Why does conflict arise in organizations, and how it can be managed ABSTRACT This essay seeks to illustrate how organizational conflict cannot be avoided. It will demonstrate the various ways….
The Effect of Conflict Towards Performance
INTRODUCTION Businesses nowadays are operating in a turbulent environment where organisations are searching for measures that will allow them to improve their performance and competitiveness (Dodd, 2003). Conflict is generally regarded as disagreement regarding interests or ideas (Esquivel and Kleiner, 1997). In addition organisational conflict is regarded as the discord that occurs when the goals, interests or values of different individuals or groups are incompatible with those of individuals or groups block or frustrate each others in an attempt to achieve their objectives.
Conflict are inevitable part of organisational life since the goals of different stakeholders such as managers and staff are often incompatible (Jones et al. , 2000). Besides that, Loomis and Loomis (1965) argue that Conflict is an ever-present process in human relations. That is why various organisations have changed their approaches to enable them to manage their organisations effectively to avoid conflicts at all costs. Conflict is a fact of life in any organisations as longer as people compete for jobs, resources, power, recognition and security.
In addition, dealing with conflicts is a great challenge to management (Adomi and Anie, 2005). Conflicts commonly arise when employees interact in organisations and compete for scarce resources. Employees in various organisations are organized into manageable groups in order to achieve common goal, therefore, the probability of conflicts to arise is very high. Nowadays, most serious conflicts make headlines in the newspapers, which might affect the public image of the company. Conflicts have both negative and positive outcomes to the individual employees and the organization at large.
There is no one source of conflicts which occurs in organisations at all levels of management (Barker et al. , 1987). In social life, conflicts do occur but they are managed by family members, friends and relatives. The same case applies to organisations, when conflicts arise; it needs to be resolved by management for the sake of the organisational growth, survival and enhance performance. However, conflicts are rarely resolved easily, to a certain extend most conflicts are managed, as individuals work out differences (Barker et al. , 1987).
Conflict can occur within groups (intra-group conflict) or among groups (inter-group conflict). Therefore, the main aim of this study is to examine the effects of organizational conflicts towards organizational performance. It specifically tries to examine in detail, the causes, types, effects and recommend various strategies on how to resolve organizational conflicts to enhance organizational performance. WHAT IS ORGANIZATIONAL CONFLICT? ‘A condition between or among workers whose jobs are interdependent, who feel angry, who perceive the other(s) as being at fault, and who act in ways that cause a business problem. (Dana, D. 2001) Interdependency – each party needs something from the other and are vulnerable if they don’t get it Feeling Angry – people are emotionally upset – anger is not always visible – some people will hide their anger with a veneer of politeness – however, Dana suggests that the emotion we all know as anger is always present when there is a conflict. Blaming Each Other – each party sees the other as being at fault often moving from the immediate workplace issue into personal issues Causing a Business Problem – How is the conflict impacting on job performance? if it is not then it does not fall within the definition of workplace conflict. This definition includes emotions, thoughts and behaviors – psychologists consider these three the only dimensions of human experience. So conflict is rooted in all parts of our human experience. Factors of conflict in organization 1. Managerial Expectations – it is job of an employee to meet the expectations of his manager, but if those expectations is misunderstood, conflict can arise. 2. Breakdown in Communication If a department requires information from another department in order to its job, and the second department does not respond to the request this is will lead to conflict to arise. 3. Misunderstanding the information Internal conflict can sometimes arise as the result of a simple misunderstanding. One person may misunderstand information, and that can trigger a series of conflict. 4. Lack of accountability Organization conflict might arise from frustration. One source of frustration is a lack of accountability.
If something has gone wrong, and no one is willing to take responsibility for the problem, this lack of accountability can start to permeate throughout the entire company until the issue is resolved. Factors of conflict in employee 1. Differing values Some employees have strong beliefs, which they are not willing to compromise. These beliefs can conflict with coworkers’, creating conflict. 2. Opposing interest When an employee decides to pursue her own career goal, without regard for the organizational goal and its well- being, it result in strife among coworkers. 3. Personality Conflicts
One employee may have a reserved a personality while another may be more outgoing and forward. Problem arises when the two do not understand or respect each others’ inner nature. 4. Personal problems If the employee has problems outside the workplace, such as marital or parental issues, she may take them to work with her. Positive And Negative Effects Of Conflict It is often assumed that all conflict is bad for the organisation, however if managed effectively, conflict can bring benefits: Potential Positive Effects * Better ideas produced * People forced to search for new approaches Long standing problems brought to the surface and resolved * Clarification of individual views * Stimulation of interest and creativity * A chance for people to test their capacities Potential Negative Effects * Some people feel defeated and demeaned * The distance between people increased * A climate of mistrust and suspicion developed * Individuals and groups concentrate on their own narrow interests * Resistance developed rather than teamwork * An increase in employee turnover Models Of Conflict Management There have been many styles of conflict management behavior that have been researched in the past century.
One of the earliest, Mary Parker Follett (1926/1940) found that conflict was managed by individuals in three main ways: domination, compromise, and integration. She also found other ways of handling conflict that were employed by organizations, such as avoidance and suppression. Early Conflict Management Models Blake and Mouton (1964) were among the first to present a conceptual scheme for classifying the modes (styles) for handling interpersonal conflicts into five types: forcing, withdrawing, smoothing, compromising, and problem solving.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s, researchers began using the intentions of the parties involved to classify the styles of conflict management that they would include in their models. Both Thomas (1976) and Pruitt (1983) put forth a model based on the concerns of the parties involved in the conflict. The combination of the parties concern for their own interests (i. e. assertiveness) and their concern for the interests of those across the table (i. e. cooperativeness) would yield a particular conflict management style.
