Models of Conflict Resolution Paper

The Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) provides five major conflict management styles used by Human Resources experts all over the world. The instrument acknowledges that conflicts are unavoidable in any workplace and thus provides solutions to avoid the negative impacts of conflicts such as reduced productivity and absenteeism. The five styles of conflict management thus include competing, collaborating, avoiding, compromising, and accommodating. This paper examines these models based on their respective strengths and weaknesses.

Models of Conflict Resolution Paper

First, the competing style is best utilized by those who are uncooperative and assertive and are dedicated to achieving their goals and concerns at the expense of other people’s interests.  Koley & Rao (2018) advise that the style has a strong impact on morale and should be used sparingly. The authors further note that when competing, trying to be more persuasive is important as it helps people understand your position based on merits and not simply because they were compelled to do so. A major strength of competing is that it helps when contesting with another company for a new client or for the general market. The weakness, however, is that competing cannot be used within an organization as it breaks relationships. This is because while competing, one does not care about the relationship and is only focused on the desired outcome.

Collaborating, as a model of conflict management, combines being cooperative and assertive and working with others in finding a solution that addresses everyone’s concerns. The model aims at minimizing negative feelings and ensuring that every party gets what they want. Fundamentally, collaboration works best where both establishing a relationship and achieving outcomes are important (Koley & Rao, 2018). Its strength draws from the fact that enables two conflicting parties to have a long-term relationship and still achieve everyone’s goals. It’s associated weakness, however, is that it leads to numerous psychological demands as both parties have to be considerate of new challenges, ideas, and viewpoints.

Thirdly, the avoiding style is the opposite of the collaborating style as it prefers a diplomatic withdrawal or sidestepping from a threatening situation. Notably, those who use the avoiding style are uncooperative and unassertive.  Koley & Rao (2018) advise that the model is best used when postponing a dealing that is not harmful or when the outcome does not have a big impact. The avoiding method thus presents a lose-lose situation, with the outcome being the decision not to pursue either parties’ interests. One of the benefits of the avoiding style is that it allows time for establishing more favorable conditions to deal with a conflict. The challenge, however, is that delaying may result in more aggravation and problems may also keep recurring.

The fourth style is compromising, which seeks to find a mutually acceptable decision that satisfies both parties partially. Notably, collaborating maintains some degree of cooperativeness and assertiveness. The style is best applicable when the parties are running out of time and the outcome is not very crucial (Riasi & Asadzadeh, 2015). For instance, when a conflict is preventing either of the parties from moving to more important businesses, then compromising emerges as the best intervention. The major benefit associated with this model is that it promotes fairness during negotiations as each party is considerate of the other. However, it has the weakness of being only applicable in limited scenarios, especially in those where the outcome is temporary.

Finally, the accommodating style which is the opposite of the competing model entails self-sacrifice to satisfy the other party’s interests. Therefore, accommodating is best applicable where one is keen on maintaining relationships and is less concerned about the outcomes. However, one needs to be careful while using the accommodating style as it can result in unhealthy appeasement patterns (Riasi & Asadzadeh, 2015). As mentioned, the major benefit of accommodating is restoring harmony and building relationships. However, accommodating is risky in that it requires one party to sacrifice its interests and concerns for the sake of appeasing the other.

Models of Conflict Resolution Paper References

  • Koley, G., & Rao, S. (2018, October). Adaptive human-agent multi-issue bilateral negotiation using the Thomas-Kilmann conflict mode instrument. In 2018 IEEE/ACM 22nd International Symposium on Distributed Simulation and Real-Time Applications (DS-RT) (pp. 1-5). IEEE.
  • Riasi, A., & Asadzadeh, N. (2015). The relationship between principals’ reward power and their conflict management styles based on Thomas–Kilmann conflict mode instrument. Management Science Letters5(6), 611-618.