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Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict and . Committed group members attempt to resolve group conflicts by actively communicating information about their conflicting motives or ideologies to the rest of the group (e.g., intentions; reasons for holding certain beliefs), and by engaging in collective negotiation. Dimensions of resolution typically parallel the dimensions of conflict in the way the conflict is processed. Cognitive resolution is the way disputants understand and view the conflict, with beliefs and perspectives and understandings and attitudes. Emotional resolution is in the way disputants feel about a conflict, the emotional energy. Behavioral resolution is how one thinks the disputants act, their behavior. Ultimately, a wide range of methods and procedures for addressing conflict exist, including negotiation, mediation, mediation-arbitration,diplomacy, and creative peacebuilding.

The term conflict resolution may also be used interchangeably with dispute resolution, where arbitration and litigation processes are critically involved. Furthermore, the concept of conflict resolution can be thought to encompass the use of nonviolent resistance measures by conflicted parties in an attempt to promote effective resolution. Conflict resolution as an academic field is relatively new. George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, was the first university to offer a PhD program.

The dual concern model of conflict resolution is a conceptual perspective that assumes individuals’ preferred method of dealing with conflict is based on two underlying themes or dimensions: concern for self (assertiveness) and concern for others (empathy).

According to the model, group members balance their concern for satisfying personal needs and interests with their concern for satisfying the needs and interests of others in different ways. The intersection of these two dimensions ultimately leads individuals towards exhibiting different styles of conflict resolution. The dual model identifies five conflict resolution styles/strategies that individuals may use depending on their dispositions toward pro-self or pro-social goals.


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