Last Updated 27 Jul 2020

Conflict in Workplace

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CONFLICT IN WORKPLACE

Introduction

            According to Diamond, 2007 and Rau-Foster, 2000 conflict in workplace is a common problem facing many businesses and it is the responsibility of managers to handle the situation carefully to avoid more conflicts. Conflict can be helpful in making necessary changes within working environment. Unresolved conflict in workplace results in dissatisfaction of employees, hopelessness, unhappiness, depression among other effects which impacts on performance of the business. Communication is a cause and a remedy for conflict in workplace (Rau-Foster, 2000). Managers should carefully understand how to satisfactory resolve the problem. Managers in their training should learn both communication and conflict resolution skills (Richard, 2008, p.103). Conflict in workplace arises from clash of goals, perceptions or values in working environment among employees and management. This is because people from different cultures with different expectations, goals and prior experiences are working in the same environment (Diamond, April 7, 2007).

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Main points in the articles

            As argued by Diamond, 2007 and Rau-Foster, 2000 there are basic components of conflict. These articles are describing why there is more conflict in workplace today than in the before.

·         The basic components of conflict in workplace are involvement of two or more people, there should be a perceived incompatibility between actions, ideas, goals and beliefs.

·         Conflict in workplace is of two types, substantive and personality-based conflict.  (Rau-Foster, 2000).

·         In today’s workplace there is more eligalitarian whereby you find that there are flatter chains of command with dotted line of relationships and mainly employees have the ability to make decisions by themselves having freedom to move to another better job.

·         People in workplace today consist of all ages and from all over the world. These people do have diverse goals, values, behavior, prior experiences and different expectations. This results in misunderstanding among them resulting in conflicts.

·         In today’s world women are in workplace just like men. Generally women are less accustomed in the chain of command. Men are more involved in organized sports in which they are taught how to be obedient. Although some women are active in such activities many don’t have particular organization.

·         In workplace there are behaviors like teasing, confronting, flirting, aggression and simple communication styles which may result in conflict (Diamond, April 7, 2007).

·         It is the responsibility of managers to resolve the conflicts without applying ostrich technique because this may cause more problems there after.

·         Employees should be helped understand how to work as a group and with people from different backgrounds (Rau-Foster, 2000).

Benefits and Costs of Conflict in workplace

Conflict in workplace has both benefits and costs; since conflict is inherent in every human relationship there is a need to negotiate and understand interpersonal and group working. If conflict is managed properly it reassigns power, enhances stability in relationship and forges identities. Conflict in workplace facilitates changes in the organization depending on the cause of the conflict. In medium conflict there is high employees’ cohesion and increased output because in such kind of conflict managers and employees have an opportunity to challenge each other (Rau-Foster, 2000). Conflict in workplace is accompanied by some costs. In high level of conflict there are a chaos, unclear job process and uncertain lines of authority with employees’ cohesion and output being low. In such cases even if employees care about their job, there is large amount of conflict affecting their performance. Unsolved conflicts in workplace increases and stops business progress since people spend most of their time worrying on the conflicts more than business goals (Diamond, April 7, 2007) .

Managing Conflict in Workplace

It is the responsibility of managers to resolve the conflict in workplace. Managers can solve substantive conflicts by addressing the specific problem which is subject to conflict. In personality-based conflict since it is not for mediation it should be addressed. Employees should be educated on how to work together regardless of their differences and involved parties have to agree that keeping their job is more important that keeping on having conflict.  Employees should be taught on how to talk with each other. Use of good communication skills is important in keeping peace at workplace.  Most managers use ostrich techniques in handling conflicts which is not recommendable because the conflict stays underground until it is intense and the next step may be explosion (Rau-Foster, 2000).

Managers should be able to deal with different people in the workplace for the success of the business. Organizations will continue to have people from different genders, styles, cultures and expectations working in the same environment; it is the responsibility of managers to provide them with common culture defined with behavioral expectations. Managers should prepare business procedures, policies and statements of corporate values and culture to guide employees. There should be training on diversity to educate employees on how to work with different people (Richard, 2008, p.123). Employees should accept and realize their differences and more attempts be made to help each other in clearing up their disagreements and misunderstandings instead of passing judgments and declining on who is wrong and who is right. Managers should establish a clear set of guidelines in accordance to work expectations and measure of success instead of spending time making it easier for people to know. Organization should publish procedures, policy, expectations, guidelines and values. Managers should learn how to correctly manage differences among individuals to enable each individual to be effective in performance. Employers should have flexible time whenever possible (Diamond, April 7, 2007).

Conclusion

            Conflict in workplace is a common problem facing many organizations today than before. This is as a result of people from different cultures with different goals, expectations and prior experiences working in the same environment. Managers have the responsibility to carefully handle such problems because to increase business effectiveness and performance.

List of References

Diamond, A. (April 7, 2007), Workplace conflict resolution: what’s creating workplace conflict and 9 easy ways to resolve it, retrieved March 4, 2009 from http://www.studiomatrix.com/articles/article00193.shtml

Rau-Foster, M. (2000), conflict in workplace, retrieved March 4, 2009 from http://www.workplaceissues.com/arconflict.htm

Richard, L.D., (2008), management, (8th Ed), South Western, ISBN: 0324537700
ISBN13: 9780324537703

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