The Role of Strategic Thinking Capability of Leaders in Solving Organizational Conflicts

The Role of Strategic Thinking Capability of Leaders in Solving Organizational Conflicts

Süleyman Ağraş (Düzce University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4993-2.ch007

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to discuss the role of strategic thinking capability of leaders in managing organizational conflicts. The basic discussion in this chapter is strategic thinking capability of leaders plays a crucial role in the anticipation of conflicts and minimization of negative effects of it in the work life. The focus is on strategic thinking, its theoretical background, dimensions, why it is important for every leader and the importance of strategic thinking in conflict management. The study is based on the opinions of the managers in a public institution, the internal structure of the conflicts of the institution, the reason for the emergence of conflicts and the methods that the managers adopted in the conflicts are discussed. According to the theoretical discussions and practical determinations made in this study; organizational conflicts affect negatively the strategic thinking capacity of leaders and institutions, as well as mastery of leaders in thinking strategically plays an active role in the management of conflicts.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

In today's business world, the competitive aspect represents a major challenge for the organizations. The demand for continuous high performance along with the needed sustainability to keep up with the demanding market are the result of the external pressures and internal. External stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, etc. which are sources external pressures are the ones which majorly dictate the strategic plans and actions taken by companies. Regarding the internal pressures employees (with their talents and performance) from internal stakeholders of the organizations can also be determinants on the earnings and losses of the organizations. Managers/leaders are struggling with constant change and mobility in that field.

Over a number of years, senior managers have become increasingly concerned about the changing nature of their organizational environments and how they can detect and act on such changes in the organizational environment. However, in this dynamic age, outcomes of change are not always predictable and the environment is dynamic, making the detection of change much more difficult (Warren, Howat, & Hume, 2011). One of the aspects of the dynamic nature of intra-organizational life is organizational conflicts and their management. Often, it is not easy to manage the conflicts that lead the leaders to leave their institutions. Therefore, it is imperative for leaders to think and act multidimensional ways. It can be said that the strategic thinking ability and capacities of the leaders in this process will increase the performance of them in conflict management.

The nature of strategic thinking is complex and multidimensional. As Mintzberg, Lampel, Quinn, and Ghoshal (2002) pointed out that effective strategic thinking, acting, and learning seem to depend a great deal on intuition, creativity, and pattern recognition, none of which can be programmed although they may be recognized, facilitated, and encouraged it is difficult to explain it exactly (Monnavarian, Farmani, &Yajam, 2011). Why is strategic thinking such an important part of every manager’s job? It is impossible to formulate a strategy, let alone a ‘‘best’’ or preferred strategy, without engaging in strategic thinking (Abraham, 2005).

The topic of strategic thinking is addressed in a different organizational context (management of organizational conflicts) through this study. It has been found in the literature that although the different abilities and skills of leaders that facilitate conflict management have been emphasized it has not been addressed in the context of strategic thinking ability and capacity. When the nature of strategic thinking and its content are addressed, it could be stated that the leaders (as stated in the content of this study) are at the forefront of issues that leaders need for conflict management. The strategic moves of leaders in conflict management will be the determinant of the positive effects of the leaders who manage conflicts on the audience, as demonstrated by their strategic thinking capacity.

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the role of strategic thinking ability and capacities of managers / leaders as asked by Abraham (2005) in their conflict management and conflict resolution, which is multifaceted. First of all, what is organizational conflict, the causes of conflict and the positive and negative effects on organizations are covered? However, the basic strategies that the leaders refer to in conflict management are explained. Strategic thinking abilities of leaders who play a crucial role in the anticipation of conflicts and negative effects in the work, as well as in the calculation of the steps and consequences of conflicts are thoroughly explained. The focus is on the definition of strategic thinking, its theoretical background, and dimensions and why it is important for each leader, and emphasized the importance of strategic thinking in conflict management. Finally in the study, in the direction of the opinions of the managers in a public institution, the structure of the conflicts within the institution, the reasons of their emergence and the methods that the managers adopted in the conflict were discussed. According to the general outcome of the theoretical discussions and practical determinations made in this papers; organizational conflicts, negatively affecting the strategic thinking capacity of leaders and institutions, as well as mastery of leaders in thinking strategically play an active role in the management of conflicts.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset