Conflict Management and Policy Recommendations
In the corporate sector, communication is essential for running a successful operation. External communication is directed at actors in the organization’s environment, and internal communication, which is focused on personnel, occurs in any organization. Furthermore, it is inconceivable to imagine a corporate communication system devoid of conflict. Since people have various opinions, conflicts are unavoidable in any organization, and some individuals cannot accept them. Too many conflicts, as well as a lack of conflicts, are both detrimental to an organization. On the other hand, conflict resolution training can boost teamwork, production, and employee happiness. This research will provide policy recommendations, best practices, and tactics for resolving disagreements and building relationships among employees in a company.
Statement of the Problem
Conflicts of varying magnitudes are common in professional settings throughout the world. I experienced conflict in the workplace during my internship when a senior colleague demanded to be the first creator of a scientific report in which I did all the work. There was a lot of yelling, arguing, and disagreeing, making me uneasy. This discrepancy leads to harmful workplace conflicts among an organization and employees at various hierarchy levels. For example, I left my job due to inadequate dispute resolution techniques. However, this conflict taught me always to expect different kinds of people in every context, and it gave me a chance to research different ways to handle such people.
Understanding conflict management among people at work is an essential but often overlooked aspect of a business. Despite several years of research into the function of conflict among coworkers in organizations, academics’ scientific analysis of conflict inside academia is a comparatively new phenomenon. Conflict occurs when various people’s or organizations’ goals or values are mismatched and obstruct one other’s attempts to attain goals (Jordaan, 2022). As a result, conflict is an unavoidable part of administrative life. Without a doubt, conflict exists in every human relationship where there is competition for jobs, resources, power, recognition, and security.
Increased cultural variety in various situations necessitates adapting to a new environment and learning to work and live well with people from various cultural origins. As a result, communication emerges as a vital tool for employees to comprehend these disparities to enhance their relationships in the context of conflict. Conflict in the workplace consumes up to 20% of an employee’s time (Men et al., 2021). Similarly, disagreement substantially influences employee morale, turnover, and litigation, all of which impact a company’s success, either positively or negatively. Most crucially, communication issues lead to the breakdown of personal and professional relationships because it creates tension and diverts team members’ attention away from the task. Suppose disputes arise and are not adequately managed through communication. They will create work delays, disinterest, and a lack of activity in that situation, and in extreme cases, they may contribute to the group’s total breakup.
People deal with conflict in different ways, needing various conflict resolution strategies. To deal with conflict, people use Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilmann’s five conflict resolution tactics: avoiding, defeating, compromising, accommodating, and collaborating (Bramsen, 2019). Defeating is defined by the presumption that one side will win and the other will lose. It does not allow for integrating many points of view into a well-informed global context. Accommodating is a method of agreeing to the preferences or expectations of another party. As a component of the collaborative technique, a group may train to let each contributor, with the objective of co-creating a, fits the aim that everyone can accept. Another option is compromised, in which everyone gives up a little of what they want while no one gets everything they want. Compromise is fair, even if no one is delighted with the result.
Conflict arises for various reasons, including an absence of precision about anticipations or norms, disastrous communication, an absence of established influence, personal variables, ethical lapses, and organizational changes. According to workers, personality clashes, stress, demanding workloads, ineffective senior and administrative organization, a shortage of transparency and honesty, and a lack of situation description are the most incredibly prevalent bases of the dispute (Jo, 2020). Another point of view focuses on toxic personalities, defined as persons who exhibit a pattern of unproductive work practices that debilitate persons, teams, and organizations over time. When interacting with people who have such poisonous characteristics, conflict is inevitable. According to data in Jo’s article, 64 percent of respondents had interacted with someone with a toxic personality at their workplace (Jo, 2020). Bullying, communication obstacles, failure to communicate critical information, and physical or verbal hostility are all examples of conflict-inducing behavior.
Training does not diminish the likelihood of conflict, but it affects how it is perceived and can lessen the harmful results of the conflict. People avoid a dispute by ignoring it or withdrawing from it. They choose this strategy when the discomfort of confrontation surpasses the possible benefit of resolving the conflict. Feri’s study shows that improved communication techniques led to a 30% increase in quality, a nearly 40% rise in productivity, and an immediate 50% reduction in costs in this study (Feri, 2021). According to all respondents, open communication, informal complaining, mediation, and arbitration resolution strategies are all being used. Further investigation indicated that 38% of respondents believe that the policies exist only on paper and are not executed or used when problems arise (Feri, 2021). As a result, managers must adhere to their established rules while settling conflicts.
Conflict arises when people’s perspectives, opinions, and objectives conflict. Conflicts in the workplace can cause serious problems; they can degrade an organization’s effectiveness and cause employee dismissal. According to a study by Avgar, 85 percent of 5,000 full-time employees in nine nations encountered conflicts in the workplace to some degree, with 29 percent dealing with conflict regularly or always (Avgar, 2019). Despite this, research shows that not all disagreement is harmful and that they can help people gain new skills. Conflicts can have good outcomes, such as generating new ideas, sparking creativity, motivating change, and serving as warning signs for problems. As per Avgar, due to training, 85 percent of workers say they can deal with the dispute without being upset, and after the training, 27% felt more confident and at ease in disagreements (Avgar, 2019). When a dispute in an organization becomes negative, it becomes necessary to take actions that may result in resource waste, threats to psychological well-being, and an increase in hatred and aggressive behaviors.
Conflict is prevalent and often disrupts and costs individuals and businesses a lot of money. Even though conflict is commonly avoided or mismanaged, data suggests that persons may learn conflict management skills. Numerous studies have shown that when a conflict is successfully resolved, both the business and the individual profit in various ways. Communication is crucial in conflict resolution since it plays a vital part in conflict resolution. Regardless of workplace conflict, individuals or parties involved can communicate to exchange perceptions, clear prejudices, stereotypes, and attitudes that have been developed by conflict groups, ensuring peace among workers in the workplace.
Avgar, A. (2019). Integrating conflict: A proposed framework for the interdisciplinary study of workplace conflict and its management. ILR Review, 73(2), 281-311.
Bramsen, I. (2019). Avoiding violence: Eleven ways activists can confine violence in civil resistance campaigns. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 36(4), 329-344.
Feri, S. (2021). The effect of diversity towards team conflict and how emotional intelligence role as moderating variable in improving team performance: A Theoretical Study. Journal of Economics, Finance and Management Studies, 04(11).
Jo, Y. (2020). Development and evaluation of a simulated conflict management program on inter-professional communication skills. Stress, 28(3), 167-177. Web.
Jordaan, B. (2022). Helping organizations and individuals develop conflict wisdom. Conflict Resolution Quarterly.
Men, L., Chen, Z., & Ji, Y. (2021). Cultivating relationships with startup employees: The role of entrepreneurs’ leadership communication. Management Communication Quarterly, 35(4), 518-545.