• Advantages of Conflicts
• Disadvantages Of Conflicts
• Types of Conflict
• Conflict Process
• Level Of Conflicts
• Steps to Manage Conflicts
• Conflicts: there are at least two independent groups, the groups
perceive some incompatibility between themselves, and the groups
interact with each other in some way. Two example definitions are,
"process in which one party perceives that its interests are being
opposed or negatively affected by another party"
• Conflict management is defined as “the opportunity to improve
situations and strengthen relationships”
• Conflict management is the process of limiting the negative aspects of
conflict while increasing the positive aspects of conflict. The aim of
conflict management is to enhance learning and group outcomes,
including effectiveness or performance in organizational setting
• Workplace impact
Supervisors spend more than 25% of their time on conflict management,
and managers spend more than 18% of their time on relational employee
conflicts. This has doubled since the 1980s. Reasons for this are "the
growing complexity of organizations, use of teams and group decision
making, and globalization."
Conflict significantly affects employee morale, turnover, and litigation,
which affects the prosperity of a company, either constructively or
Causes of Conflict in Organizations
• Personality clashes
• Competition for resources
• Authority issues
• Lack of cooperation
• Differences over methods or style
• Low performance
• Value or goal differences
Advantages Of Conflicts
• Accommodation: Accommodation allows one party to do what another party
wants when a conflict arises. The advantage to accommodation is that conflict
can be quickly resolved, which helps with short-term goals. The
accommodating party may also feel like they have contributed goodwill toward
• Compromise: the outcome can generally be seen as "fair" to both parties
because each gets something in return. This can also solve a short-term conflict
while laying the foundation to resolving a long-term problem.
• Competition: Competition conflict resolution works if authority must be
established among parties to complete the short- or long-term goals. This also
fosters confidence for the winning party in competitive environments. Short-
term goals where there is little room or time for discussion can be met quickly
Disadvantages of Conflicts
• Avoidance: not addressing conflicts, long-term goals may not be met. Avoiding conflicts
may also cause a festering of tension, which can result in a goal-stopping event, such as
a blow-out argument.
• Accommodation: Accommodation can also lead to lack of self-esteem within the
accommodating party. The winning party may also begin to take advantage. Another
disadvantage is that the accommodating party may end up sacrificing a principle that
hampers meeting the long-term goal
• Compromise: neither party leaves the negotiating table completely happy. Since
compromises are short-term, they usually indicate that another conflict will occur in the
• Competition: The losing party may bear a grudge leading to another conflict. The
personal stake in the competitive nature can negatively effect relationships.
CONFLICT: CONSTRUCTIVE VS DESTRUCTIVE
Conflict is destructive when it:
• Diverts energy from more important issues and tasks.
• Deepens differences in values.
• Polarizes groups so that cooperation is reduced.
• Destroys the morale of people or reinforces poor self-concepts.
Conflict is constructive when it:
• Opens up issues of importance, resulting in issue clarification.
• Helps build cohesiveness as people learn more about each other.
• Causes reassessment by allowing for examination of procedures or actions.
• Increases individual involvement.
Types of Conflict
Conflicts: Desirability and Undesirability
Desirability of Conflicts
• Conflict can be desirable.
• Conflict helps eliminate or reduce the likelihood of group think.
• A moderate level of conflict across tasks within a group resulted in increased group
performance while conflict among personalities resulted in lower group performance
Undesirability of Conflicts
• Conflicts can be hard to control once they have begun.
– The trend is toward escalation( inc in force) and polarization (division).
– When conflict escalates to the point of being out of control, it almost always
yields negative results.
Types of Conflict
Types Of Conflict
• CONFLICTS: FUNCTIONAL VS DYSFUNCTIONAL
Conflicts are dysfunctional: Hinder group performance
• High Employee Turnover: In case of intra individual and inter individual some
dynamic people may leave the organization, if they fail to resolve the conflict in their
• Tensions: some times conflicts increase the tension and it become difficult for
management to resolve conflicts which lead to frustration among members.
