Traditional approaches to conflict management:
The traditional view on organizational conflict is the earliest. It was first developed in the late 1930s and 1940s, with the most linear and simple approach towards conflict.
According to the traditional view, any conflict in an organization is outright bad, negative and harmful. Although conflicts are of different types, but the traditional view only sees conflict as dysfunctional and destructive.
It suggests that organizational conflict must be avoided. Moreover, the traditional view on organizational conflict identifies poor communication, disagreement, lack of trust among individuals and the failure of managers to be responsive to their employee’s needs as the main cause and reasons of organizational conflict.
Modern approaches to conflict management:
In that period, the fields of management and organizational behavior were expanding. The traditional view was challenged by various studies and surveys, and therefore, the human relations view on organizational conflict presented a significantly different perspective on the topic.
The human relations view on organizational conflict primarily teaches us to accept conflict. It identifies conflict as an important aspect of any organization, which simply cannot be eliminated.
In the modern view, an organization or group with no conflict is more likely to become static, non-responsive, inflexible and unadaptable. It states that a minimum level of conflict is actually benefited for the group, because it maintains a certain level of creativity, self-evaluation and competition among the individuals.
All these things result in increased group performance, more creative solutions to problems and better outcomes.
To sum up; the modern view does not claim that every type of conflict is beneficial and healthy. It clearly states that only the functional and constructive forms of conflict help the group, while the dysfunctional or destructive forms of conflict should be avoided.