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Unformatted text preview: Deleterious conflict needs to be resolved, but other forms of conflict can encourage the Menu Go Back Next Page exploration of ideas and creativity. A leader must be able to understand the difference, and to
have the capability to keep active conflict balanced – to manage it.
There are differing views on conflict, LeBaron (2003) states that emerges when people have
difficulties dealing with differences, where as Levinson (1994) describes conflict as a dispute
over resources, Rahim (2002) believes that conflicts are either interpersonal or task oriented,
where as LeBaron (2003) suggests that conflicts can be considered as material,
communicative, or symbolic. For the purposes of this paper conflict will be assumed to be
differences, to allow for the diversity of conflict than can occur in projects.
Differences can arise from knowledge, where knowledge will change the friction (increase or
decrease) that is present in the interactions that occur, and requires the careful understanding
of a leader to guide and balance it.
Conflict can arise from cross-cultural differences, many authors (Brislin and Liu 2004;
Clarke and Lipp 1998; Avruch, Kevin 1998; Bailey 1998) agree that cross-cultural training is
a very strong mediator for avoiding and diminishing destructive conflict. Another method for
reducing differences in cross cultural conflict is the use of metaphors (Lederach 2000;
Augsburger 1992; Avruch, K. 1998; Benedict 1946; Johnston 1995; Fernandez 1991; Nudler
1990; LeBaron 2003), stories, and using the conflict wisdom of various cultures to help to
educate people in the richness of diversity.
A number of authors (Blake and Mouton 1964; Rahim 2002; Oetzel et al. 2001) argue that
conflicts can be categorized as either interpersonal (affective) or task/goal (substantive).
Interpersonal conflicts are clearly more intractable than task/goal conflicts and can lead to
imbedded friction short and long term. Rahim (2002) contends that interpersonal conflict
diminishes group loyalty, commitment, job satisfaction, and intention to stay in the
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This document was uploaded on 01/22/2014.
- Winter '14