There are two kinds of conflict. First, creative conflict, also known as functional conflict, is the natural debate and argument about concepts and practices that leads to the generation of new ideas and their practical implementation. This is dealt with as a separate topic, Creativity and Creative Conflict.

The second kind of conflict is destructive, also known as dysfunctional conflict, and this needs to be managed to reduce, or avoid, its impact on the morale, motivation, performance and public image, both of the organisation as a whole and of the people who form it. This topic focuses on managing destructive conflict, which for convenience will now simply be referred to as conflict.

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