What Is Organizational Conflict;Will They Be Good or Bad?

Organizational Conflict is very hot topic now a days.Conflicts exist since the beginning of humanity, it is the source of new ideas, and can lead to open discussions on certain subjects. Thus conflicts are not necessarily negative; the way we deal with them is that it can generate some reactions.

Organizational Conflict Definition

In general, a conflict (organizational) is a process that begins when a person perceives that another individual, entity or group, can negatively affect a matter that the first considers important.

Daniel Katz identifies three primary sources of conflict in organizations:

  • Structure: The conflict arises from the need for group interdependence (present in practically all organizations) between organizational units and / or sub-units. For example, when one of the parties does not perform a task on time. This creates tension among the members of the organization, a delay in the production process, a decrease in productivity, among other detrimental consequences.
  • Social roles: The conflict results from the disagreement between members of groups with previously defined / expected behaviors – between suppliers and company, between the company’s own elements, between partners etc.
  • Resources: The conflict arises from the competition between interest groups, in order to obtain organizational resources. It usually happens when resources have to be shared or are limited.

Why can conflicts be functional?

Robert Baron says that conflicts are a “two-sided coin.” If it is true that a conflict can be destructive to an organization, when properly addressed, it can become a source of innovation, performance improvement, and even strengthening of ties between members. Along the same lines, Stephen Robbins considers that conflicts characterized as “functional” tend to encourage achievement of objectives.

Why Conflicts Increases In Organization

a) a conflict increases the motivations that lead to change, intervention and activity;
b) a conflict increases the mobilization of psychic energy and the innovative capacity that leads the individual to be more effective in achieving work and social goals;
c) a conflict increases the awareness of one’s own role and power in the relational situation and offers continuous feed-backs, ie reactions of the counterpart;
d) a conflict increases the identity of the two or more conflicting members: better defines the friends and the enemies and their mutual interaction;
e) a conflict, of whatever kind, determines an attention to all kinds of possible conflicts: thus an interpersonal conflict forces to analyze and treat interpersonal conflicts and vice versa, internal conflicts to realistically deal with external conflicts.


Communication as a key element in conflict management

The conflict management involves two dimensions: assertiveness and cooperation. In both, communication is the crucial means, enabling the parties involved to explain their positions and interests, and contributing to reaching a common agreement that satisfies them.

In this way, it is important to foster frequent open discussions, so that the conflict does not scale to proportions that, although reversible, have a more difficult resolution.

For effective communication in conflict resolution , we recommend that you adopt the following practices:

  • Genuine interest in the other party – put questions, with a view to understanding the genesis of disagreement.
  • Control your emotions – strive not to engage in aggressive behavior (loud voice, for example).
  • Encourage a climate of trust – seek to use empathy and a communication process based on mutual interests, with a view to a solution that satisfies both parties.
by Abdullah Sam
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