Thursday, February 2, 2012

Conflicts as signs of good collective action?

All nice people, good hand shakes, patting each other, sugar coated words. Is it the really good collective action? Do conflicts have more curative function than damaging function for collectives? What kind of curative functions are possible? How to use conflicts as instruments for better outcomes?


Avanita said...

Extremes of anything is never acknowledged. In a collective action if every individual tries to encourage others, then after a certain point of time, a phase of stagnation would be observed in the group. However, if conflicts are given way in such a manner that they encourage healthy competition amongst the members, then it can be fruitful. Also, conflicts help individual understands his loopholes through others criticisms and provide a scope for improvement for him. It is the responsibility of the leader to keep a check on the level of conflict to be entertained in the group.

empowered said...

While some level of ‘mutual appreciation’ and ‘camaraderie’ is essential for people to work collectively, it may not help collective action as differences will not be brought out. Conflict among members, on the other hand, will bring real issues to the surface, thus, requiring a focussed effort to find solutions. Thus, if handled properly, conflict would perform a number of positive functions, including keeping a check on member activities, sticking to goals and effective utilisation of resources.
- Swati Vashisth (32098)


Conflict is not necessarily a negative force. It results from the normal interaction of varying human interests and can be used beneficially. If everybody is content and there are no differences in opinion then it means that there is no motivation left for the people to improve. Conflict can also be used as a positive force because it challenges the status quo, encourages new ideas and approaches and leads to change so what is important is to manage the degree of conflict and to contain it to a certain level rather than to find means to completely avoid it.
Prateek Parimal

komal said...

All nice people, good handshakes, patting each other, sugar coated words. Is it the really good collective action? Do conflicts have more curative function than damaging function for collectives? What kind of curative functions are possible? How to use conflicts as instruments for better outcomes?
Whether a collective action is good or bad can be known only by the level to which it achieves its objectives, and not by the manner in which the members conduct themselves while interacting with each other. So, patting each other, for instance, doesn’t make a collective good and conflict does not necessarily mean it is bad. In fact, the existence of conflict would signal that members are free to express their views, even if they are in conflict with others. This would provide a ‘self-monitoring’ mechanism and help the collective to achieve its goals.
- Komal Didwania (32076)

komal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritu Kashyap said...

Conflict is an essential condition for any group to yield, if there is no disagreement in a group it indicates that it is “one man show” and he is sacrosanct which might be stiffling for the others, who are unable to express their ideas due to this “yes boss attitude”. Each individual has their own unique ideas which might be fruitful for the group, it should be viewd as criticism. Criticism is the gauge which indicates the effectiveness of the work. If this is utilized in a better way it can act as curative instrument.

Arshia said...

An analogy could be drawn from graphite which turns into a diamond upon infliction of particular temperature and pressure in a natural setting. Conflicts bring to the surface differences in opinion and lay down alternatives that could be considered. They are also a means to check if the considerations are on a right track.

If conflicts arise merely due to ego-clashes then it may be detrimental to the effective functioning of the collective. The leader needs to ensure that the member relations are good and there is no sentiment of putting each other down in the group.

Arshia Gupta (32057)

Jeevan Krishnakumar said...

Genuine conflicts bring real issues to surface, reignite thoughts of the members forcing them to voice an opinion and act if necessary. This involvement will define how members identify with the collective thereby increase association. Conflicts also allude to a reactive member group which could serve to keep bad intentions at bay. Whether a conflict will have a curative function or a damaging function will depend on the way the conflict is handled. In the case of conflicts on issues which are genuine and in the larger interest of a collective, fair resolution could lead to better outcomes for collectives.
Jeevan Krishnakumar(32073)

BLOGupta ! said...

Conflict is just like a nuclear reaction if its occurrence is meticulously carried out and well mediated, the ideas, thoughts and opinions produced can power the whole collective to new dimensions. But if it gets unleashed it can sabotage the entire collective or organisation single handedly. Unlike science and technology for nuclear reactions, behavioural science has not done much progress in utilizing conflicts productively and hence collectives and organisations are seen getting torn apart due to conflicts within members. Still minor conflicts bring out inner dissatisfactions, disagreements between members and helps in productive discussions, negotiations and ultimately results.
Mayank Gupta

Kamal Rangan said...

