Selecting Conflict Styles
According to Folger, Poole, and Stutman (2012), the triumph of conflict styles and tactics relies on the actions of others. It is not just an issue of choosing a tactic on a person’s own preference. Another person’s reaction could strengthen or neutralize a style, and even make it backfire. The capability of a person to select or change tactics and styles is as well restricted by the activities of others. In a number of instances, things go out of control and the individuals are ensnared. It is just following a determined exertion that the direction of such a conflict can be altered. The conflict styles chosen in cases of ethical interchange should not be biased against a culture or gender to which the party to the conflict belongs. Moreover, there is also a need to focus on the different manners in which cultural and gender influences impact the ethical requirements and the assumptions that these hold for global management.
While selecting conflict styles, people have an inclination of turning to the “what” enquiry; that is, in what manner can cultures influence the content of what individuals deem suitable, ethical, or satisfactory conduct towards oneself and other people? What is the best way of treating people from an ethical perspective across cultures? There is a conviction that, truth is the initial victim when conflict soars. In most cases, managers complain that their equals across borders do not keep their dedications, desist from clearly elucidating the way they view the concerns, and, sometimes, merely fail to abide by the reality (Folger et al., 2012). In reality, seen from the knothole of just a single culture, conducts like that would be described as misleading. The enquiry is whether there is a need to take dissimilar cultural advances into deliberation with respect to the notion of truth prior to just affirming that a single party is acting unprofessionally.
In the majority of instances of conflict, people utter something that is taken to be an untrue outcome from the dissimilar cognitive sieves that culture takes into account. However, they are not essentially cases of moral conflict, but only miscomprehensions, and they are simply solved after a miscommunication is noticed and rectified. In some instances, nevertheless, one party to the conflict could be deliberately giving declarations that are not formally correct. Naturally, in case the dishonesty is realized, the deceived party is probable of accusing the party that has misled them of delusion (Folger et al., 2012). The concern is not in the incident of lying only due to liars belonging to a particular culture; in reality, falsifications of the reality are evident in all cultures and in some cultures, there is an agreement in varying levels of such conduct as unacceptable. What is of great concern is the case of deliberate misrepresentation where a cultural validation underlies what is affirmed; that is, in such instances, while one of the parties could feel upset; the other could deem this a natural manner of carrying out an exchange. In this regard, serious conflicts are expected to follow.
In a given case of 2010, a shocking conflict arose in HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Afghanistan. In a time when the campaigns for provincial elections were in full gear, some project personnel, an engineer and two teachers, were travelling from Kabul to Khamard (their workplace). They were employing a couple of hired vehicles from Kahmard that they had hired in Kabul. Since International Non-Government Organization (INGO) vehicles bear orange number plates; they are effortlessly recognized from far thus their passengers are extremely susceptible to attacks from opposition groups carrying weapons. Thus, for security purposes, the INGO employs rented cars when moving exterior to the project regions. Because of personal explanations, these personnel chose to change the usual route devoid of prior security authorization and drove towards a contested region. No sooner had they entered the borders of the contested province than an armed group (The Taliban) attacked them. The Taliban coerced the three personnel to stop the vehicles and by threatening them with their weapons, they compelled the drivers to drive out of the main road to a far-off village.
That afternoon, the personnel called the HELVETAS offices in Kabul and informed them of their abduction, in addition to the individuality of the grouping that had abducted them. In a given period, it turned out to be clear that the abduction was anchored in a misunderstanding since the Taliban had believed that the two cars were a section of the election campaign team of a politician of the province that the personnel were supposed to pass through that morning. What misled the Taliban is the make of the two vehicles, which was normally employed by the campaigners, and the fact that the vehicles had three passengers only whereas public vehicles in Afghanistan were at all times jam-packed. Worst of all, the driver of one of the vehicles had placed a paper on the rear window to guard against the scorching sun. Regrettably, the paper on the window turned out to be the poster of a politician for which the Taliban were campaigning. Nevertheless, the driver had not chosen the campaign poster on purpose but had just felt that it was the only paper in the vehicle that was large enough to cover the entire window, notwithstanding the message on it was conveying.
The Taliban questioned the administration over the cell phone. The situation demanded selecting a cooperative rather than a competitive conflict style (Folger et al., 2012). In this regard, the administration had to offer all the necessary information concerning the organization and its operations, for instance, where the organization receives its funds from, whether there are any possible connections of the United States and NATO troops with the organization, and its activities to mention a few. After receiving the information they wanted, the Taliban contacted the surrounding communities where HELVETAS operates in an attempt to obtain their opinions regarding the organization and its activities. People in the contacted communities explained the organization’s working advance, affirming that it operates in steadfast transparency and highly participatory way, honors the cultural and spiritual ideals, backs the communities when need be, and is excellently allied to all its stakeholders in the region. Most of the people in the communities were not in a position to give comprehensive information concerning the projects though they were excellently informed regarding the organization, its operations, and its values. The people disclosed that the organization was assisting them to advance their livelihoods. After some days in captivity, the Taliban resolved that their interrogations had found the organization blameless thus set the three personnel free and unharmed. In conclusion, the selection of cooperative conflict style by HELVETAS was influenced by the other Taliban’s behavior in the interaction. If the organization had adopted a competitive style, the Taliban would have retaliated and perhaps cause harm.
Folger, J., Poole, M., & Stutman, R. (2012).Working through Conflict: Strategies for Relationships, Groups, and Organizations (7th ed.). London: Pearson.