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Types of Conflict in the Work Environment

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Organisations
Wordcount: 2064 words Published: 18th May 2020

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Discuss the challenges and benefits of conflict with reference to your imaginary organisation.

Conflict is a clash or disagreement of interests between one’s self, two people or a group. The basis of conflict may vary but it is a normal part of everyday living. Conflict can be caused due to culture, race, class, political views or personal views etc.

Conflict is a normal part of human interaction and is expected to be seen throughout all organisations and workplace, but it is what we choose to do about it when it occurs that is important.

Conflict can be damaging and it’s not unusual for people to avoid it or try to resolve it. Although when conflict is dealt with accordingly and handled in a proper manner it can strengthen a workplace and help bring people together to gain a better understanding of other views, opinions and perceptions.

Understanding and managing conflict can help lead to improved and positive outcomes and lead to job satisfaction and improve relationships throughout an organisation.

Bullying behaviour and conflict are not related and bullying should not be tolerated under any circumstances. Bullying is damaging and destructive to one’s self, others and an organisation.

At the end of the day conflict is inevitable and depending on how it is managed it can either result with negative outcomes being diminished where outcomes can be resolved, and a better understanding of different ways conflict can emerge and how it can intern be resolved.

There are several types of conflict, below I will talk about three of the main types of conflict and these being relationship conflict, value conflict and interest conflict.

Relationship conflict: this conflict is personal perspective and can arise when one behaves inappropriately or in a negative manner or when another has based their perception of someone on things such as stereotype or a rumour. Without resolution relationships are negatively affected.

Value conflict: Two people or groups have different views or morals of what is considered to be right or wrong. Value and relationship conflict are mostly subjective due to it being based on what an individual feel about a situation or a particular person.

Interest conflict: One person’s outcome is in conflict with another individual or group. If someone feels their outcome or interest won’t be met. This type of conflict requires the individuals involved to work as part of a team.

Examples of poorly resolved conflict can include resentment, unresolved issues and low productivity whereas examples of conflict that has been handled effectively can include a relaxed atmosphere, empowerment, improved communication and a sense of achievement.

When we learn to handle conflict in a constructive manner we can appreciate that having a disagreement is not always a negative or bad thing, conflict can lead to resolution and help create healthy new ideas and opinions.

Conflict is a natural part of everyday living for individuals and without it we wouldn’t be able to challenge one another to do better. More so than not it isn’t about the conflict being the issue/problem itself it’s how we choose to handle it that brings out the negative and intern makes for damaged relationships.

Culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, knowledge (general and situational) and previous experiences. These factors mentioned (alongside others) contrive to frame the perceptual channels through which we experience conflict. Accordingly, our responses to the danger and issues presented by conflict ought to be foreseen to incorporate shifting understandings of the circumstance. This likewise implies we can envision that in numerous conflicts there will be misunderstandings and noteworthy misconception of one another’s observations, needs and feelings. These difficulties add challenges to our developing sense, during conflict, that the circumstance is overpowering and unsolvable. All things considered, they become basic wellsprings of potential knowledge, understanding and probability.

An article by Bacal, R. (2004), describes organisational conflict in three stages being, the good the bad and the ugly.

Conflict that happens in organisations need not be damaging, furnished the vitality related with conflict is outfit and coordinated toward critical thinking and authoritative improvement. In any case, overseeing struggle adequately necessitates that all gatherings comprehend the idea of contention in the working environment. The dysfunctional perspective on authoritative conflict is installed in the idea that associations are intended to accomplish objectives by making structures that define work duties, experts, and other occupation capacities. The functional perspective on organisational conflict considers struggle to be a beneficial power, one that can animate individuals from the association to build their insight and skills, just as their commitments to hierarchical development and efficiency. The ugly happens when the administrator (and maybe workers) Endeavor to dispose of or smother struggle in circumstances where it is difficult to do as such.

The good

The useful perspective on hierarchical conflict considers conflict to be a beneficial power, one that can animate individuals from the association to build their insight and abilities, just as their commitments to authoritative advancement and efficiency. Not at all like the position referenced over, this progressively present-day approach thinks about that the keys to association achievement lie not in structure, clearness, and deliberateness, however in inventiveness, responsiveness, and versatility. The effective association, at that point, needs strife with the goal that veering perspectives are put on the table and better approaches for doing things are made.

