ERIC Number: ED309519
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Lindelow, John; Scott, James J.
Chapter 15 of a revised volume on school leadership, this chapter defines and categorizes conflict and outlines techniques for its management in schools. Conflict, endemic to human existence, exists on many levels and assumes various forms. This chapter focuses on social conflict, or antagonistic interaction between individuals or groups common to the school environment. The art of conflict management involves maximizing constructive conflict and minimizing destructive conflict. To achieve this end, the school administrator must understand conflict--its types, sources, and dynamics--and must master various techniques for managing it. Conflict can be classified by degree of constructiveness/destructiveness, by the kind of issues involved, and by degree of severity. Sources of conflict include communication problems, organizational structure, human factors, and competition over limited resources. Stages of conflict range from anticipation to discussion to open opposition. Since no one conflict resolution method is best, administrators should be aware of all possible techniques, including: (1) avoidance; (2) containment by redressing individual grievances; (3) creation of superordinate goals to motivate cooperation; (4) creative problem-solving; (5) compromise; (6) changes in organizational structure; (7) authoritative command; and (8) reconciliation of conflicting parties' differences. Knowledge alone is not enough; administrators need field experience to develop their conflict management skills. (MLH)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, Eugene, OR.
Note: In "School Leadership: Handbook for Excellence" (EA 020 964). For first edition, see ED 209 736.