conflict management

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Under conflict management [ -ˌmænɪdʒmənt ] measures are to prevent an escalation of an existing or a spread of the conflict to understand. This includes in particular conflict counseling and mediation . The primary goal of conflict management is a systematic handling of conflicts in order to reduce conflict costs .

Operational conflict management

In the corporate context, conflict management is also understood to mean the systematic, conscious and targeted handling of (classes of recurring) conflicts. Such conflict management typically consists of a number of different elements: in addition to conflict counseling and mediation , central conflict contact points, external conflict hotlines, internal mediator pools, operational conflict pilots, etc. v. a. m. be included in it. If they are systematically networked with each other and with traditionally existing bodies and procedures (such as bullying officers, equality officers, conciliation body procedures), we can speak of an integrated conflict management system.

Special features and differentiation from other traditions

Conflict management can essentially be distinguished from three other great traditions of conflict management and is characterized by a comparatively short-term but at the same time pragmatic orientation.

Conflict settlement

The settlement of the conflict can be reached at the oldest and refers to all profit-oriented and relatively quickly actionable strategies aimed solutions and / or terminate direct violence to address without the underlying causes of conflict. William Zartmann is an important representative of this type of conflict management . The conflicting parties are mostly seen as rational actors. In political conflicts, the primary goal is to make conflicts "manageable" through political agreements (e.g. armistice). The decisive actors in these measures include official executives from the military, politics and business (cf. Reimann 2004: 8f.).

Conflict management, on the other hand, sees itself as the "art of appropriate intervention": here, conflicts are understood as dynamic processes. Since it is assumed that there are no patent solutions, the conflict needs to be "managed" (cf. Miall 2004: 3). The conflict is understood as a conflict of interests of at least two actors within the status quo of a political system of order (cf. Reimann 2004: 8). Seen in this way, conflict is seen as an essential part of social life. Conflicts are therefore unavoidable, but they can be steered in a constructive way (cf. Miall 2004: 3).

Conflict resolution

Conflict resolution in the sense of Reimann refers to all process-oriented activities that aim to redefine the conflict as a common problem, with solutions that are acceptable to both sides. To do this, it is necessary to uncover the psychosocial causes of conflict and violence. As a result, based on John Burton's theory, longer lasting conflicts are understood as the natural consequences of unfulfilled human needs (identity, food, protection, etc.). In contrast to conflict management, the starting point in conflict intervention lies less in the different interests of the conflict parties, but in their basic needs. In contrast to interests, these are non-negotiable. Conflict resolution strategies are process- and relationship-oriented and primarily include voluntary and unofficial activities, e.g. B. from private persons or NGOs (cf. Reimann 2004: 9f .; cf. Miall 2004: 3f.).

Conflict transformation

In addition to the approach to conflict resolution, conflict transformation aims at the establishment of comprehensive social justice and the reconciliation of the conflicting parties. The focus of this strategy is therefore in particular on the targeted support of actors and their peace resources within the conflict constellation and on the integration of all intervening actors at all levels ("multi-track"). Important representatives are John Paul Lederach, Wolfgang Dietrich , Adam Curle and Johan Galtung (see Reimann 2004: 10-13; Miall 2004: 4). In contrast to other traditions of conflict management, conflict transformation means a particularly lasting, lengthy and laborious change in the entire conflict context (hence “transformation”), so that the end situation benefits all parties at least as much as the initial situation.

See also


Individual evidence

  1. See for example Berghof glossary, chapter conflict prevention, conflict management, conflict resolution [1]