Conflicts can be both a boon and a bane. The intensity and the way conflict is handled direct its path to either side of status quo. Collectives having people of different perspectives tend to have difference in opinions. This can stimulate better ideas and bring in a better camaraderie if the members channelize the conflict in the right direction, thereby increasing the effectiveness of collective. But conflicts might backlash also if individuality is given precedence over the wider picture of the collective. If no active discussion happens and hence no conflict, then the collective is operating at a suboptimal level.
Kamal Rangan (32075)

varun said...

Often avoided, conflicts can be beneficial for a collective action to be effective, especially in a context of a village, where caste dynamics are stronger.
It is important for members to voice opinion and not being gullible in order to check any malaise in the group. That will enhance participation and also show that members are aware of the situation in the collective action and are motivated.
Conflicts however need to be better managed to attain better outcomes through more discussions and information which will lead to building mutual respect, understanding and cohesion amongst the members.

Kevin Parekh said...

Conflicts can affect the collectives in both the ways, positively as well as negatively. It depends on the severity of the conflict, the reason, the approach of the ones involved in it towards the expected outcome and their preferred way to achieve it.
Conflicts can be good as it can introduce newer and more efficient or progressive rules, systems or norms in the collective, can stop bending or breaking of rules and also make the leaders take a note that the members are actively assessing their work and are not hesitant in criticizing them if they find the things unacceptable.
Kevin Parekh

Pankaj said...

What function the conflict is serving for the collective action may be judged by understanding the reasons behind the rise of the conflict and th parties involved in the conflict. For eg. conflict with an external agency may strengthen the group in the long term whereas persistent in fighting may dissolve the collective action.

Also, it may be said that one must not shy away from conflict but perceiving conflict as an 'instrument' that may be used/ manipulated for better outcomes would be anti to collective principals. For one, 'better outcomes' are subject to the person defining them. Secondly, there is no guarantee about the outcome the conflict will finally result in.

Pankaj - 32082

Komal Makkad said...

All nice people, good hand shakes and sugar coated words are meant to maintain one on one relationships rather than good collective action. Where the collective interest overshadows the personal gain , difference in opinions is invited and inevitable as it leads to a superior outcome and as Kevin pointed out,a check on the unwanted actions. We see this daily in our class discussions,in articles etc. Even movies have Critics Award and ratings.
Conflicts can be dealt or brought up if needed to generate fresh ideas, changing the rules, finding reasons for failures and working on it.
Komal Makkad

lipsa said...

If all the members agree every time on an issue patting each other, it may not be good for the collective action. Conflicts are necessary to bring in new ideas and the members would debate on its pros and cons. Conflicts have a curative function till they can be controlled and the innovative ideas could be used for constructive purposes. Conflicts provide new solutions because the members involved in the conflict would be having different views from the others. But then one should be careful enough to resolve the conflict at a stage before it becomes chaos.
Lipsa Mishra (32078)

JAY SINGH said...

conflicts are necessary to bring out the best in any group which aims to achieve greater heights of success. These conflicts help in filling up the loopholes by improving upon the shortcomings in the actions undertaken by the group. Thus, the best ideas come up which are beneficial for everyone. This not only encourages other members but also creates a healthy environment for the group.


Neelam said...

Existence of conflict turns to be curative depending upon the form of collective action it creeps in. Not all collective actions necessarily involve conflicts e.g. Conventional collective actions seen in the form of group participation of people in ceremonies, festivals or ritual occasions need not necessarily have conflict as curator. Conflict if reiterated as difference of opinions of members to pursue shared objective, goals & values tend to enhance the productivity also depicting freedom of sharing ideas & views by the members. But level of conflicts needs to be taken care if in excess it tends to deteriorate the efficiency of group rather than enhancing it.
Neelam (32026)

Nilesh Sharma said...

Man is different from other animals because he has the power to think and because of this capability his thoughts are different from others which sometimes led to conflict. It can be healthy upto a certain extent to have conflicts in collective actions. If they are handled constructively they provide different views, perspectives, and different alternatives. But this “Matbhed”i.e difference in views should not lead to “Manbhed” i.e hostility feeling. If that happens people would start working against each other rather than working along for a common cause.
Nilesh Sharna(32080)


conflicts are necessary and inevitable for a collective action if the collective action wants to grow and expand it's boundaries
conflicts are inevitable as far
as my perception goes it has 2
dimensions size and nature
it's nature tells us about the means by which the conflicting parties has tried to pushe their
distinct ideology.
The other dimemnsion of the conflict is it's size as it may be understood that only those conflicts manifest in collective action which emerge out of collective discontent,denial and deprivation shared by large number of people.

