What are the different stages in a conflict?

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There are five stages in a conflict. These are latent conflict, perceived conflict, felt conflict, manifest conflict, and conflict aftermath.

(i) Latent Conflict: The first stage of conflict is latent conflict in which the factors that could become a cause of potential conflict exist. These are the dry for autonomy, divergence of goals, role conflict and the competition for scarce resources.

(ii) Perceived conflict: Sometimes a conflict arises even if no latent conflict is present. In this stage one party perceived the others to be likely to thwart or frustrate his or her goals. The case, in which conflict is perceived when no latent conflict arises, is used to result from the parties misunderstanding each other’s true position. Such conflict can be resolved by improving communication between the groups.

(iii) Felt Conflict: Felt conflict is the stage when the conflict is not only perceived but actually felt and cognized. For example, A may be aware that he is in serious argument with B over some policy. But this may not make. A tense or anxious and it may have no effect, whatsoever, on A’s affection towards B. The personalization of conflict is the mechanism which causes many people to be concerned with dysfunctions of conflict. In other words, it makes them feel the conflict. There are two reasons for the personalization of the conflict:
(i) the inconsistent demands on efficient organization and individual growth which is caused within the individual. Anxieties may also result from crisis or from extra-organizational pressures. Individuals need to vent these anxieties in order to maintain equilibrium.
(ii) Conflict becomes personalized when the whole personality of the individual is involved in the relationship. Hostile feelings are most common in the intimate relations that characterize various institutions and residential colleges.

(iv) Manifest Conflict: Manifest conflict is the stage when the two parties engage in behavior which evokes response from each other. The most obvious of these responses are open aggression, apathy, sabotage, withdrawal and perfect obedience to rules. Except for prison riots, political revolutions and extreme labor unrest, violence as a form of manifest conflict is rare. The motives towards violence may remain they tend to be expressed in less violent forms.

(v) Conflict Aftermath: The aftermath of a conflict may have positive or negative repercussion for the organization depending upon the how conflict is resolved. If the conflict is genuinely resolved to the satisfaction of all participants, the basis for more cooperative relationship may be laid or the participants in their drive for a more ordered relationship may focus on latent conflicts not previously perceived and dealt with. On the other hand, if the conflict is merely suppressed but not resolved, the latent conditions of conflict may be aggravated and explode in a more serious from until they are rectified. This conflict episode is called conflict aftermath.

This article has been written by KJ Singh a MBA Graduate from a prestigious Business School In India
Article Published:September 12, 2012
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  • dimple April 13, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Good explaination

  • anil yadav November 25, 2014 at 7:23 am


  • thierry April 14, 2016 at 3:56 am

    This is a good explanation, I really appreciated it. thank you . I could not have written such as good.

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