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Organizational Conflict
Organizational Conflict
Organizational conflict is the state of discord that is caused by perceived or actual
opposition of values, interests, and needs between different people working together. Conflicts
may take different forms within organizations. There is usually the inevitable clash that exists
between formal power and authority and those groups and individuals affected. There are usually
disputes of how different revenues are supposed to be divided, how work is supposed to be done,
and the duration that people are supposed to work and how hard they should work. Further, there
are jurisdictional disagreements that exist among departments, unions, and between individuals
and management.
There are usually subtler forms of conflicts that usually involve rivalries, personality
clashes, jalousies, struggles for favor or power, and role definition. In addition, there is also
conflict that exists between individual that are competing between different demands and needs,
where individuals usually tend to respond in significantly different ways (Anheier, 2007).
Conflict must exist in different organization. However, it is the duty of management to ensure
that the different forms of conflicts are well attended to. Organizations should have different
ways in which conflicts are managed. This may aid in resolving conflicts in a better way and
improving the general unity of employees within an organization.
There are different causes of conflict within organizations. One of the major causes of
conflict is change. The implementation of changes, for example new technologies, may lead to
stressful changes. Poor adaptation to the changes may lead to conflict within the organization.
Also, interpersonal relationships are major causes of conflict within organizations. When
there are different personalities at work places, there is a possibility that these personalities may
not mesh. This may lead to the rise of conflicts between the employees (Anheier, 2007).
Poor communication is also another source of conflict. When management is not able to
effectively communicate to its employees, the employees tend to feel left out, which may lead to
a rise in conflicts.
Some other causes of conflict may include poor employee-supervisor relationships,
subpar performance, external changes, harassments, and limited resources, just to mention a few.
There are three levels of conflict, which are the intrapersonal conflict, interpersonal
conflict, and intergroup conflict. The intrapersonal conflict usually occurs within an individual.
The individual tends to develop behaviors that may be a direct contradiction to their thinking of
feeling (Martin, 2002). On the other hand, intrapersonal conflict represents the clashes taking
place between individuals within an organization. Lastly, the intergroup conflict is a level of
conflict that occurs in context of organizations or the military command.
There are different steps that an organization may use in resolving a conflict. The main
ways is through seeking to understand the roots of the conflict. Understanding where the conflict
rose from may enable an organization understand how to solve the issues and ensure that they are
not repeated again by any employee (Martin, 2002). One the root cause of the conflict is noted,
the different parties are asked to state their side of the issue. Based on the presentation, the
management should be able to conclude on the issues and ensure that they are not repeated.
Conflict resolution may lead to different forms of outcomes. For example, employees
may be able to work together effectively after a conflict resolution process. Further, individuals
are able to avoid future conflicts based on the result of the previous one. On the other hand,
conflict resolution may lead to heightened conflicts if not properly handled. The conflict
resolution processes may have both positive and negative results.
Anheier, H. K., & Isar, Y. R. (2007). Conflicts and tensions. Los Angeles: SAGE.
Martin, J. (2002). Cultures in organizations: Three perspectives. New York: Oxford University
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