This paper attempts to explore some of these ideas pertaining to conflict resolution.
Conflict resolution is ‘any marked reduction in social conflict as a result of conscious settlement of issues in dispute’ (Schellenberg 1996). This definition makes use of two terms: conflict and dispute. This implies that conflicts need to be resolved to the extent of resolving dispute-causing factors because dispute, which is disruptive and detrimental to an environment, is a product of conflict. Dispute is also tougher to handle and can lead to long-term ill-effects. Therefore, resolving conflict is necessary.
Uncontrolled conflicts have a number of repercussions. In the workplace, these can lead to higher costs, wasted time and resources (Dana 2001), negative energy in the environment, lower morale and productivity. Apart from this, this causes frustration among employees who will feel compelled to take some rash action to dispel this frustration.
Conflict needs to be managed through communication. Aggression, which is traditionally thought to aggravate conflicts, can be a great bargaining tool for conflict resolution (Aurelli & Waal 2000). For example, when two parties are arguing over a matter and a conflict has occurred, the threat of aggression ‘in the form of punishment’, say the writers, can precipitate resolution.
Different cultures and different relationships have their own characteristic styles of conflict resolution. For example, in families or personal relationships, it is common that the group relies on a single person, who acts as an ‘expert’ (Ladd 2007), to make the decision for everyone based on his knowledge, age, experiences or position. In colleges and schools, informal conflicts are resolved by the girl or boy who has the strongest personality and takes the role of the expert over others; formal conflicts are resolved by the administration. In workplaces, conflicts are resolved based