Conflict management

Conflict management:

“Conflict is a process that begins when one party perceives that another party has negatively affected, or is about negatively affect, sometimes that first party cares about”

– Stephen p. Robbins and S. Sanghi

Conflict can be visualized as the active striving for one’s own preferred goals which, if accomplished, perceives the attainment by others of their own preferred goal thereby causing hostility.

–  Rensis Likert and J.G Likert

Various views of conflict:

Traditional view: All conflict is bad and must be avoided

Human relations view: Conflict is natural and inevitable outcome of any group

Interactionist view: Some conflict is necessary for a group to perform effectively

Functional view: Conflict supports group goals and improves its performance

Dysfunctional view: Conflict prevents a group from achieving its goals

Task conflict: Conflict over content and goals of the work

Relationship conflict: Conflict based on interpersonal relationships

Process conflict: Conflict over how work gets done.


Various types of conflict

Inter personal conflict:
Conflict between two or more individuals is known as interpersonal conflict. Interpersonal conflict may arise between people who have different beliefs, perception, goal and attitudes. When two people distrust each other’s motive or dislike each other then conflict may arise.

Intergroup conflict:
Conflict between two or more groups is known as intergroup conflict. Intergroup conflict may arise between groups who have different beliefs, perception, goal and attitudes. When two groups distrust each other’s motive and simply cant get along each other then conflict may arise.

Inter organizational conflict:
Conflict between two or more organization is known as inter organization conflict. Inter organizational conflict may arise between organizations who have different beliefs, perception, goal and attitudes.

Causes of conflict:

1. variety in perceptions and beliefs
2. attitudes
3. limited resources
4. excess competition
5. deprivation of power
6. communication system
7. goal difference
8. personality clashes
9. sexual harassment
10. sequential work
11. structural change
12. unfavorable working conditions
13. unclear responsibility and authority
14. unorganized placement of employees
15. Improper use of resources.

Methods of conflict management:

A. Stimulating conflict

1. increase competition
2. hire outsider
3. change working procedures

B. Controlling conflict:

1. emphasize the use of resources
2. increase resources
3. enhance coordination
4. set super ordinate goals
5. match personalities and work habits

C. Resolving and eliminating conflict

1. avoid conflict
2. convince conflicting parties
3. confront and negotiate conflict

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