Organizational conflict, also called Workplace conflicts or organizational turbulence, is an atmosphere of discord caused by the perceived or actual opposition of interests, goals, and values held by people working in the same place. Unlike interpersonal conflict, this kind of conflict is usually rooted in a particular situation or problem at work. However, it can also result from various conflicts that arise among individuals and groups within a company. The outcome of conflicts in an office can be very harmful as it might result to a negative working environment, damaged morale of employees, and even legal action or repercussions against the employer. Thus, it is imperative for managers to learn how to manage workplace conflict resolution.
There are different types of conflicts that take place in organizations, some of which are listed below. One of these is the conflict over specific goals and objectives. Workplace conflicts may arise over issues on equal opportunity or training programs, for example. When people have similar but opposite goals, they often engage in a power struggle where one another attempts to gain dominance over the other.
Another type of conflict is the conflict over directions and policies. This occurs when people are not on the same page with one another regarding how to achieve the desired results in an organization. This is usually the result of a change in the company’s direction, where a new product is implemented that differs from the previous one. Workplace conflict also occurs when people differ on how to solve problems and what to do to resolve them. Sometimes, these disagreements occur over issues such as new product development, implementation of new policies, and even how to share or distribute knowledge and skills.
Workplace conflicts also arises due to individual misunderstandings or disagreements about how to perform tasks. This could be due to differences on perceptions of a particular matter, such as whether to prioritize tasks or if a particular format should be used for meetings. Sometimes, even if people have reasonable disagreements regarding the meaning of a memo or business agreement, these disagreements are not enough to cause major problems and inhibit productivity.
Although conflicts are inevitable within every organization, there is one kind that is particularly harmful to the organization’s goals and objectives — an organizational conflict that is the result of incompatibility. Workplace conflict is one of the most common types of incompatibility, and it is commonly referred to as “divergence.” Simply put, incompatibility occurs when two or more individuals from different sets of values, aspirations, goals, or opinions try to get a piece of the action or concept they want through another group of people. This can result in two groups that don’t share basic goals, practices, or even ideas.
This form of organizational conflict is most common among managers who lack good communication skills and fail to recognize that others have different and competing interests. It also often occurs during negotiations between employees. The main cause of intra-group conflict is that an individual or couple comes into conflict with another because of their own set of beliefs, not because they hold the same views regarding how things should be done. Interpersonal conflict can lead to larger and more severe problems like sexual harassment and other kinds of workplace disputes.