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Saturday, 22 September 2018

Family Strategies To Resolve Conflict

Since we have conflict in family decision we should address the important question of how such conflicts are resolved. Families use various strategies to arrive at a joint decision, and in the process resolve any conflict to the satisfaction of all family members.

There are a number of reasons why conflict arises in family decision making. Conflicts may arise over (1) the reasons for buying an item.
(2) The evaluation of alternative choices.
  Conflict over buying motives (ie reason for buying) is more serious and requires accommodation among family members. Conflict over brand evaluation usually leads to consensus.

According to Davis (1976) there are three means of decision making that are likely to lead to consensus among family members.

(1) Experts in the family can be relied on to determine the best alternative.

(2) Family discussion may lead to a better solution than that proposed by any one member of the family.

(3) Multiple purchases may be a way of avoiding conflict.

We have to point out here that consensus does not always mean that the family will come together and mutually arrive a decision. The family could opt for individual rather than joint decision making as avoiding conflict. For example,responsibility for a decision could be delegated to one member of the family (the specialist or expert). Another alternative is to assign Responsibility for the budget to one family member (the controller). In this case there will be room for decision making about the budget. The husband or wife may have decided how much to spend for Christmas vacation. But the family may jointly decide where to go.

Davis also cities two strategies used when family members disagree about goals. These strategies are bargaining and persuasion.
 Bargaining involves some give and take.
 Persuasion is a means of influencing someone to agree to a decision he or she would not otherwise make.

There three bargaining strategies. The first is to allow one member of the family to buy the desired item on this purchase if the other will be able to have his or her way on the next purchase. For instance,the husband might buy his choice of car as long as it is agreed that the wife will plan the vacation, or today,the wife's choice of soup will be prepared, while another day,it will be the husband's choice.
The second strategy is to buy on impulse and bargain later.
The third is to procrastinate; that is to delay the purchase even after the decision is made in the hope that new information will become known or the situation will be changed.

There are several methods of persuasion which includes the following:

The first method involves criticizing the decision. The irresponsible critic criticizing the decision of the family by disassociating himself or herself from the decision. If the decision is right, there is nothing to lose. However,if it is wrong the irresponsible critic can always justify himself by say,"I told you so". The second method is to apply ones intuition. One spouse may apply his or her intuition to recognise how to most effectively influence the others. For example, the wife might intuitively sense when it is the best time to approach her husband to influence him to accept buying the new fashionable dress.

The third persuasive method is through shopping together. Shopping together is a form of conflict resolution by getting the agreement of a member of the family through direct involvement.

The fourth method is through coercion. Coercion involves direct threat,for example,the threat by the parents to reduce a child's allowance if most of it is used to purchase sweets. One spouse can also threaten another (since you bought that suit,I have a right to buy the dress I saw).

The fifth method is through forming coalitions. Coalition may be formed within the family,as when children may support one parent  in a conflict. Coalition may also be formed to make those who disagree to agree with others.