CONCEPT OF CONFLICT
• Conflict is having different meanings to different persons. Some
say conflict is a disagreement between individuals/groups or
may be viewed as a perception of disagreement in the
• Thomas defined Conflict as “ Conflict is a process that
begins when one party perceives that another party
has negatively affected, or is about to negatively
affect ,something that the first party cares about.”
• As per Newstrom & Davis “Conflict is any situation which two or
more parties feel themselves in opposition .It is an
interpersonal process that arises from disagreements over the
goals or the methods to accomplish those goals.”
On the basis of the definition we can derive various
1. Conflict arises because of incompatibility of two or more aspects
of an element : it may be goals ,interests, methods of working or
any other feature.
2. Conflicts occur when an individual is not able to choose among
the available courses of action.
3. Conflict is a dynamic process as it indicates a series of events.
4. If no one is aware of conflict ,it is generally agreed that conflict
does not exist even though there may be incompatibility in
CAUSES OF CONFLICT
1. Differing values can lead to conflicts.
2. Making assumptions can lead to conflicts.
3. Differing expectations can lead to conflict.
4. Differences in the way you were brought
up can result in conflict.
• 5. Knowledge and ability to deal with conflict
can result in conflict.
Types of Conflicts
1. Each conflict begins with latent(hidden)
2. In this stage the conflict has not taken a
shape, therefore it is not noticeable.
3. It may occur in subconscious mind.
• Parties to the conflict may perceive about
incompatibility of the past history of conflict ,
though sometimes this perception may be
• This stage of conflict occurs due to
misunderstanding of parties ,caused due to
lack of communication.
• At this stage parties to the conflict feel that
they have some conflict among themselves.
• Felt conflict differs from perceived conflict .
• For example inconsistency in demands from
the organization and individual needs may
create internalization of conflict situation.
• This is the stage when two parties to the conflict
show variety of conflicting behavior such as open
aggression, withdrawal etc
At this stage attempts are made to resolve the conflict
through conflict resolution mechanism.
If the conflict is resolved properly then a basis of
cooperative behavior is
Positive and Negative aspects of Conflict
• In general the opinion of common person about conflict is
negative. The reason behind this is they have seen the
conflicts between two groups in an organization.
• There are three approaches for looking at consequences of
– TRADITIONAL VIEW(-tv)
– HUMAN RELATIONS VIEW (natural)
– INTERACTIONIST VIEW (+tv) /Modern approach
HUMAN RELATIONS VIEW
Conflict in the
Treats conflicts as Beliefs that
conflict is not
taken negatively. phenomenon
only a positive
force but also
necessary for a
group to perform
• Whenever Conflict arise ,these have to be resolved by some
specific actions known as Conflict Resolutions Actions. Some
major action of conflict resolution take place in the following
1. Problem Solving
1. Problem Solving
• It is the most positive technique because it
emphasizes the attaining of the common
interests of both conflicting parties.
• Questions of who is right or wrong is usually
avoided but sharing and communicating are
required in order to find areas of common
• This technique is applied when conflict is based
• In this technique the parties in the conflict are
suggested to withdraw or conceal the
• This method is more correctly for avoiding
conflicts rather than solving the actual
• It is a process of playing down differences that
exist between individuals or groups
emphasizing common interests.
• Differences are suppressed and similarities are
accentuated or highlighted in smoothing process.
• This is also not a long term solution for the
• It is a well accepted technique for resolving conflicts.
• There is neither a looser or a winner.
• In this method the external or third party intervention
• A compromise achieve by third party intervention is
called as MEDIATION and without the intervention of
the external parties is called as BARGAINING.
• This is an effective method to solve conflict between
management and workers.
• If the parties takes a rigid stand then the methods
discussed above may not bring resolution of
conflict between parties.
• In such case the parties are left to confrontation
to settle the conflict themselves.
• The parties concerned may settle their score by
applying their strength against each other.