The Conflict Management Grid: A Selection and Development Tool to Resolve the Conflict between the Marketing and Sales Organizations

Nermine Magdy Atteya


The rapid globalization of modern business and the challenges to reach sales objectives within tough selling
conditions pose major issues for human resource management. One important area that has yet to be fully
explored is the management of conflict between sales and marketing functional areas in tough selling conditions.
We hypothesize that: 1) marketing and sales task conflict is more likely to involve distributive (win–lose) issues
and 2) when win–win (integrative) potential exists, the disputants are more likely to approach conflict from a
fixed-pie perspective. Our analysis of data collected from food manufacturing industry supports this hypothesis.
The application of different conflict management strategies varies depending on whether they are applied to sales
or marketing task conflict. The importance of aligning conflict management strategies with the integrative
potential of sales and marketing tasks is presented to managers.

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