Conflict in Organizations, Good or Bad

2729 Words Jan 16th, 2013 11 Pages
Conflict in organizations is not bad. Discuss.
Organizational conflict is a state of discord caused by an actual or perceived opposition of needs, values and interests between people working together. Conflict takes many forms in organizations. There is the inevitable clash between formal authority and power and those individuals and groups affected. There are disputes over how revenues should be divided, how the work should be done and how long and hard people should work (team and relationship conflict). There are jurisdictional disagreements among individuals, executives, managers, teams, departments, and between unions and management. There are subtler forms of conflict involving rivalries, jealousies, personality
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When a bad conflict worsens it becomes an ugly conflict. Ugly conflicts occurs where the manager (and perhaps employees) attempt to eliminate or suppress conflict in situations where it is impossible to do so. Ugly conflicts in organizations occur when: conflicts run for years, people have given up on resolving and addressing conflict problems, there is a good deal of private “bitching” and complaining but little attempt to fix the problem and when staff show little interest in working to achieve common goals, but spend more time and energy on protecting themselves
Under these circumstances there is a tendency to look to the manager or formal leader as being responsible for the mess. In fact, that is how most employees would look at the situation. It is true that managers and supervisors play critical roles in determining how conflict is handled in the organization, but it is also true that the avoidance of these ugly conflicts must be a shared responsibility. Management and employees must work together in a cooperative way to reduce them, and increase the likelihood that conflict can be channeled into an effective force for change. The functional (good) view of organizational conflict sees conflict as a productive force, one that can stimulate members of the organization to increase their knowledge and skills, and their contribution to organizational innovation and productivity. Unlike the position mentioned

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