Pruitt called these styles yielding (low assertiveness/high cooperativeness), problem solving (high assertiveness/high cooperativeness), inaction (low assertiveness/low cooperativeness), and contending (high assertiveness/low cooperativeness). Pruitt argues that problem-solving is the preferred method when seeking mutually beneficial options. Khun and Poole’s Model Khun and Poole (2000) established a similar system of group conflict management. In their system, they split Kozan’s confrontational model into two sub models: distributive and integrative. Distributive – Here conflict is approached as a distribution of a fixed amount of positive outcomes or resources, where one side will end up winning and the other losing, even if they do win some concessions. * Integrative – Groups utilizing the integrative model see conflict as a chance to integrate the needs and concerns of both groups and make the best outcome possible. This model has a heavier emphasis on compromise than the distributive model. Khun and Poole found that the integrative model resulted in consistently better task related outcomes than those using the distributive model.
DeChurch and Marks’s Meta-Taxonomy Model DeChurch and Marks (2001) examined the literature available on conflict management at the time and established what they claimed was a “meta-taxonomy” that encompasses all other models. They argued that all other styles have inherent in them into two dimensions – activeness (“the extent to which conflict behaviors make a responsive and direct rather than inert and indirect impression”) and agreeableness (“the extent to which conflict behaviors make a pleasant and relaxed rather than unpleasant and strainful impression”).
High activeness is characterized by openly discussing differences of opinion while fully going after their own interest. High agreeableness is characterized by attempting to satisfy all parties involved In the study they conducted to validate this division, activeness did not have a significant effect on the effectiveness of conflict resolution, but the agreeableness of the conflict management style, whatever it was, did in fact have a positive impact on how groups felt about the way the conflict was managed, regardless of the outcome. CONFLICT CONTROL
STRATEGY| POSSIBLE ACTIONS| EXAMPLES| Avoidance| Avoid situations where conflict occurs; reduce triggering events; cooling off periods| Reduce contact between the parties; set up system for dealing with conflict subjects; adjourn meetings| Alteration| Change the form or place of the conflict| Agree not to argue in front of others, or to criticise each other without making a positive suggestion; meet before conflict situations to resolve problems| Feedback| Help parties to understand how others are affected| Other people are upset; team s losing resources or cooperation from others; loss of dignity| Help With Consequences| Provide support, more rest, more thinking time| Neutral person to listen to stressed people; time off; more social events; encourage getting away from the office at lunch time; discourage overwork| Suggestions To Overcome Conflict Management. There are many ways to overcome this problem. Here are some suggestions and tips to manage and cope with the conflict management towards organization. * Build a certain and good communication. * As we know communication is a process of interact between one person to another.
Communication is a tool to convey a message. A good communication can avoid misunderstanding and uncertain information and can directly solve any problem wisely. All person in any organization must know how to build a good communication and know how to react with any problem to a void conflict. If there is something that they might in argue or disagree they have to sit together and come out with a best solution that everyone satisfied. * Don’t ignore conflict. * Conflict in organization can lead a positive outcomes too. Each person in any organization must take a fairly solution and never avoid and ignore the conflict.
It is very essential because it can avoid the problem become twice and become bigger and bigger. Conflict might happen in any organization because each person have a different opinion, goals, value and belief. So, everyone must support and help each other to cope the conflict in order to achieve a common goal in the organization. * Have an own conflict management skills. * Skills such us know how negotiate and know how to minimized anger can help and enhance the effectiveness of good working environment. This will make everyone in the organization can achieve a joyful in a workplace.
The way everyone carry themselves in the work place can avoid a conflict and misunderstanding between each other. Everyone in any organization must have their own conflict management skills so that every single problem can be solve and minimized easily. Four ways towards organizational performance 1. PM focuses on results, rather than behaviors and activities A common misconception among supervisors is that behaviors and activities are the same as results. Thus, an employee may appear extremely busy, but not be contributing at all toward the goals of the organization.
An example is the employee who manually reviews completion of every form and procedure, rather than supporting automation of the review. The supervisor may conclude the employee is very committed to the organization and works very hard, thus, deserving a very high performance rating. 2. Aligns organizational activities and processes to the goals of the organization PM identifies organizational goals, results needed to achieve those goals, measures of effectiveness or efficiency (outcomes) toward the goals, and means (drivers) to achieve the goals.
This chain of measurements is examined to ensure alignment with overall results of the organization. 3. Cultivates a system-wide, long-term view of the organization. Richard A. Swanson, in Performance Improvement Theory and Practice (Advances in Developing Human Resources, 1, 1999), explains an effective performance improvement process must follow a systems-based approach while looking at outcomes and drivers. Otherwise, the effort produces a flawed picture. For example, laying off people will likely produce short-term profits.
However, the organization may eventually experience reduced productivity, resulting in long-term profit loss. 4. Produces meaningful measurements These measurements have a wide variety of useful applications. They are useful in benchmarking, or setting standards for comparison with best practices in other organizations. They provide consistent basis for comparison during internal change efforts. They indicate results during improvement efforts, such as employee training, management development, quality programs, etc. They help ensure equitable and fair treatment to employees based on performance.