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Occurrence of work conflicts

Page history last edited by Liam James 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Prerequisites for the occurrence of work conflicts


The subjective prerequisites for the emergence of the conflict play no less a role in its manifestation. The research and development of many psychologists, sociologists, and conflictologists clearly show that at the core of each type of conflict, along with the objective prerequisites, are the subjective needs and interests of the individual.


Forecasting the conflict and in preventing


This circumstance should always be taken into account, both in carrying out the activity of forecasting the conflict and in its management. A number of authors addressing the issue of subjective prerequisites for conflicts highlight another very important element. According to them, the higher the place of the individual in the occupational and social hierarchy (provided that the individual subjectively assesses their needs, goals, and interests), the greater the likelihood of a conflict situation arises.


Social conflict cannot be explained solely


The point here is to emphasize that such a complex phenomenon as social conflict cannot be explained solely by the psychological and individual traits and characteristics of the individual. There are authors who in their explanatory concepts claim that the only or at least a major determinant in the unfolding and development of the conflict in all its dynamics is the psychological peculiarity of personality. 


It seems to us that these authors fall into the arms of a kind of psychology in the interpretation of the conflict and its conditioning. The biological, individual, and psychological parameters (characteristics) of the subject are, in our view, only part of the complex problems and part of the explanatory mechanism related to the description, interpretation (explanation), and resolution of conflicts. In our view, however, there is another one-sided thesis. We can conditionally call it antipsychological, which in turn completely ignores the psychological moment in the complex conditionality and phenomenology of conflict.


Behavior in the conflict situation


After making the critical remarks, let us turn our attention to the basic subjective characteristics of the individual that determine his or her behavior in the conflict situation. According to O. Gromov, the main subjective characteristics of a person, which determine his behavior in the conflict situation, include:


  • personality traits and their individual psychological characteristics;
  • the system of needs, motives, and interests of the individual;
  • the inner image of the individual about himself - the so-called. I - concept.


The natural properties of a person


The natural properties of a person are the set of qualities that are inherent in him or her at birth. In addition to being innate, these qualities are relatively invariable and exist throughout the life course of the individual (ontogeny). The most important integral element of an individual's natural qualities is his temperament. Let us make a brief reflection on the term temperament.


Temperament (from Latin. Temperamentum - the ratio of parts, proportionality) is a characteristic of the subject in terms of its dynamic peculiarities: speed, intensity, tempo and rhythm of the mental processes and states in it.


In psychology, physiology and medicine, historically, there are three basic scientific systems (concepts) that explain the nature of temperament:


  • Hippocrates and Galen system (humoral concept);
  • Kretzmer and Sheldon system (constitutional concept);
  • IP system Pavlov (the concept of higher nervous activity).


According to the prominent Russian physiologist IP Pavlov, according to the peculiarities of the higher nervous activity and its three basic elements: strength, balance, and mobility, there are four types of higher nervous activity:


  • Sanguine type: strong, balanced, mobile;
  • Phlegmatic type: strong, balanced, inert;
  • Choleric type: strong, unbalanced, mobile;
  • Melancholic type: weak, unbalanced, inert.


Four basic types of temperament


In reality, however, these four basic types of temperament are very rarely found in their purest form, and most often occur in the individual as a mixed type of temperament - some unique combination of the main four types of temperament. 


Temperament is a relatively stable natural property of the subject and is slightly susceptible to the external influences of the environment and society. It is beyond any doubt that temperament puts its specific imprint on the unfolding of conflict interaction and its influence should be taken into account by all actors who seek to influence the course and regulation of the conflict in one way or another. 


For example, phlegmatics should be encouraged to act more intensely and actively, choleric should be treated with caution and restraint, and melancholy should be prevented from falling into their typical negative emotional states of sadness.


It is worth noting here that temperament, as an integral element of an individual's natural properties, plays a much greater role in the unfolding and flow of interpersonal conflicts than in the conditionality of conflicts in large and large groups. Even in regional and global conflicts, the importance of the temperamental characteristics of subjects engaging in conflict interaction tends to zero.


