Discuss about the Workplace Conflicts for Interests and Principles.
Workplace conflict or organizational conflict is a very common issue in the business world. Due to the conflicts, the sometimes the organizations get benefitted and sometimes they get affected. Workplace conflict is a situation of disharmony, generated from the real or supposed opposition of requirements, interests and principles among the people working together (Sonnentag, Unger and Nägel 2013). The conflict takes many forms in different organizations. Clash is always inevitable between the formal authority and management and the subordinate employees. The subject for conflict also varies in different organizations. Differences in the ideology, points of view and unhealthy competition can result in conflicts in the workplace (Katz and Flynn 2013). The positive and negative impacts of the workplace conflict and the ways to resolve them are explained in the following discussion.
Workplace conflicts are classified in the following types, Personal, Intragroup and Intergroup. Power, work style and personality clash results in personal conflicts. Intragroup conflicts arise due to lack of freedom, resources and position. Some people prefer to work independently and when confronts with interdependence within a group, conflicts occur. Lastly, intergroup conflicts arise horizontally and vertically. Conflicts and competition between the functions result in horizontal clash, and competition between hierarchical levels result in vertical clash (Goetsch and Davis 2014). Same situations can result in both positive and negative impacts, depending on the way of handling it and attitude of the people involved in it.
Conflicts often influence the change in the organizations, especially in the small businesses. Due to workplace conflicts, organizations often are forced to modify the operation procedures and policies and design and implement new ones. Extreme conflict within the organization can lead to complete change of the leadership and management positions and new people come with new ideas (Demsky, Ellis and Fritz 2014).
Competition is an outcome of workplace conflict. When employees try to outdo each other to achieve the goals that benefit the organization, healthy competitions occur and it is a positive effect of conflicts. For example, when two sales people compete to increase their sales target to get more incentives, it also helps the company to earn more revenues. It also helps to bring in motivation among the other employees (Meier et al. 2013).
conflicts often bring in creativity in the organizational operations and objectives. When people with good and creative ideas come together and argue to establish their points, in most cases a creative solution comes up and that motivate the employees. When the motivation comes through conflict, that pushes the productivity level of people to the maximum. Hence, healthy conflict is always welcome by the organizations (Gilin Oore, Leiter and LeBlanc 2015).
Personal issues and emotions often create negative conflict in the workplace. In many cases, the higher authority often put forward their power and position for controlling the subordinates and peers. When a person misuses his power for any personal conflict then it is a negative impact of the workplace conflict (Moore 2014).
Due to intragroup and intergroup conflicts, sometimes the optimum output is not achieved. Organizational goals are compromised to achieve the goals of the groups. Thus, sub-optimization arises. The clash of the groups to become superior often leads to unnecessary conflicts and competition becomes unhealthy.
Conflicts often result in wastage of precious resources, time and reputation of the company. Employees often waste their time and efforts by involving in the conflicts rather than meeting the goals. Hence, time and resources both are wasted and it also creates a negative image of the company in the business world (Meier et al. 2013).
Ways to resolve workplace conflicts
In simple terms, conflict is disagreement between people on various issues. Often the leadership and workplace conflicts are related. An efficient leadership is necessary to resolve the conflicts in the organization. Since, conflicts cannot be avoided, hence, it is rational and sensible to accept the conflict and find out a solution by properly mitigating the negative impacts and embracing the positive impacts. Hence, leaders play a very important role in resolving the conflicts. Manipulative people exist in every organization, who create conflicts by using emotions to cover up their lack of quality. A strong leader can only reduce such conflicts through efficient leadership and motivational skills (Myatt 2012). The effective ways to handle conflicts are as follows:
Defining acceptable behavior: An organization must define the acceptable behavior and norms beforehand, and penalties for failing to comply with those. A well defined norm and effective communication can help in resolving the conflicts.
Conflict prevention: Finding out the areas for potential conflict can help the company to prevent the possible conflicts. It needs efficient management and leadership to find out the possible reasons of a potential conflict and resolving them beforehand. Still, if the conflict does arise, the severity can be reduced quickly in this way (Goetsch and Davis 2014).
Understanding of the gains of the people: Conflicts often arise due to the issue on personal gains. It is important to understand the motivational factors for the people and help them achieving their goals. This way personal conflict can be handled.
Importance factor: The management must understand the importance of the issue of conflict or potential conflict and should address it accordingly. It should not neglect any important issue and must handle it with utmost priority.
Conflict as an opportunity: Every conflict has a scope of learning. Disagreements on ideas often result in potential scope for growth and development. It opens up new ideas for growing, diversifying and expanding the business opportunities. The divergent positions can lead to innovations and creativity, leading personal and organizational growth (Myatt 2012).
Workplace conflict exists in almost every organization. This is a situation, which cannot be avoided. However, the severity can be reduced if handled properly. Conflicts bring healthy competition among the employees and that pushes to company towards further growth. On the other hand, sometimes it results in wastage of time and resources and creates a bad image for the company. Efficient leadership and management policies can help in resolving and preventing conflicts in workplaces. Lastly, every organization should find out the learning scopes from the conflicts and must utilize the opportunities that results from the conflicts.
Demsky, C.A., Ellis, A.M. and Fritz, C., 2014. Shrugging it off: Does psychological detachment from work mediate the relationship between workplace aggression and work-family conflict?. Journal of occupational health psychology, 19(2), p.195.
Gilin Oore, D., Leiter, M.P. and LeBlanc, D.E., 2015. Individual and organizational factors promoting successful responses to workplace conflict. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, 56(3), p.301.
Goetsch, D.L. and Davis, S.B., 2014. Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.
Katz, N.H. and Flynn, L.T., 2013. Understanding conflict management systems and strategies in the workplace: A pilot study. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 30(4), pp.393-410.
Meier, L.L., Gross, S., Spector, P.E. and Semmer, N.K., 2013. Relationship and task conflict at work: Interactive short-term effects on angry mood and somatic complaints. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 18(2), p.144.
Moore, C.W., 2014. The mediation process: Practical strategies for resolving conflict. John Wiley & Sons.
Myatt, M., 2012. 5 Keys of Dealing with Workplace Conflict. [online] Forbes.com. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2012/02/22/5-keys-to-dealing-with-workplace-conflict/#6c1f55d01e95 [Accessed 9 Oct. 2017].
Sonnentag, S., Unger, D. and Nägel, I.J., 2013. Workplace conflict and employee well-being: The moderating role of detachment from work during off-job time. International Journal of Conflict Management, 24(2), pp.166-183.