Conflict in the Workplace

Topics: Conflict, Behavior, The Next Phase Pages: 6 (2280 words) Published: August 19, 2013
Workplace conflict is a specific type conflict that occurs in the workplace. Conflict can arise anywhere, anytime, by any given person. Workplaces are already stressful enough before conflict contributes to its share of stress. Long hours, hierarchical structure of the organization and unrealistic expectations are just a few of a dozen of factors that help shape the conflict that arises in the workplace. There are many different types of conflict that occur in the workplace. The five most common are as follows: 1. Interdependence Conflict: A person relies on someone else’s co-operation, output, or input in order for them to get their job done. Ex: Jacob, a salesperson, is always late inputting monthly sales figures, which causes Cynthia, the accountant, to be lat with her reports. 2. Differences in Style: People’s preferred way for completing a job. Whether they’re task oriented (one who just wants to get the work done quickly; “quantity over quality”) or people oriented-one who’s more concerned that everyone has a say in how the work get done rather than just getting it done fast. People oriented tend to take time to make decisions-choosing the most effective and efficient option. 3. Difference in Background/Gender: Conflicts can arise between people because of differences in educational backgrounds, personal experiences, ethnic heritage, gender, and political preferences. 4. Differences in Leadership: Leaders also have different styles. One leader may be more open and inclusive while another may be more directive and stern. Constant change in leaders is not a good thing for employees because they can become confused about which leadership style they should follow and which ones to rebel against. 5. Personality Clashes: This is by far the most challenging and most frequent of the five. These types of conflict are often fueled by emotion and perceptions about somebody else’s motives and character. For example, Butch, the team leader, jumps on Harry’s case, a team member, for his attendance. Harry looks at this as if Butch is “out to get him” because he’s not one of his favorites. Although these are the most common type of conflict in the workplace, there are several other types not mentioned and some conflict is “specialized” to pertain specifically to certain job fields. At my current place of employment, my job is to engage and interact with clients (teenage boys ages 12-18) who have been adjudicated to the state due to negligence and/or abuse in their homes. The majority of the clients are on several medications (for ADHD, mood/sleeping disorders, depression, anxiety, etc.) and have behavior issues. Along with the clients that were sent to from the State, are boys who were sent by their parents/guardians who seek help to tame their child’s out-of-control and unacceptable behavior. Upon admission into the program, clients are assigned a therapist to track behavior patterns, set goals while in the program, and provide support and guidance to the clients to motivate them to not only successfully complete the program, but take valuable life lessons with them outside of the program that will better them in the long run. The therapist is the only one besides a doctor who has the power to increase or decrease doses of a client’s medication, and add/eliminate prescription at their discretion. Take in consideration a total of 20 boys (all on at least two prescription medications) most from different area and with different backgrounds, and expect to experience conflict on a daily basis. The stress that constant misbehaving, inappropriate language, and rebellion of rules bring to staff can sometimes be enough to make staff turn on each other. Luckily, our common interests (providing structure for the clients and setting positive examples) often keep staff-staff conflict from lasting. Listed below are a few factors that initiate client conflict at my workplace in particular: * Age: It’s typical for teenagers...

References: * Resolving Conflicts at Work ; 3rd Edition
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