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Conflict Management course

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Conflict Management for the Workplace:

Although this training is one of the modules of the Door Supervision course, it is also available as an individual one day training course for those wanting Refresher Training or, for those currently working in environments where this type of knowledge and training would be required, i.e. Bar Staff, Shop Assistants, Ushers, Receptionists etc who may possibly be faced with difficult situations.

This will give the student the knowledge of how matters can escalate and how to avoid them escalating. The course will involve some Theory and Scenario based training.

For any further information regarding the Conflict Management & Communication Training, please contact EZTraining (via the sub-link on the HOME tab)



Information on Conflict Management.  Source:

Workplace impact[edit]

Supervisors spend more than 25% of their time on conflict management, and managers spend more than 18% of their time on relational employee conflicts.[not specific enough to verify]This has doubled since the 1980s. Reasons for this are “the growing complexity of organizations, use of teams and group decision making, and globalization.” (Lang, 2009, p. 240)

Conflict management is something that companies and managers need to deal with. Conflict significantly[not specific enough to verify] affects employee morale, turnover, and litigation, which affects the prosperity of a company, either constructively or destructively. (Lang, 2009, p. 240) Turnover can cost a company 200% of the employee’s annual salary. (Maccabeus & Shudder, p. 48)



While no single definition of conflict exists, most definitions involve the following factors: there are at least two independent groups, the groups perceive some incompatibility between themselves, and the groups interact with each other in some way (Putnam and Poole, 1987). Two example definitions are, “process in which one party perceives that its interests are being opposed or negatively affected by another party” (Wall & Callister, 1995, p. 517), and “the interactive process manifested in incompatibility, disagreement, or dissonance within or between social entities” (Rahim, 1992, p. 16).

There are several causes of conflict. Conflict may occur when:

  • A party is required to engage in an activity that is incongruent with his or her needs or interests.
  • A party holds behavioral preferences, the satisfaction of which is incompatible with another person’s implementation of his or her preferences.
  • A party wants some mutually desirable resource that is in short supply, such that the wants of all parties involved may not be satisfied fully.
  • A party possesses attitudes, values, skills, and goals that are salient in directing his or her behavior but are perceived to be exclusive of the attitudes, values, skills, and goals held by the other(s).
  • Two parties have partially exclusive behavioral preferences regarding their joint actions.
  • Two parties are interdependent in the performance of functions or activities.

(Rahim, 2002, p. 207)

Substantive versus affective conflict[edit]

The overarching hierarchy of conflict starts with a distinction between substantive (also called performance, task, issue, or active) conflict and affective (also called relationship) conflict. If one could make a distinction between good and bad conflict, substantive would be good and affective conflict would be bad.[ambiguous] Substantive and affective conflict are related (De Drue and Weingart, 2003).

Substantive conflict involves disagreements among group members about the content of the tasks being performed or the performance itself (DeChurch & Marks, 2001; Jehn, 1995). This type of conflict occurs when two or more social entities disagree on the recognition and solution to a task problem, including differences in viewpoints, ideas, and opinions (Jehn, 1995; Rahim, 2002). Affective conflict deals with interpersonal relationships or incompatibilities not directly related to achieving the group’s function (Behfar, Peterson, Mannix, & Trochim, 2008; Amason, 1996; Guetzhow & Gyr, 1954; Jehn, 1992; Pinkley, 1990; Priem & Price, 1991)

Both substantive and affective conflict are negatively related to team member satisfaction and team performance (De Drue and Weingart, 2003). Contradicting this, 20% (5 of 25) of the studies used showed a positive correlation between substantive conflict and task performance.

Organizational and interpersonal conflict[edit]

Organizational conflict, whether it be substantive or affective, can be divided into intraorganizational and interorganizational.

Interorganizational conflict occurs between two or more organizations (Rahim, 2002), for example, when different businesses compete against one another.

Intraorganizational conflict is conflict within an organization, and can be further classified based on scope (e.g. department, work team, individual).

Other classifications are interpersonalintragroup and intergroup conflict.

Interpersonal conflict refers to conflict between two or more individuals (not representing the group they are a part of). Interpersonal conflict is divided into intragroup and intergroup conflict. Intragroup personal conflict occurs between members of the same group. Intergroup personal conflict occurs between groups (Rahim, 2002).

Conflict resolution and conflict management[edit]

Conflict resolution involves the reduction, elimination, or termination of all forms and types of conflict. When people talk about conflict resolution they tend to use terms likenegotiationbargainingmediation, or arbitration.[citation needed]

Businesses can benefit from appropriate types and levels of conflict. That is the aim of conflict management, and not the aim of conflict resolution.[citation needed] Conflict management does not imply conflict resolution.

Conflict management minimizes the negative outcomes of conflict and promotes the positive outcomes of conflict with the goal of improving learning in an organization. (Rahim, 2002, p. 208)

Organizational learning is important.[citation needed] Properly managed conflict increases learning by increasing the amount of questions asked and encourages people to challenge the status quo (Luthans, Rubach, & Marsnik, 1995).

Models of Conflict Management[edit]

There have been many styles of conflict management behavior that have been researched in the past century. One of the earliest, Mary Parker Follett (1926/1940) found that conflict was managed by individuals in three main ways: domination, compromise, and integration. She also found other ways of handling conflict that were employed by organizations, such as avoidance and suppression.

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