Rohitash Jain said...

Some sort of diplomacy is required to make a collective action successful like motivating members, praising officials, buttressing government or political persons. But an optimal level of conflict is always necessary for any group task. If conflict level is more than it, then efforts are required to reduce it and vice-versa. Conflicts make us look at our actions from 360 degree angle and assure us about integrity of decisions. If conflict level is less than optimal then it shows lack of interest among members and sub-optimal solution will be outcome.
Rohitash 32088

Ankit said...

Conflicts, as perceived in general, has a certain negative connotation attached with it which implies hampering the progress. However, this happens when the intensity of conflict crosses a maximum limit which is essentially a threshold level. Below this threshold, conflict becomes necessary for initiating a change towards obsolete and ineffective ways of working and thus acts a stimulus. People challenge ideas, bring out the inefficiencies which ultimately verify their validity and helps in implementing a good and an efficient collective action.
Ankit Sharma

Darshit Shah said...

With all the possible benefits of a conflict, an aim of the organization, whether a corporate or a cooperative is not to give rise to conflicts. It is something that is a natural outcome of the heterogeneous ideologies and perspectives. With all its advantages, a lot depends upon the strong leadership which has a great power to give it a curative or a destructive shape. Inability of the leaders to handle conflicts can have disastrous consequences.

Darshit Shah (32062)

Abhishek Misra said...

If there is no conflict in a collective action then it is not considered to be a good collective action. It leads to a very dull and inactive progress of the collective. But if there is constructive conflict in the collective then, it gives rise to new ideas, which helps the organization in the long run. The constructive conflicts have more curative action than damaging effect. It is also seen that in certain organizations, the leaders try to create conflict between the employees, in order to get the solution to a particular problem.

Abhishek Misra

Ankithreddy said...

Without any conflicts means a kind of situation where people have no interest in the action or the environment is making them to act in that manner which they don't want to resist. Conflicts up to an extent is required for any collective action which brings in different perspectives, interests of different groups/sectors such that decision or action taken will take in to account the above mentioned things.
-Ankith Reddy(32054)

Arpit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dhruv Mittal said...

Conflict in collective action can sometime bring new leadership to forefront. There may be situations where collective action breaks into parts like in late 1960s, Naxals broke away from CPM and gave birth to CPI (ML). Whether this new leadership is good or bad for collective action can be debated but it cannot be denied that it brings about a new set of principles and ideologies.
Dhruv Mittal

sohini said...

Conflicts are not always undesirable. There are certain situations where it helps in bringing out ideas and improve performance. Conflicts in groups indicate that each member is actively participating in the group process. It helps in realising our shortcomings in our way of seeing or analyzing things. This kind of conflicts, till they are limited in their nature, could be seen as functional elements for an organization or a group or an individual. Though there are certain forms of conflicts which may lead to severe unwanted consequences. Like in the case of relationship conflicts were interpersonal relationship between two individuals are damaged .These conflicts could be seen as more dysfunctional in their nature

Himadri said...

The thing is that without conflict there will be no genesis any new idea. People have conflicts due to diverse views, ideals and thoughts and hence without this no collective can form new ideals, it would not question anything, try to disprove or look for better options. “Positive” may harvest positive energy in people to improve. Although there are obvious cases of ego clashes where conflict it very detrimental to progress.

Himadri Sarkar

supriya1317 said...

Conflict can certainly be used as instruments for better outcomes if the results generated from it can be taken in right spirit and group member has the ability to channelize the outcome in right direction. Constructive conflicts help in generating new ideas and often help in understanding the group more. They generally results from diverse viewpoint people posses which illuminates the overlooked issues. So, when members view issues from different angles they gets closer to the optimal solution. Apart from this I believe, this form of conflict strengthens the inter-personal relationship of group members.
Supriya Bajaj 32097

Rajeev said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
abcd said...

Conflicts which questions certain ways and workings and not the whole idea, prove to be more productive than numerous consensuses or majority led decisions. It is for the affected group to make sure the conflicts are utilized for the betterment and are not necessarily turned into contentious issues.During the process some might have to alter their ways of thinking but at the end the "common interest" should take precedence.
Raja Panchal

Arpit said...

