Conflict Identification and Resolution

Topics: Management, Conflict, Dispute resolution Pages: 5 (1690 words) Published: December 22, 2014


Conflict Identification and Resolution
Mia A. Rapier
BUS 610: Organizational Behavior
Dr. Anthony Trotta
September 28, 2014

Conflict is part of our human disposition; consequently, it is customary within organizations. “Left unanalyzed and unchecked, it can be a destructive force that consumes time, money and human resources. Learning the various ways that people resolve conflict and expanding their conflict resolution styles can lead to better results” (Sadri, 2012). Within organizations employees have personal beliefs, styles and attitudes, and backgrounds that at times can cause disagreements, inconsistencies and ultimately, conflict. It is the intent of this paper to examine the archetype of conflict as an organizational behavior, while also introducing resolution concepts. This paper will assess the components of conflict by analyzing a conventional organizational dispute while highlighting the sources and level of conflict, and describing the necessary steps for conflict resolution.

Within the framework of organizational behavior, conflict “may be defined as a circumstance in which one party negatively affects or seeks to negatively affect another party” (Baack, 2012). Within an organization conflict can assume two forms, functional and dysfunctional. Functional conflict is ultimately for the benefit of a company and it “occurs when the organization's interests are served in some way, such as improvement in performance or greater cooperation among individuals or groups. Functional conflict is also called constructive, or cooperative, conflict” (Baack, 2012). This sort of conflict can aid an organization and strengthen cohesiveness among employees by working to promote the company by including the input of various staff members thus, making employees feel a sense of gratification and accord. Dysfunctional conflict within an organization is the polar opposite; this sort of conflict pursues arguments and dispute to tear down the ideas and motives of others while singlehandedly damaging the bottom-line of an organization. Three categories of dysfunctional conflict have been identified: task conflict (disagreement about the type of work that should be performed and goals), relationship conflict (relational disputes), and process conflict (disagreement about means of doing a job or performing tasks) (Baack, 2012).

Not all conflicts are created equally and as a result, when dealing with organizational conflict it is important to understand what sort of conflict behavior is being demonstrated. According to the text Organizational Behavior (2012), the four levels of conflict are as follows: intrapersonal, or intrapsychic, conflict; interpersonal conflict; intragroup conflict; and intergroup conflict. By having an understanding of these different types of conflict organizational management will best be able to offer resolution. Intrapersonal conflict happens within an individual and is characterized by “ideas, thoughts, values, and emotions [that] conflict with one another. [i.e.], selling a product that you do not think has sufficient quality may create an intrapsychic conflict when you…recognize the need to make sales and generate personal income” (Baack, 2012). Interpersonal conflict is conflict between two or more people and within a work environment this conflict can include everything from racial and gender slurs to sexually inappropriate comments, even rejection and ridicule based on sexual preference.

Intragroup conflict refers to disagreements between members of a group. Within an organization intragroup conflict could exist between employees working as a team or in groups, people who have the same work objective and work closely together, but face conflict as the result of differing goals, leadership responsibilities, or methods of operation (Baack, 2012). Intergroup conflict takes place between workplace group or team members, employees tasked with working on...
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