What are the different approaches to role conflict from the view point of conflict in goals?

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Three types of approaches are commonly identified in context of conflict related with goals of individuals and organizations. These are:-

(i) Approach-approach conflict: The approach-approach conflict arises when an individual is faced with two or more equally attractive but mutually exclusive goals. He feels it difficult to select the better one out of these goals. For example a person could have a choice between accepting a promotion in the present organization and taking another lucrative job in another organization. The approach-approach conflict can be resolved with the help of the cognitive dissonance theory of Leon Festinger The individual can reduce dissonance by cognition of a job which is decidedly better than the other. In this process he can manipulate the information by rationalizing the particular decision he takes, seek more information about the choice to be made and avoid the information that may cause dissonance.

(ii) Approach avoidance conflict: The approach avoidance conflict is a situation where a single goal has both positive and negative characteristics. An individual is motivated to approach the goal by the positive characteristics but at the same time the negative characteristics of the goal compel him to avoid it. An example could be given of a situation when a person is offered a promotion with higher salary but away from his home town. In such a situation that conflict is at its maximum. To resolve such a conflict the gradients of avoidance and approach elements are looked into. If the approach having positive elements over ways the avoidance gradient with negative elements the goal is accepted.

(iii) Avoidance-avoidance approach: This conflict arises when an individual is faced by two alternatives, both of which have negative aspects. Both the alternatives are equally unattractive for the individual. An example could be given of an individual who dislikes his present job but the alternative of resigning from job and looking for a new job is also equally unattractive for him. Under normal circumstances such conflict can be easily resolved by avoiding both the alternatives but in some situations it may not be possible to avoid both the alternatives. Under such a situation the goal that has lesser negative elements should be selected.

This article has been written by KJ Singh a MBA Graduate from a prestigious Business School In India
Article Published:September 18, 2012
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