Functional Conflict in the Organization

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Conflict refers to events ranging from inner turmoil produced by competing needs or desires to open violence between entire societies (Greenberg & Baron 1995). Conflict has grown to become a very imperative word in Organizations and in everyday human life, in the organization it is seen as the struggle between 2 or more people or groups in the organization, and could be functional or dysfunction. Marketing and Operations & Service departments have different responsibilities and job functions in the banking Industry, the objective of this analysis is to discuss how Oceanic bank plc (OCP), one of the top 5 banks in Nigeria that had a reputation of excellent service deliver culture, but was losing that reputation because of poor customer service and poor relationship management; achieved organizational goals through functional conflict in the Organization. Hall (1971) suggests that when properly managed, conflict may not only increase the innovation to seek solution to problems, it can often result in more creative solutions to problem solving. In the analysis, the role of management in the OCP experience will be related with various theories on functional conflict, also we will demonstrate how functional conflict was used by OCP to increase business volume, improve relationship management and on the overall achieve organizational goals and objectives. CONFLICT: VIEWS AND THEORIES.

Theorists all over, have different views on conflict. There is a school of thought that views conflict as Dysfunctional; saying that it is negative in the Organization and a sign of incomplete social structure. They propose that taskforces, committees and liaison roles are ways to manage and respond to conflict in the organization (Hatch 1997). Another group of theorist view conflict as neutral, saying that it is negative to organizational goals but it is however inevitable and that it is a part of the organization. Pondy (1967), says that conflict as neutral may be regarded as negative and dysfunctional but as a neutral condition, it’s unavoidable and should be accepted. A more recent set of theorists view conflict as functional and that it supports organizational goals and objectives. This view was promoted by the realization that conflict can stimulate innovation and adaptability in the Organization. This view of conflict challenged the assumption that organizations are or should be co-operative systems (Hatch 1997). This theory of functional conflict can be traced to Chester Barnard.

Conflict in the Organization could degenerate and affect how the conflicting groups or individuals relate, perceive and behave towards each other. It can induce a win-lose orientation (Filley 1997; Mac Callun et all 1985). This Win-Lose orientation can de-motivate employees and of course affect performance. Rifts between employees or departments within an organization if not promptly or properly managed could also lead to loss of quality employees. The negative effects may translate to poor performance of the organization. In contrast, beneficial effects of conflict are seen through consultative Interactions as well as employee to employee audits (Cosier, 1978; Schwenk, 1989; Tjosvold, 1985). The existence of conflict provided the enabling environment for people to express their opinions, and to challenge others’ ideas, beliefs, and assumptions (Baron, 1991; Cosier, 1978; Tjosvold, 1985). Accordingly, we agree that conflict is a constructive challenging of ideas, beliefs, and assumptions, respect for others’ viewpoints even when parties disagree, and consultative interactions involving useful give and take. THE OCEANIC BANK PLC EXPERIENCE.

One of Nigeria’s Top 5 banks with a strong brand name that is based on its excellent service delivery culture and prompt response to customer...
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