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Understanding Organizational Conflict and its Causes

An organization is a unit of two or more people who have come together to achieve a particular purpose. A common goal is shared by all the individuals in the unit, and they pull together their resources to ensure that this goal is achieved.  It is general knowledge that where two or more people are gathered there is bound to be some form of conflict. These goals could be personal or organizational. When individuals find themselves in an organizational setting or a group, the common characteristic of using their skills to achieve a common goal is put into display. In order to execute this, the interest and motivations are bound to clash thereby giving rise to what we will be referring to as organizational conflict.

Organizational behaviors can be divided into good and bad; the good behavior gives rise to positive feedback and growth while the bad behavior leads to classes and conflicts which turns to delay growth. Duening recognizes the concept of positive psychology to account for why organizations are turning good behaviors at the workplace rather than encouraging bad behavior. To him, positive psychology understands the human condition relative to how they can improve on their skills. (Duening, p14,2016).

Causes of Organizational Conflicts

  According to De Due and Kulfand (2008) causes of organizational conflicts. These include the following:

  1. Increasing pressure to change, adapt, and innovate. Employees are faced with increased "workload, job insecurity, role conflict, misunderstandings, and related grievances." When placed in a position of pressure and tension, there is a high likelihood for a conflict to arise. 
  2. Diverse workforces. Many people have immigrated from various countries with different backgrounds to work in the same organization. Due to cultural differences, there is bound to be a lot of misunderstanding.
  3. The effect of virtual workspace/remote jobs. The increased use of the intermate for work has reduced the human contact amongst colleagues and little misunderstandings that could be avoided if in person, turn to develop into a conflict.
  4. Hierarchical nature of organizations. The very essence of the management gives way to possible conflicts. The tight controls and high expectations of the employees most often lead to conflict.
  5. Lack of Self Esteem. In Leading a positive organization, the authors reference that the lack of self-esteem is a huge factor that gives rise to workplace conflict. According to the authors, a high level of self-esteem will increase self-worthiness at work, and this will promote a positive organization. Organizational Based Self Esteem (OBSE) is said to be the degree to which employees believe themselves to be "important, meaningful, effectual, and worthwhile within their employing organization" (Duening. p23, 2016) The higher the employee's OBSE, the higher their productivity level and the lesser the possibility of conflict. It will prevent "tardiness, absenteeism, and turnover," It will prevent employees from quitting. It will lead to job satisfaction and organizational commitment (Duening.p27, 2016)

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