• Climate of distrust: Conflicts create distrust among members of the group as well as
organization. The concerned people will have negative feeling towards each other.
• Dissatisfaction: less concentration on job as result productivity will suffer.
• Personal vs organizational goals: Conflicts may distract the attention of the
members of the organization form the organizational goals. They may waste time in
finding tactics and ways to come out as a winner in conflicts. Personal victory become
more important than organizational goals.
• Conflicts as a cost: Conflicts is not necessarily a cost for the individuals but the
conflicts may weaken the organization as a whole if management is not able to
handle them properly. It is the cost to the organization because resigning of the
personal weaken the organization ad feeling of distrust will have negative impact
result in affecting the productivity.
Types of Conflicts
Conflicts are functional
Supports the goals of the group and increase its performance
• All Conflicts are not unproductive and serves the following functions:
• Release of Tension: when member expresses themselves they get some physiological
satisfaction. This lead to reduction of stress among the members.
• Analytical Thinking: when conflicts occurs the members displays analytical thinking
in identifying various alternatives.
• Group Cohesiveness: It brings closeness and solidarity among the group members
which can be utilized by the management to achieve organizational goals in effective
manner, differences are forgotten here.
• Competition: Conflicts promote competition and hence result in increased efforts.
Some people are motivated by conflict and serve competition and lead to high level of
effort and output.
• Challenge: Conflicts test the abilities and capabilities of the individuals and group. It
creates challenges for them for which they have to be dynamic and creative.
• Stimulation for change: Conflicts stimulates change among Individual. When they
are faced with conflict they might change their attitude and be ready to change
themselves to meet the requirement of the situation.
• Identification of the weaknesses: identify the weaknesses and remove them.
• Awareness: conflicts creates awareness what problem exists, who is involved and
how to solve the problem and allow as management to take necessary action.
• High Quality Decisions: People share their information and check each other
reasoning to develop new decision.
Individual and Group Level Conflicts
Conflicts may arise between individuals because:
• of a clash of personalities, difference of opinion, bullying or harassment
• of an aggressive or weak management style
• some employees may feel others are treated more favorably
Conflict may arise between groups because of:
• team rivalry, disagreements or resentment
• a 'them and us' mentality between large groups of employees and their managers
• resentment of senior management, poor morale, low motivation, disagreement over
pay, health and safety, redundancies and lack of proper consultation
• Groups of people in a team tend to display a certain pattern of behavior. Four distinct
phases of a group or team's development are:
• forming - the team is new, uncertain of how to behave and reserved
• storming - the team argues about who should do what and how, and therefore conflict
• norming - the team agree its core tasks and responsibility is assigned
• performing - the team operates according to agreed norms and can progress
• Five stages in Conflicts Process:
1. Stage 1: Potential opposition or incompatibility: The first step in the
conflict process is the presence of conditions that create opportunities for conflict to
rise. These cause or create opportunities for conflict to rise. These causes or sources of
conflict have been condenses into three general categories –
(3) Personal Variables.
Communications: Different words connotations, jargon, insufficient exchange of
information and noise in communication channel are all antecedent conditions to conflict.
Too much communication as well as too little communication can rely foundation for
• Structure: The term structure is used, in this context to include variables such as size,
degree of specialization in the tasks assigned to group members, jurisdictional clarity,
members/ goal compatibility, leadership styles, reward systems and the degree of
dependence between groups.
• The size and specialization act as forces to stimulate conflict. The larger the group and
the more specialized its activities, the greater the likelihood of conflict. Tenure and
conflict have been found to be inversely related,. The potential for conflicts tends to be
greatest when group members are younger and when turnover is high. The greater the
ambiguity in defining where responsibility for action lies, the greater the potential for
conflict to emerge. Such Jurisdictional ambiguity increases inter group fighting for
control or resources and territory.
• Personal Variables: Certain personality types- for example individuals who are highly
authoritarian and dogmatic- lead to potential conflict. Another reason for conflict is
difference in value systems. Value differences are the best explanations of diverse
issues such as prejudice disagreements over one’s contribution to the group and
rewards one deserves.
