Conflict Resolution to Project Success

This article examines five strategies for solving common disagreements: confronting, dominating, compromising, accommodating, and avoiding. Pay attention to the literature review.


Nowadays, there is a big consensus around the fact that projects have great leverage when it comes to creating and improving the processes and products that companies offer to the market. Therefore, in today's increasingly globalized world, the aforementioned setting has become even more multicultural and multidisciplinary, forcing Project Managers (PM) to combine and align the interests of diverse stakeholders, all while keeping in mind very different points of view and having to face conflicts with varying origins, as they focus on the daily management of the projects.

This article aims to thoroughly examine the main strategies applied when managing conflicts that may arise when dealing with internal stakeholders, which are later put into practice, depending on the source of the conflict, by Project Managers, in order to evaluate their impact on the project performance. Furthermore, we will analyze other influential factors, such as the different roles carried out: PM or team member (TM).

In order to achieve the proposed objectives, we have surveyed students studying their last year of Industrial Engineering at the ETSII-UPM, subsequently contrasting the results, using a panel of 17 Senior Project Managers who work in international consultancies, as control group, for research results.

The paper is structured in the following way. First, we present the theoretical perspective used in the paper, namely that of the organizational capabilities and the knowledge-based theory of the firm. Second, we review the literature on project competence and project capabilities. Third, we present our research methodology and discuss the design of our longitudinal case study. Fourth, we describe the four project epochs identified in the evolution of ABB (1950–2000) and then turn to a theoretical analysis. The paper ends with a summary of our findings and a discussion of their implications.