The bad

This perspective on associations and conflict causes issues. Tragically, the vast majority of us, intentionally or unknowingly, esteem a portion of the qualities of this “precise” condition. Issues emerge when we don’t understand that along these lines of taking a gander at associations and strife just fits associations that work in routine ways where development and change are for all intents and purposes killed. Practically all administration associations work in a confused setting one described by consistent change and a requirement for continuous adjustment. Attempting to “structure away” conflict and difference in a unique domain requires huge measures of vitality and furthermore stifles any positive results that may emerge from contradiction, for example, improved basic leadership and advancement.

The ugly

At the point when the ugly happens in associations, there is a propensity to look to the administrator or manager as the one in charge of the chaos. Indeed, that is the means by which most workers take a gander at the circumstance. The facts demonstrate that directors and chiefs assume basic jobs in deciding how strife is dealt with in the association, however it is likewise evident that the shirking of offensiveness must be a mutual obligation. The executives and representatives must cooperate in a helpful manner to lessen the ugly and improve the probability of diverting that contention into a viable power for change.

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The idea that we ought to stay away from conflict is one of the real supporters of the development of destructive conflict in the work environment. The awful perspective on conflict is related with a dream of authoritative viability that is never again substantial (and maybe never was). You can direct conflict and oversee it with the goal that it makes the two individuals and associations develop, advance, and improve; notwithstanding, this necessitates conflict isn’t curbed in light of the fact that endeavours to repress it are probably going to produce revolting circumstances. Normal constraint systems to stay away from are nonaction, authoritative circling, mystery, and lawfulness.

Kelly, D. (2014) states Social workers and medical professionals constantly work in places where conflict is predominant regularly. However, there is little research in regard to the advantages, difficulties, and professional improvements related with these professionals being prepared in conflict and mediation. In any case, there is literature with respect to the value of conflict and mediation resolution, using an exploratory, subjective, semi-structure meeting process, various advantages, difficulties, and specialist enhancements are distinguished in this investigation.

In regards, social workers and medical professionals have consistently been about conflict and settling and resolving the struggle. As compromise and resolution are the centre competency in social work and thinking about that intercession/compromise is a developing field, investigating the advantages, difficulties and expert upgrades related with preparing in the field is judicious. This investigation investigates intervention, mediation and compromise in their professions and reviews literature with respect to the topic, clarifies the philosophy for the examination, and gives information examination. Furthermore, this examination clarifies the discoveries, offers dialog and discussion, and finishes up on the side of support for the professional preparing in conflict mediation and resolution.

The advantages of conflict

The best way to maintain a strategic distance from conflict in your typical association/organisation is to stay away from new development, improvement or extension. As top directors and managers figure systems and start to formulate strategies, it is normal for them to distinguish and discuss various dreams and visions plus ways to deal with accomplish objectives. conflict in discussions and work group cooperation adds to more prominent advancement and innovative improvement. Positive conflict that emerges over the span of work group discussions additionally demonstrates that your business condition cultivates differing points of view. As representatives set forth and discussion the benefits of different thoughts, they consult through conflict to put forward the best goals and resolutions.

Disadvantages of conflict

The downsides of conflict frequently come from a hierarchical culture or specialist attitude that prevents effective goals and resolution. Heated conflict can arise due to individual reason distressing working connections.  this can become problematic when representatives in a group don’t care for one another. Individual clashes and conflict in work groups impede synergistic correspondence, and the pressure can divert employees from completing his job ideally.

Conflict is something that all organisations are faced with and cannot avoid. Understanding and managing conflict can help lead to improved and positive outcomes and lead to job satisfaction and improve relationships throughout an organisation. Conflict is a normal part of human interaction and is expected to be seen throughout all organisations and workplace, but it is what we choose to do about it when it occurs that is important.


  • Bacal, R. (2004). Organizational Conflict-The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The Journal for Quality and Participation, 27(2), 21-22.
  • Lewicki, R., & Spencer, G. (1992). Conflict and negotiation in organizations: Introduction and overview. Journal of Organizational Behavior (1986-1998), 13(3), 205. doi:10.1002/job.4030130302
  • Kelly, D. (2014). Social work mediation/conflict resolution: The benefits, challenges, and practitioner improvements associated with the use of mediation/conflict resolution in social work practice. In R. Hoefer, R. Hegar, & L. Watson (Eds.): ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.


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