• Stage 2: Cognition and personalization: conflict must be perceived by the parties to
it. whether or not conflict exists is a perception issue. If no one is aware of a conflict,
then it is generally agreed that no conflict exists. Because conflict is perceives does not
mean that is personalized. For e.g. ” A may be aware that B and A are in serious
disagreements but it may not make A tense or nations and it may have no effect
whatsoever on A’s affection towards B” It is the felt level , when individuals become
emotionally involved that parties experience anxiety , tension or hostility.
• Stage2 is the place in the process where the parties decide what the conflict is about
and emotions plays a major role in shaping perception.
• Stage 3: Intentions: Intentions are decisions to act in a given way intentions intervene
between people’s perception and emotions and their overt behavior.
• Using two dimensions cooperativeness (the degree to which one party attempts to
satisfy the other party’s concerns)and assertiveness (the degree to which one party
attempts to satisfy his or her own concerns)- five conflict handling intentions can be
• 1) Competing: when one person seeks to satisfy his or her own interests regardless of
the impact on the other parties to the conflict, he is competing.
• 2) Collaborating: A situation in which the parties to a conflict each desire to satisfy
fully the concerns of all the parties. In collaborating, the intention of the parties are to
solve the problem by clarifying differences rather than by accommodating various
points of view.
• 3) Avoiding: a person may recognize that a conflict exists and want to withdraw from
it or suppress it. Avoiding included trying to just ignore a conflict and avoiding others
with whom you disagree.
• 4) Accommodating: The willingness of one partying a conflict top lace the
opponent’s interest above his or her own.
• 5) Compromising: A situation in which each party to a conflict is wiling to give up
Intentions provide general guidelines for parties in a conflict situation. They define each
party’s purpose. Yet people intention is not fixed. During the course of conflict, they
might change because of reconceptualization or because of an emotional reaction to the
behavior of other party.
• Stage 4: Behavior: This is a stage where conflict becomes visible. The behavior stage
includes the statements, actions and reactions made by the conflicting parties. These
conflict behaviors are usually overt attempt to implement each party’s intentions.
• Stage 5 Outcomes: The action reaction interplay between the conflicting parties
result in consequences. These outcomes may be functional in that the conflict results
in an improvement in the group’s performance, or dysfunctional in that it hinders
Levels and Types
Type of conflictLevel of conflict
Within and between organizations
Within and between groups
Within and between individuals
Levels and Types
• Intra organization conflict
– Conflict that occurs within an organization
– At interfaces of organization functions
– Can occur along the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the
– Vertical conflict: between managers and subordinates
– Horizontal conflict: between departments and work groups
• Intragroup conflict
– Conflict among members of a group
– Early stages of group development
– Ways of doing tasks or reaching group's goals
• Intergroup conflict: between two or more groups
Levels and Types
• Interpersonal conflict
– Between two or more people
– Differences in views about what should be done
– Efforts to get more resources
– Differences in orientation to work and time in different parts of an
• Intrapersonal conflict
– Occurs within an individual
– Threat to a person’s values
– Feeling of unfair treatment
– Multiple and contradictory(denying) sources of socialization
Levels and Types
• Interorganization conflict
– Between two or more organizations
– Not competition
– Examples: suppliers and distributors
Steps to Manage Conflicts
Maccoby and Studder identify five steps to managing conflict.
1. Anticipate – Take time to obtain information that can lead to conflict.
2. Prevent – Develop strategies before the conflict occurs.
3. Identify – If it is interpersonal or procedural, move to quickly
4. Manage – Remember that conflict is emotional
5. Resolve – React, without blame, and you will learn through dialogue.
When the following conditions are in place, the likelihood of a positive
• Commitment to find a resolution that is mutually beneficial.
• Frame of mind that there is more than one way to look at the issues.
• Belief that a solution exists.
• Commitment to stay in the communication process.
Steps for Positive Resolution