Subjective prerequisites for the occurrence of the conflict 


The second characteristic of the individual that is relevant to the subjective prerequisites for the occurrence of the conflict is the system of internal needs, motives and interests. This is an extremely important point in the process of conflict prediction, as the system in question provides the key to explaining personality behavior, in the event that conflict interaction may arise and develop.


Let's try to define individually the three concepts (need, motive, interest) that make up our system.


Need is the state of the individual, determined by his need for the objects he needs for his existence and development and is the source of his activity.


The motive (from the Latin Movere - actuate, incite) is a set of external or internal conditions that cause the activity of the individual and the focus of his activity.


Interest is a form of expression of the needs of the individual directed to one object or another, the most important and essential determinant of human behavior.


From a conflict point of view


It is important to emphasize that, from a conflict point of view, needs, motives and interests should be considered only in their totality, as the system that most determines the subjective prerequisites for the emergence of conflict opposition, and also that this system significantly predetermines the behavior of the individual.


The third characteristic of the individual, which is a significant subjective prerequisite for the emergence of conflicts and determines to some extent the behavior of the individual, is the so-called "I-concept" ("I-image").


I - the concept is a relatively sustainable, largely conscious and unique system of ideas that each subject builds for himself, as a unique, distinct from the outside world individuality.


I - the concept is that subjective phenomenon on which an individual builds part of his relationship with other individuals. Inadequate self - conception (heightened or lowered self - esteem as a component of self - image) is, according to social psychologists and conflictologists, one of the subjective causes of the individual's conflicts and the eventual development of a conflict situation.


Tests and methodologies


There are quite a number of tests and methodologies, mainly developed and used in personality psychology and social psychology, that can measure relatively accurately the parameters of all three basic subjective personality characteristics: (temperament); a system of needs - motives - interests; internal representations of the self about the self (self - concept), and which can be used as an auxiliary prognostic toolkit, in the complex and multifaceted activity of conflict prediction. These methodologies are already used in Human Resources and People management practices in office, work and organizational context.


In our view, the three main subjective factors (subjective personality traits) discussed above hold different weights and strengths in determining the individual's conflicting behavior.


We can firmly state that the greatest role is played by the system of needs - motives - interests of the individual, which is also the main explanatory mechanism for understanding the conflicting actions of the individual.


We cannot but mention another very important personal factor, which is an essential subjective prerequisite for the emergence of contradictions and conflicts - the so-called. psychologically protective mechanism.


The psychological defense mechanism is a specific regulatory system of the individual aimed at eliminating or reducing to a tolerable level of his anxiety, which consciously or not, arises when the same individual perceives a situation or subject as a threat to himself or interprets a specific object, an objective event or phenomenon as potentially conflicting or threatening.


Subjective causes of conflict interactions


The psychological defense mechanisms of the individual form part of the subjective causes of conflict interactions. On the other hand, objective causes of conflict can only then emerge when the individual or the human group perceives the inability to meet their needs or the inability to protect their interests. In this case, there is a kind of conflicting dialectical connection and conditionality - the objective is a prerequisite for the subjective, and the subjective is realized through the objective.


The main psychological protective mechanisms of the person are the following:


  • Aggression (an attack on another individual who is perceived as a threat);
  • Idealization (inadequate idealized Self - concept of the individual);
  • Identification (identification of an individual with another individual or group as a model of specific behavior);
  • Extrusion (forgetting, often unconsciously, of a fact, phenomenon, or event that raises an individual's anxiety or is associated with an unpleasant experience);
  • Denial (rejection of an individual's attachment to an event or phenomenon);
  • Projection (most often the unconscious attribution to another individual of their own negative feelings or personality traits).


Subjective prerequisites for the emergence of conflicts. Conclusion.


In completing the examination of the subjective prerequisites for the emergence of conflicts, we would like to emphasize the following - they are of great importance for predicting the conflict confrontation and for understanding the essence of social conflict in general. 


Personal, subjective factors are all too important elements that play an essential role in the description, interpretation, regulation and resolution of conflict, but should in no case be regarded as the sole determinant of the extremely complex conditionality and phenomenology of social conflict. Subjective prerequisites are dialectically related to the objective prerequisites and factors for the emergence, course and resolution of a conflict.

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