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Conflict Negotiation Guidelines

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Introduction

It is very important for people working in big companies to understand what the conflict is, how it might be resolved, and to what consequences it might lead. I have been working in McDonalds Company, which makes me able to write this essay using the examples from my own experience. Most of us never learn how to manage domestic or work conflicts. We grow up, go to schools, colleges, and do not know how to deal with simple conflicts or avoid them. Nobody gave us formal instructions that should be followed in conflict situations to make work and common life easier.

It is impossible to be advanced in career if one cannot resolve conflicts. However, there are a number of significant ways to deal with the clashes in the company one works. This essay will focus on some of them. Furthermore, it is important to use negotiation strategy in a proper way to address feasible conflicts in the workplace.

The essay revolves around the question how an evidence–based management might be applied to the environment in the McDonalds Company. Besides, the stages, blocks, and methods of creative decision making in the researched working place will be observed in the paper as well. It goes without saying that it is compulsory to determine the best approach that an employer can use when resolving a conflict. Since strategic factors have great impact on organizational design of the company, they will be also discussed. 

If one wants to avoid conflicts, it would be of great value to remember the following tips: never speak about religion and politics with co-workers and be polite and look for compromise. It is compulsory to remember that there are bad\good conflict aspects. Relatively to conflicts, all rational aspects seem to be good and all emotional or political aspects seem to be bad. However, the psychology tells us otherwise. The rational center of people’s brain sends the signal literally slower than the emotional part of our head. Before you rationalize your emotions some time must pass. Therefore, there is some time left before one gets rational decision. Each conflict consists of emotional component because all participants of the conflict are human beings. To avoid conflict, we should accept it and start to deal with it. Most of the time, politics discussions lead to cognitive conflicts. The main grain of each conflict is different points of view, interests or needs related to values, emotions, meanings, and the political needs of some interest groups. Sometimes, the conflict might touch rational ideas. To build strong and healthy society, we should learn how to deal with all that complexities.

A person cannot manage the conflict to the end; it should be continually managed. It means that the person who resolves the conflict should manage it at the very beginning when all issues are defined. The next step in conflict resolving is the data collecting. When one analyzes the data and when one is looking for agreement what to do next, one is managing the same conflict. However, even when you have resolved the definite conflict, it sets you up simply to the new conflict you are going to deal with. The conflict is a part of each natural system.  

Conflict Negotiation

People tend to think that conflict negotiation is the communication process meant to contain, anticipate, and resolve conflicts, which enables participants of dispute to take mutually acceptable solution (Novak & Hall, 2001, p. 4). It is possible to apply negotiation strategy in conflict resolving while using essential key components of negotiation strategy. When one is going to deal with negotiation strategy, one should consider all the parties concerned and the interests involved in conflict, the relation between parties, the interactions throughout the conflict negotiation, and the results achieved. In essence, conflict negotiation is very useful in the workplace and in the common life. When a person uses the negotiation strategy, it means that one is looking for way out of clash. In this way, it is possible to learn and understand the opponent.

When I was a part of McDonalds’ team, the stuff had little conflicts. However, managers did their best to make everyone feel equal. Consequently, I think that the best way to solve the clash is to use negotiation approach. You should understand behavior of your opponent and find your own perfect strategy.

How does conflict negotiation help us? During reform efforts, conflict is not uncommon thing. If one is developing a sound agreement, even in the presence of keen emotions, conflict helps one to provide the reform. The conflict negotiation strategy might be very serviceable as the approach used by an employer in making managerial decisions in working environment. The conflict avoiding strategy is the most widely spread among workers. However, if one faces some conflict, there is no way back. One must do his\her best to find a solution. Conflicts always take place if there are personal relationships. That is why it is significant to understand the conflict, its reason, and possible consequences. It is also important to remember that people are not born successful negotiators. Therefore, self-awareness, specific communication, and conflict avoidable skills are of great value when one faces doubtful situation. To be a successful negotiator, one must set aside some preconceptions and try to assess a situation objectively. Firstly, one should observe own attitudes, beliefs, and responses to the conflict. Secondly, it is important to find out the nature of the conflict. Thirdly, one must estimate personal investment in the outcome of negotiation process.

There are a few possible ways that can be applied in conflict resolving. Individual styles of conflict management might vary. Therefore, scientists have determined a few suitable ways to deal with the conflicts in the working place. They are the following:

  • Collaborative. This type of conflict might be solved by deep digging into an issue to identify the real reason of conflict and underlying concerns. To find the solution that suits all parties of the conflict is the only way out of this situation.
  • Competitive. It is primary interest-driven type of conflict. Each party in the conflict has the goal to win in the conflict. One can settle this kind of conflict in the following ways. A quick decisive action might complete this clash. The other way to deal with the situation is a usage of unpopular courses of action. The third approach is initial one. A collaborative approaches show that opponents are likely to take advantage of noncompetitive behavior of the rival.
  • Compromising. It is the prompt attempt to find mutually acceptable solution that would satisfy both parties of the clash. Compromise is accepted when you and your opponent have equal power and are committed to mutually exclusive objectives. 
  • Accommodating. This type of clash places emphasis on the interests and concerns of the opponents rather than your own. Under particular circumstances, the accommodating might be a good resolution in collaborating relations maintaining. 
  • Avoiding. Generally it is not viewed as the long-term decision for the clash. It depends on circumstances that might arise in the working environment. By avoiding conflict, one addresses neither own interests nor competitive interests of the opponent. 

