Managing Stakeholder Conflict: Resolution & Examples

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  • 0:05 Resolving Conflict
  • 1:01 Stakeholders & Management
  • 1:46 Stakeholder Conflict…
  • 5:50 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

Conflict occurs in both our everyday lives and in the workplace. Knowing how to handle conflict is key to a successful company. In this lesson, we will learn how management handles conflict and look at some examples to better clarify the information.

Resolving Conflict

Do you remember when you were a kid and your teacher assigned you to a group of other students to work on a project? Did you always like the other members of your group? Whether we are forced to work with people that we did not actually choose or handpicked the group ourselves, differences can appear. We all have our own opinions, and we all have ideas about what may work and how things should be done.

In school, the teacher can help with conflict, but the workplace may not have the same advantage. You see, in the workplace, we are expected to act like adults and resolve our own conflicts. This is especially important when there is something at stake, such as a big project. In this lesson, we are going to learn about stakeholder conflict resolution, which is the act of finding solutions for problems that may arise between those that are the most associated or connected to a situation or project.

Stakeholders & Management

As mentioned earlier, a stakeholder is anyone who is connected or tied to something. They are concerned and care about the company and/or the project that the company is working on. Stakeholders can range from suppliers to those working on the project, to managers, and even investors.

So why do we care about conflicts with stakeholders? Well, when those involved in a project or a company do not get along, the objectives and goals may not be met. Communication is the key to working as a team, and when individuals do not get along they may not communicate instructions, steps, or any other important information to one another. Conflict can also cause confusion and can even lead to someone being ignored.

Stakeholder Conflict Resolution

Let's look at the steps one can take in managing a conflict resolution.

1. Stakeholders

Before a solution can be found, or a conflict can be avoided altogether, the stakeholders need to be identified. This is when you identify who has an interest in or connection to the company and/or project. You also must identify what they do and what power they have. For example, Joe might be a stakeholder because he is on the project team and his role is to control the budget and help make decisions. Karen is supplying the resources for the project, so she is a stakeholder because she has power over the supplies she makes and provides.

2. Attitude and Opinions

Obviously, everyone is going to have an opinion about the project or the company. They are all going to feel their own individualized way about what is best and what should be avoided. To manage conflict you can identify the position of each stakeholder. For example, is Joe very supportive of the project? Is Karen very opinionated and wants it only her way?

A project manager's role is important during this step, because they need to make sure that everyone is working toward the common goal and that everyone values the project and/or company. Knowing every stakeholder's opinions and attitudes can help a project manager know where to start and areas that may need help as the project continues.

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