Managing Conflict in the Workplace

Topics: Conflict, Management, Game theory Pages: 4 (997 words) Published: June 10, 2013
Understanding conflict management in the workplace-

Cause and Effects of conflict

In my current job role I have experienced a conflict situation first hand. The company went through a redundancy process due to a reduction in demand for our products because of the recession.

Emergence

Emergence is when the conditions for conflict arise and a potential conflict becomes one. In Robbins' organizational context, this is divided into two sequential stages. It starts with "potential opposition or incompatibility," what Brahm and Kriesberg call "latent conflict," when the opportunity for conflict is ripe, due to schisms in communication, action or personal issues. If one party is negatively affected by these conditions enough to respond to them, the conflict actualises into what Robbins calls the "cognition and personalisation" stage.

This initially started when there was talk within the teams on the shop floor that the company was not receiving enough orders. Nothing specifically had happened but the team was aware of some tensions and that something was “not right”. At this point in time nothing was done differently and all staff continued within their day to day work with a reduced work load. Over the following weeks several team briefing sessions were held with the team where management informed the team that they would be looking at putting the workforce on a four day working week due to the reduction in orders received by the company. Staff was also informed that they would only be paid for the four days that they were working. The management team sold this to the staff as a temporary measure and staff were under the impression that this would be for 2-3 weeks at the most.

Escalation

In this stage, the conflict escalates as both parties perceive the other's intentions, either correctly or, as is often the case, erroneously. This is the stage where the parties involved begin exhibiting behaviours in direct opposition to the opponent's perceived...
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