It is a tendency of people to view conflicts as undesirable elements in a collective process. Some view collectives as forms of organization where consensus on all matters is a norm. But conflicts represent actual concern and interest of people in the collective. A conflict only arises when certain individual or group is unhappy with the current situation. Appreciating such conflicts can lead to a more stable and accepted collective.

Arpit Bansal

Sunny1984 said...

Being nice to each other does not guarantee a good collective action. Conflicts can have either curative or destructive functions and these are highly dependent on the locus of conflict. The conflict resolution mechanism plays an important part in resolving the conflict. Curative function can be the removal of the deficiencies involved which increases the efficiency of the collective action. The resolution of conflict should remove the loopholes in the collective action thereby give the optimal solution to the problem. The conflict should be handled in a way that it must achieve the objective of the collective action.
Avinash Singh

Abhinav Deep Sinha said...

Conflict need not be a negative thing. It arises out of the desire to arrive at something better. Conflict tends to bring those issues under discussion which could have been very harmful to the collective action if left unattended. People coming together collectively will have different opinions and the way forward is to bring about a general consensus among them. This requires that some people will have to modify their thoughts and beliefs to match with those of the group. This is where the conflict arises, but the end result is better for the collective action.

Priyanka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Priyanka said...

Incongruence between individual interest and common interests one of the reason is one of the reasons of conflict.Conflict arises due to different needs backed up by different ideologies of people. Many empirical examples of social movements and collective actions has shown the signs of conflict but several times it has provided strength to these movements.

Roba Jabeen said...

Mutual agreement among the members does not always mean good collective action; rather conflicts sometimes add to the overall achievement of the goal. Confliction expands the horizon of thinking; the ways for achievement are not restricted to the limited thoughts and ideas. Moreover, confliction gives people an opportunity and fraternity to express their views and opinions. Also, it gives ways to changes and new approaches which remain absent in mutual agreement. A group task is a very good example wherein people put different points on a particular issue, which results in confliction but eventually come out with a way.
Roba Jabeen

Ayan Roy said...

Unanimity may not necessarily be a virtue. Conflicts, contrarian views often make us rethink an issue and consider the other person’s viewpoint. Negative feedback from one’s subordinates, colleagues may initially upset one and lead to conflicts. But it gives one an opportunity to introspect and reassess the situation. For instance, the feedback system in IRMA may lead to a clash of ideas and viewpoints between the teachers and pupils. But that may help everyone get out of their mental and intellectual groove. Thus conflicts may facilitate proper decision making. As William Blake says “without contraries is no progression”.
Ayan Roy(32061)

Subhradip said...

Conflicts are signs of good collective action.It is true but not always. For example, the collective action at Singur ensured that the factory was not set up. However under indian law the land has been leased out to TATA MOTORS for 99 years and cannot be returned to the farmers. Hence now they have neither a factory job to look forward to nor do they have farm jobs since land cannot be returned to them. Successful collective action but unsuccessful conflict.
Subhradip Barman(p32096)

Pavan EVSR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aditi said...

Conflicts may not necessarily go against the spirit of collective action provided the group or the institution is able to channelize them. This means that conflict may raise issues which might be critical to the success of collective thereby challenging the existing state, and hence it is important to learn from the conflict that surfaces and understand the relevance it has got to do with the success of the collective. It would be not be wise on part of people involved in collective to take the conflict personally i.e. at individual level and crush the spirit of collective.

Rajeev said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rajeev said...

The pleasantries give a good start to the collective action. However, the collective action cannot be sustained solely on these pleasant exchanges between the participants. Whether conflicts are good for collectives depend on the reason of conflict i.e. personal or communal and how long the conflict remains in the system. Transparency in the system and quick action by the management of the collective on equal grounds are some curative functions which can help keep the collective integrated. Conflicts can be used for better outcomes as long as they don’t become personal in nature and are resolved at the lowest level.
Rajeev (32034)


Pretending to be a nice human being is a disadvantage for good collective action to take place. Rather conflicts might have more positive effects for a successful collective action. Relationship conflict have non productive and disruptive interactions but the task conflict which arises from differences in perspective about how to perform a task, illuminate overlooked issues, biases and sources of opinion differences. Conflicts have damaging function for collectives when task conflict turns to be a relationship conflict. When individuals in a collective action view problems differently, the group explores the definitions, logic and biases that underlie the differences of opinion.
Khushboo Sinha(p32017)

p32021 said...

