Conflict: Sources, Advantages & Responding

Conflict: Sources, Advantages &  Responding


            Conflict is inevitable but valuable to the organization. It strengthens the ties with the staff and helps to have a deeper understanding of the conflict and how to mitigate them.

Source of Conflict

As business defined management, it is an act of working with others to accomplish tasks that fulfill its goals or objectives efficiently and effectively. During their management era, managers, at any level, experience conflict which might be an obstacle in getting their desired results.

Conflicts are all over the place and are one of the major causes of business downfall suffered among major corporations, especially among the top managers, who have many disagreements with their subordinates (Argent). By proving that conflicts really exist, the clinical researcher presents a categorizing device for diagnosing the types of it. It is based on critical identifying characteristics and was clinically proven. They are namely- focusing on the conflict and the source of the conflict. 

Conflict focus is based on the substance of the dispute (what triggers the conflict) that causes its escalation and is categorized into two: people-focused and issue-focused. People-focused conflict is characterized by confrontations that have a high effect level of emotional heat that is intensified or probably triggered by moral indignation. Common situations are bitterness, false accusation, and demand for justice; whereas issued-focus conflict is described as an emotional dispute (more likely rational negotiation) and can be thought of as a mutual decision between two or more people on how they allocate their limited resources (Thompson).

Another type of conflict is based on the source, they are personal differences, informational differences, role incompatibility, and environmentally-induced stress. Personal differences (perception and expectations) are common origins of conflict since every member of an organization has different backgrounds since they have been molded by society depending on their cultural and family differences that have a great impact on their working environment. Simply stated, they are disagreements about what is the correct thing to do based on facts against what is the correct thing to do based on morals or norms, while, informational differences are conflicts among members of an organization. It is characterized by misinformation and misinterpretation.

Moreover, role incompatibility is a mix between personal differences and informational differences which affects the member’s responsibilities and organizational goals. At the same time, environmental-induced stress is the primary source of conflict and affects the resource scarcity and uncertainty of either members or the whole organization itself. Uncertainty includes frequent and rapid changes in accounting procedure, task assignments, management philosophy, and line of authority.

Source of Conflict

Responding and Advantages of Conflicts

 Any conflicting issues should be tackled with management as soon as possible. There are five approaches in responding to conflicts: a) The forcing response is an act to satisfy one’s own needs by using their position or authority that makes the other party feels humiliated or defeated, b) The accommodating approach is taking one side where one party wins while the other will be neglected, c) The avoiding response is postponing a solution or avoid to tackle the issue, d) compromising response is an act to reach an agreement as quickly as possible to obtain a win-win situation for both parties and e) collaborating approach is to solve the problem of both parties.

5 Point of Views in Managing Conflict

Having a conflict can help the organization mature more. For most organizations, a moderate level of conflict is considered healthy because it is considered the lifeblood since it progresses and stimulates the vibrations of an organization (Brown). It enhances creativity, sparks innovation, and encourages the personal improvement of their staff. It helps the managers to become more diversified in terms of the demographic information of their subordinates and guides them on how to resolve more conflicts in the future (Blackard and Gibson). In fact, managers at any level, from different organizations and cultures, who deal with conflicts are a sign of organizational success considering the recent business trends toward globalization and joint ventures. Also, towards workforce diversification, managers who are flexible in resolving conflicts are an important indicator or predictor of organizational advancement (Seybolt, Derr and Nielson).

Works Cited

Argent, J. Corporate Collapse: The Causes and Symptoms. New York: Wiley, 1976.

Blackard, J and J Gibson. Capitalizing on Conflict: Strategies and Practices for Turning Conflict into Synergy in Organization: A Manager's Handbook. Palo Alto, CA: Davis-Black Publshing, 2002.

Brown, L.D. Managing Conflict at Organizational Interfaces. MA: Addison-Wesley, 1983. Reading.

Seybolt, P.M., C.B. Derr and T.R. Nielson. Linkages Between National Culture, Gender, and Conflict Management Style. University Utah, 1996. Working Paper.

Thompson, L. The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator, 2nd Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001.

Post a Comment