What is Conflict Management

Conflict Management

Conflict management is a vital skill that Managers employ to maintain good relations among their subordinates and enhance the overall productivity of the department or organization by resolving any conflict fast.

Different types of Conflict among the parties involved:

Intrapersonal conflict

Conflict within the individual employee due to a mismatch between his or her needs and the goals of the organization.
Ex – An employee may have problems staying back after office hours to complete a job but the organization may want him/her to do so if required.

Interpersonal Conflict

The conflict between two individuals over an issue of interest to both. These conflicts arise due to misunderstandings between the two persons, incompatibility between them, or when the interests of one are threatened by the actions of the other.

Intergroup conflict

Conflicts between groups may arise due to differences in viewpoints or competition for scarce resources.

Types of conflicts based on the outcome:

Functional conflict

When conflicts arise due to healthy competition to work better and more efficiently, such conflict prevents stagnation and complacency and may increase productivity. This type of conflict is positive in nature.

Dysfunctional conflict

When the consequences of conflict are negative and arise when the concerned parties keep attacking each other and give little thought to building an agreement or arriving at a consensus, such type of conflict is termed dysfunctional conflict.

Sources of Conflict :

Cross-functional teams

In the case of teams from different functional areas or departments which have different backgrounds and different experiences, there often is conflict over ways and methods of work.

Differences in opinion on technical issues in doing a job may give rise to conflict.

Administrative procedures

Conflicts may arise due to administrative procedures such as assigning responsibilities, reporting procedures to Managers, etc.

Resource Allocation

Conflicts may arise over the allocation of manpower and other resources to different groups

Role Conflict

Confusion over the exact role expected from group members to be played by Managers can give rise to conflict.

Interpersonal and personality clashes

The ego and vanities of individuals often give rise to conflicts over issues like status, power, control self-esteem, and friendship.

Strategies for resolving conflicts by managers:

Providing rationale and logic for decisions Managers should be transparent and explain the reason behind decisions taken to subordinates.

Create consensus

Managers should try to build agreement and consensus while arriving at a decision among the group members.

Gathering information

Managers should be able to prevent conflicts before they occur by gathering relevant information on the issue involved so as to be better prepared with a plan of action to propose to the group

Focusing on the issues not personalities

Managers should be impersonal while dealing with conflicts and not allow personal feelings or emotions to play a role while assessing people involved in the conflict.