Conflict results in adversarial relations among individuals and groups. If conflict grows in a collective it may lead to a situation where individuals in the group strive to acquire power by neutralizing rivals. No conflict at all leads to a scenario where people are satisfied with status quo which is also not good for collective action.Disagreement may not always be bad . A new tactic or idea requires active support and involvement of members. This is obtained if the leader allows certain level of conflict to grow.

Mayank Gaur

Manas Mittal said...

Conflict can be due to many reasons eg. differences in opinions,misunderstanding,judgemets etc.In an organisation many a times conflicting viewpoints are not experessed in order to avoid displeasing the higher authority which results in dissatisfaction among employees resulting in reducing their movitation to work and reducing productivity which ultimately results in higher attrition rate,a common problem of most organisations.Encouraging different viewpoints for an organisation can not only bring different perspectives but also a better understanding between peers which could bring a sense of ownership between employees and can create a constructive envirnment within the company.
Manas Mittal(P32020)

ANURAG said...

The value of consensus has reached that much importance that it is considered as the thing to get as early as possible in a discussion ,often leading to a mediocre decision as a result of it. But one thing we have to keep in our mind is that conflict engages!!Conflict brings out opinions,objections and emotions that if dealt constructively can bring out the best among a group.


Nitin D Mendhe said...

The conflicts are inevitable and necessary in any kind of collective action. Its very obivious that strong interpersonal natures among menbers do not seem to match. Conflict can make us understand other people and accept their opinions. It's important for a fruitful collective action to experience disagreement, work it through and learn how to manage it. Conflict is a problem when it causes more and continued conflicts. Conflict will prove good collective action and positive if leader could managed it correctly. In my view, conflict is not the problem – poor management of the conflict is the problem.

Deepak Sharma said...

Conflicts that are manageable are signs of good collective action as these conflicts can bring out the shortcomings in the collective action. It also gives out the signal that members are participating in the collective action.

Deepak Sharma

Sameera Mushini said...

What is conflict? Clashing of opposed interests . All groups consist of people with different opinions and this could, in most cases lead to different and at times, divergent opinions. Conflicts when taken in the right spirit can have a curative function to a problem because only when a person takes an issue seriously will he start thinking of it, and on thinking might come up with a different opinion. Trying to be nice and not participating in the thought process only implies that the person is indifferent towards the problem. Constructive conflict promotes better results.

Sameera Mushini

Abhishek Sharma said...

Conflicts can prove to be quite essential for the collective action. A conflict may or may not be negative. It depends on the ways in which both parties deal with issue.
Conflict can be a good indicator that not all is well in the collective action and it can act as a feedback and can convince people to go for course correction.
A conflict can be used for better outcomes by creating an environment of dialogue, where both the parties are listened so that they don’t go for undemocratic processes that might prove detrimental to the collective action.

nitin said...

Collective action is generally associated with collaboration and groups. Conflicts are generally frowned upon in groups or collectives. This might be not the correct thinking. Dissent and conflict among members of a group if encouraged and debated properly can make the underlying unity of the group much stronger.
Suppressed ideas or views of few members if sustained can lead to pent up emotions and anger which may not be healthy for a group. It’s better to discuss and debate and encourage opposing voices.
nitin malik

sinhasoumya7 said...

There’s an old proverb that says "everyone’s story seems right until the other side is heard”.We have a negative attitude towards conflict primarily because we haven’t learned constructive ways to deal with it.Conflict does not have to be associated with acts that result in someone losing something.Individuals and organizations usually tend to stagnate and conflict can be seen as a wake-up call that the status quo isn’t working.When handled well, conflict can make us creative problem-solvers,avoid mistakes and learn how to benefit from our differences, all while challenging us to broaden our skills.Conflict gets ugly when it affects workflow,gets personal,leads to more conflict and harms working relationships.For using conflicts as instruments for better outcomes,we need to accept it as inevitable and a natural part of life.

Sarthak Mishra said...

In a collective action, conflicts play a very important role as new ideas come up and members debate on it. The conflicts should always be controlled so that they can be used constructively. If the conflicts are not controlled it may lead to chaos in which case it will negatively affect the collective action.
Sarthak Mishra