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Resolution Conflict and Strategic Orientation

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The conflicting interests of parties to a negotiation can be presented in a two-dimensional framework, known as a dual-concern model. The model provides a negotiator’s concerns for personal outcomes and the outcomes of others independently. It demonstrates how parties arrive at a disposition toward conflict resolution (competition, avoidance, collaboration, accommodation, or compromise) which will ultimately affect the strategy and tactics employed in the negotiation.

Five major strategies for conflict management have been identified in the dual concerns model:

• Contending (also called competing or dominating).

• Yielding (also called accommodating or obliging).

• Inaction (also called avoiding).

• Problem solving (also called collaborating or integrating).

• Compromising – Demonstrates an intention to engage in the back-and-forth that characterizes negotiation.

The strategy employed by a negotiator to resolve a conflict with vary depending upon the aforementioned characteristics or differences between negotiators. Further, a negotiator’s strategy will vary depending upon characteristics of the negotiation (level of dependence, integrative/distributive) and the negotiator’s alternatives.

• Discussion: Do you think that the dual-concern model adequately captures the primary dispositions to conflict resolution? That is, do you think that one’s self concern or concern for the other party will dictate the strategy employed; or, is the strategy employed simply indicative of the level of self concern or concern for others? Do you think an individual can have varying levels of self-concern or concern for the other party based upon the nature of the negotiation?

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