Mary Parker Follett ideas and conceptions provide a fascinating perspective or people management and administrative themes like conflict, power, Authority and responsibility, leadership and control role of individual in place of business and management relations etc. Conflict should be regarded as a normal process in any activity of an organization by which social development for the enrichment of all the concerned. Conflict is not Warfare but is only an appearance of differences of options interest not only between employer and employee but also between managers, director or wherever differences appear. Criticizing it as something bad , one should try to capitalize on it and make use of it to do something good. Conflict is a moment in the interaction of desires. Conflict is not an expression of basic differences between individuals as a failure to integrate the differences of common purpose. The application of this concept can be analysed in the activity of protests around the world. Protests erupt when the society or a section of people are unwilling to accept the orders/laws passed. So do the conflict arises.
Fallotte describes three ways of resolving conflict. The first is Domination. Domination is a victory of one side or the other and this is the easiest way of resolving conflicts. However, it is not successful in the long run. The problem with the domination is that in addition to the discomfort caused to the dominated the repressed tendencies are always there to rebel against the dominator wherever possible. Concerned with protests the first way of resolving is already denied i.e Domination. The state/company has already dominated the people(protesters) and the dominator is state. Unwillingness to accept, the dominated started to dissent(protests).
The second is Compromise. Compromise is generally the way people settle most of their conflicts in this each side gives up a little and settings account so that the activity which has been interpreted by the conflict can go on. Though widely used but, is not preferable by many. As far as protest concerned, the compromise could work to some extent. It gives the temporary solution and satisfy both sides. However, in the long run the same issue could erupt again. And some sort dissent starts. So this won’t work in a better way out for a permanent solution. The third is integration.
In integration two desires are integrated and neither side needs to sacrifice its desires. She considers integration as a method of dealing with conflict as it has some advantages compared to compromise. She says the compromise does not create but only deals with the existing whereas integration create something new leads to innovation and the emergence of new values. Another advantage is the integration goes to the root of the problem and puts an end to the conflict permanently. If we were conscious of its advantages we can try integration instead of compromise or domination. Conflict is an essential part of human program but if conflict is to be constructive we must consciously endeavour to find what a means of integration.
The first step towards achieving integration is to bring the differences into the open instead of suppressing them. The second step is breaking up of the whole to consider the demands of both sides involved in conflict and to break them into constituent parts. It is important to articulate the whole demand, the real demand which is being obscured by miscellaneous minor claims or by ineffective presentation. Anticipation of conflict is the third step. Anticipation does not mean avoidance of conflict but responding to differently. Anticipation of response is by itself not enough and there is need for preparation of response as well. Responses of two types circular and linear. The concept of circular response and behavior throughs much light on conflict. In fact, Circle behavior is the basis of integration which is the key to constructive conflict.
Obstacles of Integration
Integration requires High Intelligence, keen perception and a brilliant inventiveness. As long as intelligence and inventiveness are absent resolving conflicts through integration would be difficult. Another obstacle is people’s habit of enjoying domination. The domination satisfies them for being authoritative over the dominated. Theorizing the problem instead of taking them as proposal activities or practical issues needs immediate solutions which is the third obstacle. language used is another obstacle. language used must be favourable for reconciliation and should not arouse antagonism and perpetuate the conflict. The next obstacle is lack of training. The tendency to push over the preconceived plans instead of going through all technicalities of the conflict.
The final way to resolve the protests could be Integration. In integration both sides come to conclusive decision to resolve the issue. Say for instance farmers protests. Apart from merits & demerits(with respect to our subject) in the laws, both the farmers and state come to common platform to discuss the conflicted issues. By just overcoming the obstacles of integration, the conflict can be resolved. Thus the new ideas, deals and innovative methods are created. They were not only new but were also socially, economically accepted. Follett’s concept of integration is new centric to the most of the conflicts arising in modern state. Unfortunately, she was the neglected one and relegated to footnotes itself.