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Workplace Conflict Essay

608 words - 3 pages

Jenn Hoffman
Human Capital
Essay #2
MGT344 Organizational Behavior
August 4, 2013

The purpose of this paper is to discuss what role conflict plays in the workplace. Conflict can be defined in a few different ways. “Conflict is an expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scare resources, and interference from others in achieving their goals” (Definition of Conflict). Conflict is bound to happen, and to occur even in the most stable companies. Conflicts can be both positive and negative influences in a workplace. Constructive conflict creates a productive and safe place. Unresolved conflicts on the other hand, creates a hostile environment leading to a reduction in productivity.
Conflict can be divided into multiple categories. Conflicts often occur when there are conflicting choices or people want different things. Changes within an organization can also create ...view middle of the document...

During a period of change it is important that managers stay positive. Good managers will explain why the change is needed and explain the benefits of the changes.
It is important to be prepared when managers expect significant changes. With a wide ranges of emotions, manages have to remain calm, be open to listening. Managers have to continue to reaffirm the reason for the change. As a manager, it is up them to play the role of counselor.
“In 1974, the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument was introduced, a conflict resolution approach based on five modes of responses or approaches” (Green, n.d.). They are avoidance, accommodation, compromise, competition, and collaboration. When a manager understands these modes they can adjust their strategy accordingly.
Avoidance does not help to solve the problem it just delays the situation. Avoidance is sometimes is a good idea when the problem is small. Accommodation is the second method. Accommodation helps focus on the current issues, putting aside differences
The third method is compromise. Compromise is where opposing parties make concessions to each other in order to peacefully resolve the issue. The fourth method is competition. Competition method is finding a way to resolve the issue other than fighting, although it often causes cooperate deteriorate. The fifth method for is collaboration, when opposing parties put aside their differences and work together.
Deciding which method to employ requires an understanding of the conflict. Conflicts can’t be resolved when the parties involved are upset. It is important to maintain control over one’s emotions when resolving any disputes.
In conclusion, conflict management is the key handling conflict. They can be resolved in a positive way or a negative way. A company can invest in their future by reducing the number of conflicts in the workplace.


Definition of Conflict. (n.d.). Retrieved July 28, 2013, from‎
Green, C. (n.d.). Five Approaches to Dealing With Conflict. Retrieved August 4, 2013, from Small Business by Demand Media:

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