Webster's defines conflict as: To come into collision; be in mutual opposition (274). If you wanted to choose an organization to study conflict in, you would have to look no further than the military. The military has no single approach to conflict management. There are too many individual personalities within a multitude of internal systems to be able to singularize the conflict. It is often the case that the conflict you are having was caused by a system put into place by someone outside your organization. It could be as simple as the cause and effect syndrome.
For example, if the 335th Forward Support Battalion (FSB) commander put a policy in place, that his battalion would perform mandatory proficiency training on processing Department of the Army Form 2406 on Mondays; this would cause his leaders to close the shops in order to conduct this training. While on the other hand, the 1-5th Infantry Battalion commander put in place a policy that his battalion would perform equipment maintenance on Mondays. His battalions' leaders would have a conflict because if they had equipment that needed to be turned in, they would not be able to do so. The FSB's shops would be closed due to their training.
Inadvertently, these two battalion commanders have caused a system conflict. This type of conflict happens quite often in the military because these commanders are very goal oriented; but fail to take into account the conflicts that may arise from the system that he just emplaced. It would now fall on the battalions' Executive Officer to negotiate a win-win solution to this conflict in a very rapid manner. Without a win-win solution, there would be a visible conflict that would eventually become apparent to the hierarchy and a solution may be imposed that might not be favorable to both parties involved. The driving force for the resolution of this conflict would be not allowing the conflict to reach the "boss".
I work in the Division staff...
Cited: Smith, S. Stephenson, et al, ed. Webster Comprehensive Dictionary International Edition. Chicago: Ferguson, 1987.
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