Presentation on theme: "Definition of Conflict"— Presentation transcript:
1 Definition of Conflict “Conflict is an expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scare resources, and interference from others in achieving their goals.”Scarce resources – tangible things like oil, water, money, land…..two biggest scarce resources are power and self-esteem (matches up to relational goals and identity/face goals). Are power and self-esteem actually scarce? Does that matter or is perception more important?
2 Burton – Human NeedsBurton says that conflict stems from unsatisfied human needsIn conflict, people represent their interests, but not their underlying needs; however, they will use power and coercion to meet those needsCriticism to Burton’s theory – too simple, needs aren’t always easy to see, some needs are cultural – then nothing can be applied from conflict to conflict, there are usually both needs and interests at play, both of which must be satisfied
3 Galtung – Structural Violence Inequalities embedded in the social structure lead to violence and conflict.Unless those underlying inequalities are solved, then violence will continuePrime example is lower-class people dying because health care resources are granted to the upper-classOther examples – Northern Ireland, Kenya, gangs in cities
4 Coser – social function of conflict Conflict is not always dysfunctional for the relationship within which it occurs; often, conflict is necessary to maintain such a relationshipConflict not only generates new norms, new institutions…it may be said to be stimulating directly in the economic and technological realm.If Coser is correct, and conflict serves a socially useful function, then should conflicts be resolved?Conflict gives vent to hostilities, and thereby preserves and improves relationshipsGlobally, it improves economy and technologyEvery conflict has a social function, yet every conflict has a cost. can you weigh the function and the cost during the conflict?
5 Game Theory Zero-sum game fixed piePeople assume that they can either win or lose.If I win a quarter, they lose a quarter – the sum is always zeroyou give up nothing, because it means the other side wins what you give upIf people go into a conflict assuming it is a zero-sum conflict, they concede nothing. They dig into their positions. If you can change it from a zero-sum game (broaden the pie), you are more likely to come up with an agreement
6 HISTORY Social movements: Gandhi and nonviolence – movement to free India of British RuleWomen’s suffrage movement,Lech Walesa and Solidarity in PolandNelson Mandela/Desmond Tutu and the movement against Apartheid in South AfricaBased off each other, and off Thoreau’s essay “Civil Disobedience.”
7 HISTORY Thoreau said: Two times when open rebellion is justified: when the injustice is no longer occasional but a major characteristicwhen the machine (government) demands that people cooperate with injustice.Thoreau declared that, “If the government requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.”This will be one of the essay questions. Explain civil disobedience, and argue for or against it. Back up your argument with examples of conflicts or social movements.
8 Escalation of conflict Conflicts escalate in both scope and severityConflicts can escalate constructively or destructively
9 Destructive Conflict Characteristics of destructive escalation parties become less flexiblegoals are narrowly defined and rigidprimary goal is to defeat the other party – assumes the other side must losebecomes protracted and intractableCharacteristics of destructive agreementsdamages relationshipspromotes inequality & power imbalanceoutcomes are imposed unilaterallyoften requires redress or revengeoutcomes are often oppressive to one sideDOES NOT SOLVE UNDERLYING CAUSESother destructive characteristics – threats, ultimatums, hostile, personal attacks, digging into your position,
10 Constructive Conflicts Constructive conflicts are not the absence of destructive elementsCharacteristics of constructive escalationinteraction changes oftenflexible goals/objectivesguided by belief that all parties can winCharacteristics of constructive agreementsstrengthens relationshipsrestores equalityrecognizing the other parties as legitimateusing benefits/promises rather than threats/coercionfind mutually acceptable solutionsConflict is actually solved
11 Conflict ContinuumNegotiation is at the bottom because negotiation theory is the base for all forms of conflict resolution (mediation, arbitration, even diplomacy)
13 Negotiation Theory Positional Negotiation Positions are the stance you take and your proposed solution“I want $3,000 for this car”“Stop taking my stuff – you have to ask me first.”Positions are your statements of what you’re willing to givePositional negotiation starts with two positions and attempts to find a middle ground between them, or barter until one party gives in to the other position.Problems with Positional bargaining – it’s inefficient, it produces unwise agreements, your ego gets involved, so you spend time saving face rather than looking for solutions
14 Positional Bargaining Hard vs. Soft positional bargainingHard bargaining – make threats, damage relationships, demand concessions from other party, goal is victory, search for one answer you will accept, apply pressureSoft bargaining – you get taken, sacrifice your needs for relationship, trust other party, disclose your bottom line, try to win friends, search for an answer they will acceptCan you think of times when either would be appropriate?
