, they are rather ignored. There is nothing like grievance procedure process in an organization or right of collective bargaining. This approach is usually practiced by private and some public organizations, most especially those that do not recognize the trade union. This is the human element, it recognizes man as an economic animal, pay him and work that’s all because, and this period most organization were owner managers. Though, the approach is still practical by some organizations presently its idea was defeated as a result of industrial resolution and the birth of trade unions which gave rise to the modern approach.

The Traditional View on Organizational Conflict

The traditional view on organizational conflict is the earliest. It was first developed in the late 1930s and early 1940s, with the most linear and simple approach towards conflict.

According to the traditional view, any conflict in an organization is outright bad, negative and harmful. Although conflicts are of different types, but the traditional view only sees conflict as dysfunctional and destructive. It suggests that organizational conflict must be avoided by identifying the malfunctioning causes.

Moreover, the traditional view on organizational conflict identifies poor communication, disagreement, lack of trust among individuals and the failure of managers to be responsive to their employees’ needs as the main causes and reasons of organizational conflict.

Modern Approach to Conflict

With the birth of trade unionism, in modern organizations, conflict is seen as something real and inevitable. Thus a laid down procedure of resolving grievances is established. This approach discourages suppressed conflict, it does not see conflict as an organization faction because it leads to reorientation and reorganization, it then sees conflict as an avenue for correction. Though it is not practiced by certain organization, it is the most widely practiced approach in our today environment. This approach recognizes the human element at work; hence it discourages suppressed dissatisfaction to be able to understand employee feelings.

The Modern View on Organizational Conflict

In that period, the fields of management and organizational behavior were expanding. The traditional view was challenged by various studies and surveys, and therefore, the human relations view on organizational conflict presented a significantly different perspective on the topic.

The human relations view on organizational conflict primarily teaches us to accept conflict. It identifies conflict as an important aspect of any organization, which simply cannot be eliminated.

In the Modern view, an organization or group with no conflict is more likely to become static, non-responsive, inflexible and unadaptable. It states that a minimum level of conflict is actually beneficial for the group, because it maintains a certain level of creativity, self-evaluation and competition among the individuals. All these things result in increased group performance, more creative solutions to problems and better outcomes.

However, do note that even the modern view does not claim that every type of conflict is beneficial and healthy. It clearly states that only the functional and constructive forms of conflict help the group, while the dysfunctional or destructive forms of conflict should be avoided.

topic 4

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