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Du Toit and Van der Waldt (1997) stated that certain skills of a manager are foundin the sense of balance between productive and unhelpful conflict (1). Thus, conflict management in an organisation one of the main concerns that face managers. Modern perceptions of conflict demonstrate that a particular degree of conflict in an organisation can be beneficial and managers would not require continuing to grasp onto traditional views accordingly, their needs to be advocacy for the elimination of conflict. In saying that, the purpose of this learning contract is to examinemy management of conflict.

 As managers, it is essential that we investigate methods that would be beneficial in understanding conflict in the workplace, instead of attempting to eradicate conflict or containing signs of it we as managers should recognise the duty of managing it, therefore, it allows for the improvement of those in the organisational team.Consequently, the findings will be analysed and compare conflict management scenarios from my personal experience. This would demonstrate the disparity in the different styles of managing conflict while also associating these to conflict management theories and management methods utilising the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (Appendix 1) with the intention to allow for better visibility on how these scenarios were while comparing the five conflict-handling styles and techniques in assertiveness and cooperativeness(2).

Conflict Scenario 

1.       Review information regarding conflicting information and particular scenarios.

The conflict occurred with two staff member whomImanage, referred to as S1 and S2. The incident occurred over a period of approximately four weeks.  S1 was a senior staff member that had been with the organisation for over five years and employed at a senior level as a scientist accordingly, S1 is competent in all areas or the laboratory and able to work independently. Despite thatI have over eightyears of experience as a laboratory manager and over 14 years of experience as a scientist, I only had only been in the laboratory manager position with this organisation for seven months. S2 is a junior staff member, employed as technical officer and has been working with the organisation for three years. S2 is competent in some areas of the laboratory,however, still requires guidance and supervision by a senior scientist in some areas.

2.       Outline of conflict management scenarios

·         Detail of the incident

Staff S1 and S2 had disagreements regarding role behaviours relating to what they should be doing. S1 had become quite loud, verbal and aggressive in their tone resulting in both S1 and S2 engaging in an aggressive verbal argument.

·         Current processes, methods, conflict management styles utilised

§  Both S1 and S2 utilised the opportunity of placing a formal complaint of the incident.

§  This was put forward and discussed with  the HR personnel

§  It was decided the incident was to be investigated by the manager who was me

§  This was followed by a one on one interview thatwas conducted with S1 and S2 to gather an understanding of the incident that occurred from both their perspectives and gaining and reaching and understanding of a common goal that they both need to come to. In this case, it was discussed that both parties would and wanted to work in harmonious work environment and put differences aside.

§  Followingthe one session, a mediation session was held with both S1 and S2 to come to a common understanding of the goals agreed on

§  This was followed up with a 2more mediation sessions with S1 and S2in 6th and the 7th week to see the progress of their goals.


·         Troubles and concerns from both parties when initially addressing the situation

 Lack of teamwork, trust and confidence. Furthermore, another concern resulting from the intergroup conflict was that it coulddirect to miscommunication or even result in no communication which in the long run affect the organisations

·         Gains and losses

Gains: ongoing reporting for patient results, Loss: team morale, delay in turnaround time of patient results, lack of team communication

·         Emotional concerns, personal values, ethical and moral concerns

Frustration, anger, confusion, emotionally upset and demoralised

·         Level of severity of the incident


·         People involved, including senior hierarchy

Myself (lab manager) and HR personnel

·         The success against established goals and objectives

Slow progression to achieving the goals set

·         Personal Response (2 Day)

My detail response to the incident at the time, emphasise on the conflict management strategies or styles utilised.

Reflection of Incident (1 Day)

Summarise is there evidence of a need to improve conflict management with each incident and has your perception of how you dealt with the incident changed?

Areas of Improvement for  Conflict Management (4 Days)

From the reflection, emphasise on the major areas for conflict management improvement based on the incidence, outline your main issues with dealing with the incidents and what would they be, what would you improve based on a reflection of the theories and principles reviewed? Do they concern factors related  encouraging, preventing or responding to conflict?

Constraints in Implementing New Conflict Management Styles (2 Days)

Outline the problems that may occur as result of the new way of addressing these conflict management incidents.

Evaluate Experience (1 Day)

Outline my learning outcomes and conclusions




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