15 Principled Negotiation 1. Separate People from Problems2. Focus on Interests not PositionsTopic interests/goalsRelational interests/goalsIdentity or Face interests/goalsProcess interests/goals3. Invent solutions for mutual gain4. Insist the result be based on some objective criteria
16 Separate people from problems Negotiators are people firstevery party in a negotiation has emotions and ego, and can have misunderstandingsThe relationship needs to be taken into account in all negotiationsPerceptions – does truth matter?understand their perceptions to come up with better solutionsEmotions – the higher the stakes, the higher emotions runCommunication – all negotiations have misunderstandingsat the least, you want to preserve the relationship long enough to get an agreementat best, you want this negotiation to strengthen an ongoing relationshipPerception – which is more important – the objective facts of how the two sides have treated each other, or the way each side perceives how they are treated?How do you find out their perceptions? Put yourself in their shoes, ask them, don’t assume their perceptions from your fears
17 Negotiation Interests not Positions Positions are something you decided on – what you’re demanding as a solutionInterests are what got you thereFor every interest, there are several positions you could take, and vice-versaTo negotiate interests, identify themask why? what are they getting from positionask why not? what are they not gettingmost common interests are needs-based
18 Types of Interests T.R.I.P. Topic and Process interests Topic, relational, identity/face, processTopic and Process interestsexternal, negotiable, substantive, tangible, expressedRelational and Identity interestsinternal, non-negotiable, usually not expressed aloud, intangible (values)DRIVE all conflictsTEST QUESTIONS – a dialog from a conflict – is this person advancing a topic, relational, identity or process goal?ESSAY QUESTION – read a conflict – list all the goals, and assign type, draw diagram
19 Topic and Process Goals Topic interests:what do we want? what are we fighting for?either both parties have the same goal, or both parties have opposing goalsProcess interests:what communication process will we use?process goals appear when low-power party cries unjust process or unfair fightTHIS WILL BE A TEST QUESTION – give an example of a conflict because both sides have opposing topic goals, and a conflict because both sides have the same topic goals
20 Relational Goals Who are we to each other? How will we be treated?How much influence do we have over the other?How interdependent are we?At the heart of all conflicts, but rarely articulatedRelational goals must be met in order to solve underlying issues
21 Face or Identity Goals Who am I in this conflict? You can save or damage your own face or the other’s faceIf face is destroyed, it must be restored (saved) before any other conflict goal can be addressedWhen face is damaged:people dig into their positionscreates losers who “get back at you” next time
22 Ways to restore face How we save our own face: rationalize actionsclaim unjust intimidationdig into our positiondamage other’s faceHow we save other’s face:help increase their self-esteemavoid giving orders or directiveslisten carefully and legitimize their concernsNo one wants to look like the loser
23 More about types of interests Interests overlapall conflicts have multiple goalsrelational and identity goals are always presentdifferent goals have primacyparties in conflict rarely have same goals with same primacyInterests are disguisedrelational and face goals are presented as topic and process goalsPeople say “I’m right” when what they mean is a relational goal of “I want more respect from you” or “I want to be viewed as an expert.”People say “you’re not being fair” when they mean “I don’t want to look like I’m losing”
24 More about interests Goals/Interests change Prospective goals goals change as they’re met or as they’re frustratedProspective goalswhat you want as you’re preparingTransactive goalsgoals that emerge during the conflictshift as negotiation occurscan become destructive (esp. face)can be sacrificed (esp. topic)Retrospective goals – set up for next timeIf you don’t know your goals, you cannot recognize solutionsIf you don’t know their goals, you can’t come up with solutions that meet everyone’s goalsAs conflict becomes destructive, it becomes reactive – we assume we know their goals, and fight back. Leads to misunderstandings, destructive escalation, and rarely (if ever) to good solutions that promote the relationship
25 Invent Solutions for Mutual Gain Easiest solution in a negotiation is to split the difference between the positionsIn order to have more options to choose from, you need more solutionsBrainstormBroaden your optionsshuttle between the specific and the generalinvent options of differing strengthchange scopeMake a bigger pie (game theory)look for shared interests and goalssplit differing interestsTurn it into reaching a common goalshuttle – coming up with big, overall theories of how to resolve a conflict first can lead you to tangible action steps. Look at the broad picture, then pull it back to the specificdifferent strengths – provisional vs. permanent, procedure vs. substance, what needs to be decided – WEAKER AGREEMENTS ARE EASIER TO GET TOO
26 Insist on Objective Criteria Use a “Fair Standard”market value, such as “blue-book value”professional standardsprecedentscientific judgmentUse a “Fair Procedure”Flip a coin, lottery, use a 3rd party, “I divide, you choose”Agree to the principles firstNot a way to strengthen your position – a fair standard must be fair for both parties