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Conflict Resolution: Concepts and Practice (The Technical Manager's Survival Guides)

By
Marcus Goncalves
Marcus Goncalves
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ISBN-10:
0791802748
ISBN:
9780791802748
No. of Pages:
132
Publisher:
ASME Press
Publication date:
2008

At the professional level, whether deciding to apply for a new job within the company or stay put, go to a graduate school or take a promotion, change departments or roles, conflict is a part of moving through life, from one stage of development to another. This is true in any organization: families, neighborhoods, businesses, government agencies, and multinational corporations.

As discussed earlier in this book, we are all motivated people. The motivation of the parties involved in a conflict is clearly at the heart of any conflict situation. If a conflict is to be avoided or stopped, this motivation must be understood, and the conditions leading to a predisposition to conflict reduced or eliminated. This chapter aims to sketch out the elements that determine such motivation. While the focus is on economic motivation, other factors (political, cultural) are also obviously of importance. Such factors — themselves influenced and sometimes determined by economic factors — decide the way people view themselves, and are viewed (i.e. the groups they form). They play a large role in the distribution of resources and are a key factor in any conflict resolution strategy. In fact, it is rarely possible to disentangle political, cultural and economic elements from conflicts, as each is embedded in the other.

For technical professionals it is no different. The Marketing Department, for instance, tells the production line that they need the product by a particular date, and that cost cannot exceed a certain price. The design engineer is quick to emphasize that this cannot be done. After all, his main concern is for the quality of the product. The main issue here is not whether the Marketing Department and the Production Department see things the same way (they never will), but rather how will we resolve the conflict that the differences between them evinces, while delivering a high-quality product that meets the customer's needs, on time, which should lead to more business for the company in the future.

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