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a disagreement or divergence of interests which may result in one party taking action against another. Conflict can occur at the inter-personal, group or societal level and may involve collective or individual action. It may arise out of simple dislike of another person or out of opposed collective interests. Marxists argue that conflict is endemic to capitalist society. In their view capitalism has created two classes of people, the proletariat (i.e. paid employees) and the bourgeoisie (i.e. entrepreneurs and their supporters), whose interests are diametrically opposed. This opposition of interests in the employment sphere leads to various forms of conflict including sabotage and STRIKES. In Marx's view this conflict would lead to the overthrow of capitalism. That this has not happened in most advanced industrial societies has been attributed to various factors, including rising living standards and the institutionalization of conflict. This is the development of DISPUTES PROCEDURES and mechanisms for COLLECTIVE BARGAINING which have provided TRADE UNIONS and managers with the means to resolve many manifestations of conflict. Putting a grievance into procedure (i.e. passing it to a joint management-union committee for discussion and resolution) tends to take the heat out of an issue, thereby lowering overt conflict. Although industrial conflict has not led to revolution in countries such as the UK, radical observers argue that there is nevertheless still a fundamental conflict of interests at work and that this is manifested in less overt or more indirect forms of conflict, such as ABSENTEEISM and LABOUR TURNOVER, which do not necessarily appear to be explicitly directed against the other party.

As against the Marxist view of two diametrically opposed interests in society PLURALISM suggests that there is a plurality of interests, possibly organized in interest groups, in any society or organization. Although on occasions these interests may conflict, pluralists would dispute that such conflicts are an expression of a fundamental cleavage. Instead conflict tends to arise over specific distributional issues, such as the size of an annual pay increase, and the composition of interest groups varies according to the issue at stake. Indeed some pluralists would go further and assert that there is a basic identity of interests underneath these specific differences. Pluralists argue that conflict can be beneficial in so far as its expression (‘giving voice’) can both reduce the intensity of conflict and provide the impetus to design procedures for resolving differences.

Pluralism has been an influential approach in political science, in the study of INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, and in ORGANIZATIONAL ANALYSIS. In industrial relations pluralists argue that TRADE UNIONS are the expression of distinct employee interests and that recognition of them by managers enables the creation of mechanisms for conflict resolution and hence for managers to regain or maintain control of work. Pluralism has been a less explicit approach in the study of organizations but has nevertheless informed much of the recent work in this area.

For instance, writers have showed that whilst all in the organization may subscribe to the organization's broad goals, various departments may acquire specific and divergent interests relating to their contribution to these goals. These interests are expressed in the decisionmaking process, making it as much a political as a rational or technical process. Although an influential approach, pluralism has been criticized for its assumption that the power of interest groups is more or less equal and that there are no fundamental structural bases to power differences in organizations and society. See INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE, INDUSTRIAL ACTION, MANAGEMENT STYLE.

References in periodicals archive ?
Such engagement resonates with political thinking that reads autonomy as an impractical and utopian project denying the political reality of conflictive engagement, identification, and dependency on opposition.
This approach of the Puerto Rican-US relation through the spatial inscription in ruined landscapes of non-grandiloquent emergences and the consideration of superposed futurities is particularly fruitful in terms of capturing conflictive logics aside triumphalist romanticizations of emancipative gestures and pessimistic temporal standstills.
This is because it is no longer a question of identifying the function of politics or of defining what actually makes a political agent political--which is what Abensour is doing in defining democracy as the perpetuation of the originary division through conflictive resistance against the state.
The current dispute and conflictive atmosphere created upon the under construction Millennium or Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is just one spot in the wider developmental scenario which will be witnessed in that Eastern Nile Region.
I can trace no killings to such figures of speech, but I believe they reinforce our conflictive ways.
While it reinforces continuities with the home country traditions, the monument is associated with a long history of political resistance against the colonial power, therefore highlighting simultaneously the conflictive ambivalence of the iconic Puerto Rican family.
Take for example Bolivia, one of the most conflictive places in the region.
Ruben Dario Alzate and two others in a conflictive part of western Colombia on Nov.
This new gesture of the Vatican concerning D'Escoto brings hope that some serious questions of the past can be restudied with more calm and less conflictive rhetoric.
Malik is one of Pakistan's top explosives experts and head of the police bomb disposal unit in one of the country's most conflictive provinces Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in the country's northwest near the Afghan border.
Luther's conception of the church was egalitarian, but, while he viewed individuals as having a direct relationship with God, given the conflictive consequences of sin, the relations with others must be mediated by political power.
Those places to which they migrate for ceremonial purposes are not as easily designated as Huichol property according to any recognized tradition of land tenure, especially when one takes into account the traditionally horizontal and often conflictive nature of social relations within Huichol territories.