There seems to be rather a lot written about Conflict Management (CM) and Conflict Resolution (CR). CM is a key activity in the business world, as conflict arises both within a business between the individuals that comprise it and without a business when they compete with each other.
CM realizes the grim reality that conflict will always be with us, whereas CR at least hopes for an end of the particular disagreement. CM tries to investigate and detail how one can learn from conflict, and reduce its disruptive forces or use it to advantage. As we know, capitalism is chock-full of aggressive metaphors and ideologies.
There are several models of conflict but they mostly have two measures: assertiveness or “concern for self”, and cooperativeness or “concern for others”. The models usually place a fifth term in the middle, labeled “compromising”.
- Low assertiveness, low cooperativeness: Avoiding
- High assertiveness, low cooperativeness: Dominating
- Low assertiveness, high cooperativeness: Obliging
- High assertiveness, high cooperativeness: Integrating
It would be interesting at this time to say how this subject matter relates to the fourfold Means and Ends, since they are obviously connected and even share several of the same terms. However, I just can’t seem to inspire myself to investigate and say anything worthwhile right now.
I haven’t disentangled the history of the subject, so I’m not going to name originators or contributors just yet. I guess I really don’t like conflict and it just makes me generally tired to contemplate it, even in the abstract. I guess you can just put me in the “avoiding” pigeonhole.
Avoiding this subject has lead me to another one, that of Gregory Bateson and his schismogenesis. Perhaps the opposite of combogenesis (mentioned previously), this concept seems to be helpful in understanding conflict escalation. Would this idea help in thinking about division of cultural groups (discussed here)?