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Resolving conflict in organizations – achieving results through a harmonization process

Thuc-Doan Nguyen (Department of Marketing, Woodbury University, Burbank, California, USA)

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 18 December 2018

Issue publication date: 20 September 2019



Conflict is inevitable in organizational life. On the one hand, it can bring creativity and enhance problem-solving. On the other, it can hinder effective problem-solving, increase defensiveness and member dissatisfaction, and create a destructive work environment. This paper aims to outline four important components of harmonization that help to enhance conflict-management capability.


Based on Nguyen and Belk’s (2013) harmonization framework, the author adds their own comments and places in the context of resolving conflict in organization.


The harmonization process synthesizes multiple goals and balances differences to achieve better solutions without discounting any of these elements. Harmonization provides better understanding of important issues and why they are critical to each party. Each party will feel better about the situation after having heard the other side’s position. There might be anger, anxiety, or frustration at the beginning. However, when people successfully go through the harmonization process, they feel happy, connected to others and proud of the results they get. These processes require communicating with others, learning others’ perspectives, understanding and empathizing with others, and being willing to adjust.

Practical implications

The paper outlines four skills in which organizations can train their employees to improve conflict management.


Harmonization process is applied to conflict management in organization.



Nguyen, T.-D. (2019), "Resolving conflict in organizations – achieving results through a harmonization process", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 33 No. 5, pp. 4-7.



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