Work Place Conflict

Topics: Conflict, Dispute resolution, Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument Pages: 42 (8672 words) Published: January 1, 2013


“Workplace Conflicts and Resolution Mechanisms”

We know that resources get dissipated a lot in unwarranted directions, and sometimes conflicts are known to become one such reason. Conflicts beyond reasonable levels seem to be the major source of wastage of valuable resources in many ways.

1. Workplace Conflict

Workplace conflict is a type of conflict that occurs in workplaces. The conflicts that arise in workplaces may be shaped by the unique aspects of the work environment, like the long hours many people spend at their workplace, the hierarchical structure of the organization, and the difficulties (e.g. financial consequences) that may be involved in switching to a different workplace. Causes for workplace conflict can be personality or style differences and personal problems such as substance abuse, childcare issues, and family problems. Organizational factors such as leadership, management, budget, and disagreement about core values can also contribute.

Workplace conflicts cannot be termed as destructive all the time. Conflict that occurs in organizations need not be destructive, provided the energy associated with conflict is harnessed and directed towards problem-solving and organizational improvement. However, managing conflict effectively requires that all parties understand the nature of conflict in the workplace.

2. Resolution Mechanism

Conflict resolution is any reduction in the severity of a conflict. It may involve conflict management, in which the parties continue the conflict but adopt less extreme tactics; settlement, in which they reach agreement on enough issues that the conflict stops; or removal of the underlying causes of the conflict. Settlements sometimes end a conflict for good, but when there are deeper issues—such as value clashes among people who must work together, distressed relationships, or mistreated members of one’s ethnic group across a border—settlements are often temporary.

A resolution mechanism is a means by which the parties in conflict tend to resolve their issues and problems. Based on whichever mechanism the parties in conflict tend to use, the conflicts can be either destructive or constructive for the organization and its employees.

3. Types of Conflicts

Conflicts can be classified either as constructive or destructive in nature, based on the impact (Positive Vs Negative) they create on the organization and its people.

2 Constructive conflicts:

Constructive conflict can increase the involvement of employees, open up discussions, increase clarification, identify alternative results in a solution, and help in release of pent-up emotions, anxieties, and stress.

1. Destructive Conflicts

Destructive conflicts/Non-productive conflicts keep returning; become an obstacle in reaching common goals of the company and its people, become a stumbling block in continuing work, disrupt healthy work relations, destroys moral of individuals and groups.

4. Types of Resolution Mechanisms
Resolution mechanism or a person’s behaviour in a conflict situation can be described along two basic dimensions: (1) assertiveness, the extent to which the individual attempts to satisfy his or her own concerns, and (2) cooperativeness, the extent to which the individual attempts to satisfy the other person’s concerns.

Based on this there can be as many as 5 resolution mechanisms a person may opt to use in a conflict situation.

1. Competing

Competing is assertive and uncooperative, a power-oriented mode. When competing, an individual pursues his or her own concerns at the other person’s expense, using whatever power seems appropriate to win his or her position. Competing might mean standing up for your rights, defending a position you believe is correct, or simply trying to win.

2. Collaborating...
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