Conflict Management in Groups

Cite this article as:"Conflict Management in Groups," in The Business Professor, updated April 24, 2020, last accessed December 4, 2020,

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What is Conflict Management in Groups?

There are three common views concerning the resolution of conflicts. These views apply equally to conflicts between individuals, between groups, and within groups. These theories are as follows:

  • Traditional View – The traditional view assumes that all conflict is negative and should be avoided.
  • Human Relations View – The human relations view is that conflict is a natural occurrence in a group and it must be managed – rather than eliminated.
  • Interactionist View – The interactionist view is that conflict is necessary to operate effectively and can be beneficial for a group. As such, conflict can be functional or dysfunctional. Functional conflict is beneficial to the group in terms of performance. Dysfunctional conflict harms group performance.

Conflict can also be described by type:

  • Task Conflict – Task conflict concerns conflict as the goals, objectives, and interests at issue between individuals or groups.
  • Relationship Conflict – Relationship conflict concerns conflict resulting from interpersonal relationships.
  • Process Conflict – Process conflict concerns how activities are carried our or work is completed.

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