The peer-reviewed article “Conflict Management Diagnosis at Project Management Organizations” by Singh and Johnson discusses the concept of conflict as a matter of life which occurs frequently and usually can’t be avoided as modern business world is full of conflicts. Therefore, the authors’ main theme is development of conflict management as new social science stressing historical development and role in modern business world. All organizations are subjected to conflicts and project management organizations are claimed to suffer more from conflicts than other organizational types.
The central argument of the paper is that the effects of conflict on organizational performance may not be always negative and, therefore, engineering managers should diagnose conflicts within organization. Some organizations even suffer from lack of conflicts. The authors define the conflict as “a form of interactions among parties that differ in interest, perceptions, and preferences”. (p. 48) Conflict is said to be neither negative nor positive with detrimental and beneficial impacts on organizational performance.
There are three types of conflict if classified by the source of conflict: conflict of interest, conflict of values, and conflict of opinion. Depending on the source of conflict one distinguishes the following types of organizational conflicts: relationship conflict, task conflict, interpersonal conflict, intragroup conflict, etc. Further, conflict management is defined as art of dealing with individual differences in interest, preferences and perceptions. The goal of the conflict management is to maximize efficiency of organizational performance.
One of the most interesting findings is that too much conflict results in disturbed relationships, whereas too little conflict results in lack of innovative ideas in conflict management approaches. (p. 54-56) Then, the paper presents how conflict diagnosis is applied in the State Public Agency and the results shows that SPA mostly refers to problem-solving style of conflict management which is considered the best way to find win-win solution to suddenly occurring conflicting situations.
Nevertheless, the authors provide interesting argument that the State Public Agency seems to lack conflicting situations which motivate to develop innovative conflict management methods and approaches. Actually, no differences between construction and design departments of organization are found in intensity and frequency of conflicts. Personality conflicts are assumed to be very damaging to every organization and they are the most intense source of conflict in construction department. The authors provide a conclusion that conflicts should not be always avoided.
(p. 58) Week Readings in Relations to the Organization and Project Management The peer-reviewed articles “Conflict Resolution Using Cognitive Analysis Approach” and “Conflict Management Diagnosis at Project Management Organizations” are very informative as the authors provide clear definitions of conflict, conflict management and conflict management approaches. Conflicts are surely affect project management within organization, but it is agreed that conflicts are not something to avoid.
Moreover, conflicts are not always negative. In some cases, conflicts may even assist project management as it is argued that conflicts may increase management productivity and efficiency. I think that conflicts are even necessary in project management as this environment is subjected to constant changes and conflicts may bring new ideas. Conflicts may improve organizational communication and decision-making. Finally, conflicts are very likely to stimulate creativity and innovations in organization.
Recommendations for Change and Continuous Improvement within the Organization It is necessary to recommend organization not to avoid conflicts and to make their best to extract new ideas and opinions from conflicting situations. Therefore, re-shaping vies on changes and conflicts are of great importance. I think that proper attitude toward conflict will result in increased effectively and productivity. I recommend the following conflict management approaches: smoothing, avoidance, competition, confrontation and compromise.
Changes are inevitable part of our life, as well as conflicts. Therefore, it is necessary to focus on adequate proper management approaches, rather than to avoid them.
Al-Tabtabai, H. , Alex A. P. , & Abou-Alfotouch, A. (2001). Conflict Resolution Using Cognitive Analysis Approach. Project Management Journal, March, pp. 4-16. Singh, A. & Johnson, H. M. (1998). Conflict Management Diagnosis at Project Management Organizations. Journal of Management in Engineering, pp. 48-63.