Conflict management. Some prospects on the labor conflicts

AuthorIulia Badoi
PositionInstitute for Doctoral Studies, Law Department, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania
PhD. student Iulia BDOI
Manager s wish for ha rmony within their organizations, tha t the satisfied employees to work in well bala nced
teams in order to achieve the institutional goals without ta king into account the individual and cultur al differences,
persona l or group in terests. Conflicts can be classified a ccording to several criteria. This study a ims to p resent the
particula rities of conflict resolution within la bor r elations. Star ting from th e ana lysis of the conflict concept viewed
from severa l perspectives, including legal term, this paper aims to reveal the sources of labor disputes through
statistical tools, to explain th e development of the conflict and to propose solutions to reduce / solve conflicts. Fr om the
traditiona list perspective all conflicts are ba d, being subsumed to terms of violence, ana rchy, destr uction, chaos,
requiring major reality cha nges. Conflicts are seen as natur al, normal, and cyclical from the huma n relations point of
view. Moreover, inter -actionist perspective suggests enco uraging for triggering conflicts b ecause a group that is too
long peaceful may become inert, listless and noncreative. This theory proposes to the leader s to maintain a level of
conflict within institutions so tha t to be in the presence of a dynamic group, the manifestation of cr itical thinking,
innovation and improvement of the human relationships’ quality.
Key words: conflict management, conflict’s functions, sources of conflicts, conflict’s escalation, conflict’s
reduction/r esolution
JEL classification: K31
1. The conflict notion and classification
1.1. Conflict notion
The conflict is the daily „ingredient” of our life experience. A conflict may easily be
provoked, but solving one is far more complex and complicated. In order to identify solutions for
reducing and solving conflicts it’s necessar y to understand the conflict notion, the t ypes of conflicts
we may encounter, the causes that lead to conflicts and their functions.
The etymology of the word resides in the Latin “conflictus” which can be translated as
“strike together with force”.
The Explicative Dictionary of the Romanian Language defines the conflict as being: a
misunderstanding, clash of interests, disagreement, antagonism, fight, dispute, violent discussion.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the conflict as being a strong disagreement
between people, groups, that results in often angry argument; a difference that prevents agreement:
(disagreement between ideas, feelings); competitive or opposing action of incompatibles :
antagonistic state or action (as of divergent ideas, interests, or persons).
The conflict may be defined as “a strong disagreement or opposite interests or ideas” and
involves a “divergent perception of interests or the belief that the parties’ aspirations cannot be
reached simultaneous.2
In his book „Comunicarea eficient” (“Efficient communication”), Ion-Ovidiu Pânişoar3
presents several definitions for the conflict from the perspective of some authors. Thus, for
Forsyth4: the conflict involves the “disagreements and frictions between the groups’ members,
interaction in speaking, feelings and emotionality.” Kenneth W. Thomas5 (in Richard Steers’ book
„Introduction to Organizational Behavior”) defines the conflict as being a process that begins
when one party perceives that the other side was frustrating in relation to her. Within the same
1 Iulia Bdoi - Institute for Doctoral Studies, Law Department, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania,
2 Dale Level, William Galle , Manager ial Communication, Bpi Irwin-Homewood, 1988, p. 14 cited by Ruxandra Constantinescu-
Ştefnel, Negotiation and conflict management, 2nd edition, ASE Publishing House, Bucharest, 2012, p. 69
3 Ion-Ovidiu Pânişoar, Comunicare eficient, IInd edition, revised and updated, Polirom Publishing House, Iaşi, 2004, p. 141-142
4 Donelson Forsyth, , An introduction to Group Dynamics, Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, Pacific Grove, 1983, p. 79
5 Richard Steers, Introduction to Orga nizational Behavior, Scott Foresman Publishing House, Glenview, 1988, p. 362

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