Conflict: Organization and Positive Outcomes

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Positive and Negative Outcomes of Conflict
Most people tend to think that conflict is a bad thing, however, if it is managed properly positive outcomes can be produced. It can be positive when it encourages creativity, new looks at old conditions, the clarification of points of view, and the development of human capabilities to handle interpersonal differences. Conflict can be negative when it creates resistance to change, establishes chaos in organizations or interpersonal relations, fosters distrust and builds a feeling of defeat. Firms try as much as possible to reduce conflict in an organistion, since the outcome in most cases tend to inhibit productivity. According to Schmidt, Conflict consists of both positive and negative outcomes. Some of the positive outcomes of conflict are that better ideas are produced by interacting and sharing of thoughts also to new approaches are arrived at, individual views are clarified by being open, long standing problems are brought to the surface and resolved by having good communication and understanding, creativity and interest are increased by compiling ideas and interests, and ones capacity can be tested. Likewise negative outcomes of conflict are that people tend to feel defeated and humiliated, distance between people is increased because of intimidation, a climate of mistrust and suspicion is developed, individuals and groups concentrate on their own narrow interests and forget what is really important, and resistance is developed rather than teamwork which means that there is no co operation with employees working as a unit, and lastly an increase of employee turnover which is the increase in the amount of people leaving the firm.

Townsend sees conflict as a sign of a healthy organization –up to a point. “A good manager doesn’t try to eliminate conflict; he tries to keep it from wasting the energies of his people…If you’re the boss and your people fight you openly when they think you’re wrong – that’s healthy. If...
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