Inter-organizational Conflict

On the other hand when we tackle the issue of conflict arising from the different arms of the Criminal Justice System and its organization we can control and manage the conflict by applying an approach that assimilates the different elements into one cohesive system. In this sense, we are dealing with moving the different elements of the Criminal Justice Organizations into a joint effort, i. e. , we reduce the competition among the different arms and direct them to a common goal. This would be the collaborative approach to conflict resolution/containment.

The collaborative approach to conflict resolution, also called mutual gains or integrative bargaining, argues for the possibility of solutions that all sides find acceptable. It embodies the notion of "win-win," a core component of our principle of mutual gain. By making various agencies within the organization openly collaborate, competition and self-interests of each agency (ex. Policing and corrections) is minimized; note that conflict is not totally removed but kept at a minimal level.

In turn, it would allow for the Criminal Justice System to run smoother and deliver justice. In using the collaborative approach we can use tow (2) key elements so that mutual gain can be explored. First element as pointed out in Bhushan Dhiraj is making use of the no fixed agenda element. As we know an agenda creates a positional interaction that is based on satisfying the needs of one party without understanding how the interests of both are related. Having an agenda sends the message that you are not interested in the other party's issues and needs issues and needs.

The only agenda should be to follow the steps of collaboration and work toward mutual gain. The second element would be the use of cooperative tasks. In this sense, the cooperative task would involve the joint efforts of each aspect of the Criminal Justice System to deliver justice and maintain law and order. Controlling and Managing Conflict Racial Conflict With regard to this issue, the best bet to control and manage this type of conflict is by introducing cultural diversity.

In Barlow and Barlow’s article entitled “Cultural diversity training in criminal justice: a progressive or conservative reform,” it was mentioned that the U. S. law enforcement has a racist nature and that a cultural reform was needed. In their words “…describe the cultural diversity training movement as arising out of a growing sense of urgency regarding the tensions in police-minority relations…”  By introducing and reinforcing cultural diversity in the Criminal Justice System we can improve interpersonal relationships.

This is since one of the major stressors experienced by police officers as cited by Cullen (1985) would be rooted in racial and gender status differences (personal stress). By educating various personnel within the Criminal Justice Organization, we allow empowerment toward change and the containment of racial conflict. As Eskridge (1999) stated a sizeable body of literature has proved the need for criminal justice education of the police, among which the most significant are the following findings about the differences between properly educated and trained police officers.

All findings are in favor of criminal-justice-trained police officers who seem to be more attuned to social and ethnic problems (Weiner, 1976), have higher citizen satisfaction ratings and fewer complaints filed against them (Cohen and Chaiken 1972; Trojanowicz and Nicholson, 1976; Cascio, 1977), are less authoritarian (Smith, Locke and Fenster, 1970; Dalley, 1975), have higher levels of morale and better work attitudes (Guller, 1972), and are more likely to be promoted (Cohen and Chaiken, 1972). However, this method is not new to us. Cultural diversity has long since been a topic of reform in this country.

In fact, the current trend toward developing cultural diversity awareness training for police officers is not truly an innovation; rather, it represents a renewal of interest in this particular approach to making police more sensitive to diverse cultures and lifestyles. Conclusion In the end, by recognizing that conflict is a vital element in life we can continue to move toward progressive development in Criminal Justice Organizations. All we need to do is make use of ways to control and manage the conflict so that it can be used to produce positive results instead of being detrimental to the institution.

It is all about finding balance and harnessing the raw powers within conflict that we can facilitate change in the systems that we use to govern our society.


Bhushan Dhiraj, Amarendra (2007). Conflict Behavior In An Organization. Retrieved September 28, 2007, from < http://conflict911. com/guestconflict/conflictinorgs. htm> ‘Conflict.’ Merriam – Webster Online Dictionary. 2007. Retrieved September 28, 2007, from < http://www. m-w. com/dictionary/conflict> Criminal Justice. (2007). Retrieved September 27, 2007, from