Dispute / Conflict Negotiation

Conflict is an inevitable aspect of human existence because even when one denied that fact, daily events of life in all human societies and ecosystem are confronted with obvious disagreements, contradictions, or opposing positions, opinions or views. The stark reality of the interactions at individual, family, national or international levels is the existence of different types of conflict.

According to Coser conflict as, “…a struggle over values or claims to status, power, and scarce resources, in which the aims of the conflicting parties are not only to again the desired values, but also to neutralize, injure, or eliminate their rivals. Such conflicts may take place between individuals, between collectivises, or between individuals and collectivises. Intergroup as well as intra-group conflicts are perennial features of social life”.

Conflict or dispute negotiation therefore involves the processes or strategies for fostering rapport, considering interests and values separately, appealing to overarching values, and indirect confrontation. There are varieties of conflict management styles, but the commonest is the classification that listed domination, avoidance, accommodation, collaborating, compromising, confrontation/fighting, and problem-solving.

Negotiation falls under the problem-solving style which involves the process where conflicting/disputing parties constructively listen to each other with the intention to understand the underlying elements in the conflict/dispute and to deal with the issues and arrived at a win-win solution.

Nature of Dispute/Conflict:
There are different types of conflicts which range from interpersonal, intrapersonal intra-group, to intergroup conflict. Another classification for determining the nature of conflict/dispute is to classify them into relationships, interests, values, leadership, personality, style and ethical conflict.

It is also important to note the conflict/dispute can occur at personal, family, community, religious, business, ethnic, governmental, supranational, national, and international levels.