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Workplace Conflict Causes Effects And Solutions Management Essay

2349 words (9 pages) Essay in Management

5/12/16 Management Reference this

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Explaining what caused conflict at workplace, the effects that contribute conflict to the employees, employers and products and the answer to solve that caused the conflict at workplace. The causes of the workplace conflict will be effected and lead to negative emotion and fairness issue that occur during the conflict. The solution to this problem may resolve through several method or technique which is by individual within organization and outside the organization environment. There are third party intervention, emotional intelligence, anger management and one on one intervention. Conclusion.

End products of organization are very depending on the relationship between employees and top management. This relationship sometimes can effect to the performance and the productivity of the employees. According to Pech (2009), employees always refuse to give cooperation or to share information on their working environment to their managers. The lack of relationship between employees and top management lead to the sense of demotivation and vulnerability.

However to Suliman & Abdulla (2005) taken from Shneider (1975) stated that, work climate is one of the most important to attract the organizational attention. Furthermore, the work climate involve in the productivity and the performance of employees where lead to performance equal ability. It is so different back to decades ago when nowadays work climate is important because the external and internal of working environment in the organization are less stable and predictable then decades ago.

Slightly different, Tyler (2010) stated that there is a lot workplace conflict and it is like a hostile work environment. The conflict might involve the staff members which is the employees and not residents. This combination will contribute to some mistrust and disrespect with a lot of rumors. In order word, workplace conflict will always occur is either between within the organization or outside the organization.

Explaining a differ from others, Ayoko (2007) stated that, various workgroups cause several challenges which involve manager must be capable to ‘served’ huge character differences among their workers for productivity. This brings to the perception that manager could be prejudices, biases and stereotypes to different workers or favorite workers. It is started from various groups of characters which involve manager perception toward them and end to conflict where lead to dissatisfy of workers.

Workplace conflict is just not involving the person to person interferes but also interact with the workers emotions. As cited by Bagshaw (2000) stated that, emotion can bring great energy and very depending whether it is negative or positive emotions. The negative emotion lead to the negative energy and positive emotion create positive energy. Positive energy will or might help balance to the workers in the working daily basis and will effect to the workers’ performance. However, if the negative energy will encourage the working environment into tight situation such as anger and resentment and contribute to the discomfort between collogues.

Based on research done by Yuan (2010), workplace place conflict can be caused by the poor performance of international companies can often be happen based on misunderstandings such as due to language barriers, cultural differences, cultural prejudices and stereotypes, the potential for conflict in culturally diverse workgroups is greater than culturally homogeneous workgroups. If it is not well managed that conflicts may result in mistrust, lack of cooperation, stress, low organizational commitment and high turnover rates.

Proposed by Jong & Hartog (2007) stated that, one way for organizations to become more innovative is to capitalize on their employees’ ability to innovate. Employees have become more knowledge based and less strictly defined. In this context, employees can help to improve business performance through their abilities and skills to generate ideas and use these as advantages for new and better products, services and working processes. There are so many practitioners and academics now support the view that individual innovation helps to achieve organizational success.

Defining Workplace Conflict

Ayoko & Pekerti (2008) defined conflict as the perceived incompatibility by parties of the views and desire that each holds. Based on this research, conflict has been categorized into three categories. There are tasks conflict, relationship conflict and process conflict.

As stated by Behren (2007), workplace conflict defined as its cost as troublemaking and dysfunctional and suggested that it eventually led to the fall down of society from inside. This dominant current of structural functionalism, however, with its far-reaching assumptions about integration and consensus, was soon challenged.

According to Yuan (2010) which is taken from Putnam and Poole (1987) defined conflict as the interface of interdependent people who recognize opposition of goals, aims or values and who see the other party as potentially interfering with the realization of these goals which is predictable in every an organization.

With much clearer form of definition, Academic Leadership support (n.d) defined conflict as a disagreement where there is some level of difference in the positions of the two parties involved such as work team, family and company are influenced to participate in the dispute in the conflict through which the parties involved perceive a threat to their needs, interests or concerns.

Types of Workplace Conflict

In working environment workplace conflict will occur any time, any situation or will involve top or lower management. Employees of that organization are going to face various types of conflict in the workplace as stated by Leadership and Motivation Training (2010):

Interdependence Conflicts

Definition: A person’s job depends on someone else’s co-operation is either output or input.

Example: A sales-person is constantly late inputting the monthly sales figures which causes the accountant to be late with her reports.

Differences in Style 

Definition: People’s style for completing a job can differ. 

Example: One person may just want to get the work done quickly or task oriented, while another is more worried about having it done a particular way.

Differences in Background or Gender

Definition: Conflicts can arise between people because of differences in educational backgrounds, personal experiences, ethnic heritage, gender and political preferences.

Example: Ability or skills that someone has which can be differ according to gender in term of energy.

Differences in Leadership

Definition: Leaders have different styles. Employees who change from one supervisor to another supervisor can become confused.

Example: Leader may be more open minded and inclusive at the same time as other leader may be more directives or demanding.

Differences in Personality

Definition: These types of conflict in the workplace are often affected by emotion and perceptions about someone else’s motives and characters.

Example: Team leader make assumption on someone for being late because the workers perceives the team member as being lazy and inconsiderate.

Causes and Effects

There are three patterns of conflicts in organization. Mentioned by Behrens (2007), first pattern is informal conflicts which is the less well-established argument that are usually carried out by informal groups or a conflict is the rejection of certain supervisors. Second pattern is redirected conflict which is manifest themselves as seemingly purely individual behaviors, which result from social tensions such as high turnover or sick leave rates and lastly is manifest conflicts an organized conflicts between labor market parties within the workplace.

