Conflict resolution

From ArticleWorld

Conflict resolution is the process of addressing the interests of two opposing sides to the extent that they both feel their interests have been met and so there is an end to the conflict. The aim is to resolve the conflict before physical force is used.


In a conflict, there are two or more sides which hold opposing views of a specific issue, and a neutral party – or one that holds the respect of the opposing sides. The negotiating party can either follow the traditional hard bargaining model where the working relationship is sacrificed for the interests of a group or the principled technique where the working relationship is considered as important as the group interests. Methods that may be used include conciliation, mediation, arbitration or litigation.

In some cases, perhaps the dispute underlying the conflict is not actually resolved but the negotiator may have succeeded in getting the parties involved to agree to disagree. If so, then it must also be recognized that no further action needs to be taken.

In animal behaviour

In non-human primates, aggression is more common within groups than between groups. Interestingly, after the aggressive incident, the primates involved were more intimate with each other rather than more distant, which is what could be expected. The grooming and body contact that are characteristic of the intimacy had the effect of decreasing the stress that the incident created. The survival of the group is based on the solidarity between its individual members so the resolution of conflict is of strong evolutionary value as is the closeness it creates.