Effective conflict negotiation requires one to express his/her own interests and needs clearly. It is important to understand the needs and interests of an opponent and utilize joined problem-resolving skills to reach a solution acceptable for each participant of the conflict (Novak & Hall, 2001, p. 10)

Evidence-Based Management

Evidence-based management becomes increasingly popular in various practices nowadays. Majority of business leaders embrace this approach and apply it to the most decisions they take about their organizations. The roots of evidence-based management lie in the 19th century philosophy (Sackett et al, 1996). McDonalds Company cares about its workers. There is no difference whether you are a manager or seller. The company is ready to stand for your interests all the time. There are some rules inside the company that make team friendly. There is no competition. Everyone is trying to help each other. The McDonalds Company does not show its commercial interest. Workers feel like a family, no matter in what country they work. Actually, a good proof of my words might be the fact that the company launches a two-year foundation degree in managing business for staff. This is an attempt to be not only the employer but also an educator. Moreover, McDonald gives possibility for A-level students to undertake further study (Peacock, 2010). The foundation degree of McDonalds Company accredited 53 workers by Manchester Metropolitan University. Thus, such an employer knows how to satisfy workers and make them do their best for company benefit. 

Creative Decision Making

It is important to note that any decision is made with the help of analysis. Sometimes analysis of a decision is the collection of concepts and tools that a decision maker should employ in a structured and systematic way. Certainly, the most common pattern of behavior for majority of us is trying hard to avoid the conflict (Clemen & Gregory, 1995, p. 6). However, while avoiding the problem, we allow circumstances to dictate the decisions we have to make. An active decision maker would not look for circumstances to present the clash, but instead one would seek for opportunities to do positive changes. The best example of creative decision making is considering what your boss would like you to have done and do it yourself instead waiting for your boss to give you the task. Such forecast would help you avoid conflict and show what a dutiful worker you are.

There are some stages a person should undergo to take a proper decision. They are the following:

  • Curious observation (A person bothering about what decision to take to avoid the trouble, should be alert and skeptical).
  • Is there a problem? (One determines the real purpose and defines the question carefully).
  • Goals and planning (One sets goals and plans ahead as well as breaks the decision into sub – decisions).
  • Search, explore and gather the evidence (One uses available sources, such as a library, the internet, follows, explores, and builds files).
  • Generate alternative solutions (creative and logical) (One searches for ideas, consults others, reads publications to trigger imagination).
  • Evaluate the evidence (One compares and tests tentative solutions).
  • Make the hypothesis (One chooses the best solution and makes a prediction to be tested).
  • Challenge the hypothesis (One tests, experiments, controls the variables, and attempts to falsify).
  • Reach a conclusion (One communicates the results).
  • Suspend judgment (One keeps an open mind; one is ready to accept a new evidence).
  • Take action (One submits the solution to take appropriate action).

It is difficult to disagree with the creative decisions that McDonalds Company follows. The structure of making decisions is forecasted. There are rules and tips that set limitations for workers. It seems to me that McDonalds Company supports negotiation strategy to solve conflicts. 

Factors Affecting Organizational Design

There are some things that might affect the organizational design of the company. The size, life circle, strategy, environment, and technology are the most common.

The structure of the company plays a great role in the organizational design. On the basis of the common structure, it is possible to decide how much people work for the company. Organizations tend to progress through stages we know as life circle. The birth, youth, midlife, and maturity put together the company’s life circle. The strategy of the company determines behavior of the company and the way it sets its products at the market. The company might prefer differentiation strategy. It means that the company should involve the newest products in the market to take the first place. Nonetheless, each company might prefer a cost-leadership strategy. The cost-leadership strategy means that the company produces an already existing product on the market but more efficiently and more cost effectively. The other factor that affects companies’ life is its environment. The environment is a space in which the company operates. There are stable and dynamic environments. In the stable environment, the company understands customers’ needs well and remains consistent for a relatively long time. The dynamic environment is opposite to the stable one. Here, the customers’ desire is changing continuously.

As for McDonalds Company, it has dynamic environment and both differentiation and cost-leadership strategy. It means that the company works not only for its own interest but is also looking for new ways and products to satisfy customers.

Conclusion

It is evident that the conflict is not an easy situation. When it deals with politics and emotions, it gets even harder. There are a lot of ways to find a way out of conflict situation. However, people are not always able to solve the problem themselves. That is why they often apply to the managerial help. Undoubtedly, advanced companies all over the world have designed programs that allow keep workers away from clashes. Modern science has proved that negotiation strategy is the best way to decide the conflict and avoid it in the future. It allows people not only to understand the source of clash but also to think potential consequences over.

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