Fight and Flight

Every organization environment there must a competition between employees in order to tackle the top management so that they will be rewarded based on the performance. As stated by McGrane, Wilson & Commock (2005), fighting in an organization happen and every employees involves in the ‘fighting’ situation are aiming to win but there will be only one winner in every competition. The winner of competition will not effect but it will affect the loser of the game or competition. If the loser cannot accept the result of the competition, it will create conflict between the employees and top management.

Mention further by McGrane, Wilson & Commock (2005) explain that flight is occurs by avoiding an issue or transferring away from a problem. Avoidance to solve does not resolve a dispute as the issue remains unaddressed. Dispute or conflict occurs because of the avoidance a problem can change from small problem to big problem. The ‘unfinished business’ within the employees in an organization create an environment that leads to uncomfortable situation. The unfinished business referring to the avoidance of problem or conflict.


Trust is part that needs to be creating in the working environment in order to develop better performance in the daily basis of working environment. In a study done by Pech (2009) stated that, there are two divisions of trust which are social trust and instrumental trust. Explained further, instrumental trust relay to the faith placed in individuals due to their positions within the community. However, social trust is much more unclear than instrumental trust as it is rarely worried with ability and logicality, but relating to motives of the individual. It is believed that, social trust that is most plays a large role in organizational ‘politics’ and its absence is a contributing factor to employee disengagement.

According to Dietz & Hartog (2006) which is taken from Boon & Hosmes (1991) defined trust as a state involving confident positive expectations about another’s motives with respect to oneself in situations entailing risk. As mentioned by Dietz & Hartog (2006), the biggest challenge facing in organization is trust and that a great deal is involved in the process of party A which is the trustor in trusting party B which is the trustee. This take two different person to believe to each other in order to fulfill the requirement of certain job assign by the organization.

In the environment of workplace, trust is referring to the positive expectations individuals have about the intent and behaviors of multiple organizational members based on organizational roles, relationships, experiences and interdependencies as explain in studied completed by Ayoko & Pekerti (2008). In other words, trust take into place in every single employees’ perception to other employees that have same positive interest regarding on the organization’s business processes.

Trust can make the organization’s world go round. The word trust is simple and straightforward which will be determined the businesses run based on relationships within the people in the organization and trust is necessary to the health and well being of relationships, trusting workers are by and large happy workers as supported by Berens (2006). On the other hand, when trust has been violated or compromised, employees may react in any number of negative ways such as they may quit, get angry, twist information, revengeful and in some cases the employees become violent or destructive.

Interpersonal Conflict

Acknowledged by Kidder (2007), interpersonal conflicts are a significant cause of damaged relationships at work and causing both loss of productivity and loss of employee satisfaction. The conflict also may be intentional or unintentional maybe due to a misunderstanding. Both anger and feelings of betrayal that stem from trust violations may lead individuals to wish for revenge. The level of negative emotions experienced is tied to the level of trust that existed in the relationship prior to the conflict.

Doucet, Poitras & Chenevert (2009) stated that, researchers generally conceptualize or determined interpersonal conflict as a multidimensional raise contain two main dimensions. The first dimension is related to cognitive type conflicts which incorporate them with task or job related conflicts and incompatibilities related to interests or approaches to how work should be done. The second dimension is related to relational type conflicts and considers disputes as caused by emotional incompatibilities. In addition, a studied taken from Jehn & Mannix (2001) also conceptualized the emotional dimension of conflict.

Stress and Overworks

The negative effects of stress include reduced efficiency, decreased capacity to perform, dampened initiative or a lack of concern for the organization and colleagues. As cited by Stevenson & Harper (2006) which taken from Health and Safety Executive (2004) explain that, different measures of stress are not similar and as a result it is hard to clarify, with any level of accuracy including of what movement are rising in the area of work related stress. The condition is make worse by the conflicting findings reported on stress, for example the response to stress by gender.

Stress occurs because various reasons and one of it is overload or works or overworks. Stress among workers or employess may effect the working environment and in the same time will create an ‘unhealthy’ environment. Where the ‘unhealthy’ environment refer to bad attitude and dissatisfaction of works as for example. Johnson & Indvik (2001) that in use in Moodie & Borthwick (1999) cited that, there are five causes of stress in workplace and there are:

Lack of communication

Increase workload

Job insecurity

Organizational change

Poor work organization

Johnson & Indvik (2001) cited that, factors such as economic, technological and business factor caused downsizing and the shortage of skills can contribute to the overworks or work overloads. The overwork problem has twist out of control, threatening to suck the life out of employees and employees themselves out of the workforce. Most people often to complain that lack of communication is a problem. Sometimes difficult working conditions create employees who become difficult.


Workplace conflict needs to be handling in proper way by top management, organization or even colleagues. Jeffrey et al. (2003) clarify that, adapted from the observations of an experienced mediator, can help managers who mediate workplace conflicts develop collaborative models or ways to solve organizational problems.

(Jeffrey et al. (2003). Using collaborative modeling to mediate workplace conflicts.  Equal Opportunities International, 22(5), 1-6.)

Anger Management

Strongly angry employees who need conflict management training are easy to spot. They are in constant conflict, often face disciplinary action and cause complaints by co-workers.

Third Party Intervention

Emotional Intelligence [EI]


One on One intervention [leading_employee]


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