Managing Conflict in the Workplace

Published: 2019-10-17 08:00:00
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Conflicts in the workplace is an imperative issue that all stakeholders be they managers or employees have to manage at some point. As a result, conflicts are part and parcel of work. In its fundamental nature, conflict arises as a consequence of a difference coming from people or gatherings with diverse convictions, values, or needs. Conflict likewise a run of the mill wonders of individuals' relationship in working environment CITATION Tho92 \l 1033 (Thomas, 1992). Now and again the individual doesn't know about the need and unknowingly begins to carry on. In the workplace, conflict is one of the most serious issues for supervisors and employees to confront CITATION Lon15 \l 1033 (Longe, 2015). It is elusive out conflicts before they become impossible to resolve. If overlooked, conflicts do not fade away. Hellriegel, Slocum, and Woodman (1998) referred to the conflict as the procedure in which one gathering sees that its advantages are being restricted or contrarily influenced by another group. In some cases, the conflict could be a positive power inside an association, while at different times it is a negative power. A case of contention as a positive power is that the creation and determination of contention may lead the organization to useful critical thinking. It might likewise lead individuals to hunt down methods towards changing how they do things. The conflict management procedure can at last be a jolt for positive change inside an association CITATION Don98 \l 1033 (Hellriegel, Slocum, & Woodman, 1998). Be that as it may, conflicts in the workplace could bring about negative impacts to the underlying corporation. Subsequently, the fundamentals of conflict management at the place of work encompass communication enhancement, teamwork, and an efficient way to deal with conflicts as they arise CITATION Oni14 \l 1033 (Oni-Ojo, Iyiola, & Osibanjo, 2014).

Successively, the Workplace Conflict case study is a classic example of conflicts in the workplace. It plausibly illustrates the heights to which conflicts can extend if left unresolved or poorly resolved, as well as the importance of effective conflict management strategies. The case study paints a picture of the causes of the conflict, those involved, how and why the conflict extended for a prolonged duration of time, and mitigation strategies that were and should have been applied in the first place. First, the conflict was caused by a new directive at the workplace that implored court clerks to work on weekends. One of the clerks lived more than 30 miles out of the city and therefore found it almost impossible to come to work on weekends. She was only in a position to get to work on weekdays because she would carpool. In light of the prevailing chain of command at the workplace, she approached her immediate supervisor who would then pass on the message to their superiors and so on. As a result of the underlying communication gaps, misconceptions, and misinterpretations of her initial plea, the directors received the message as an act of rebellion hence the commencement of the conflict.

Consequently, what started as a plea from one clerk to her supervisor had now progressed to a conflict that was slowly extending to other managers and clerks. The court clerks were not willing to report to work on the weekends if their colleague was not doing the same. The managers viewed this as an act of rebellion and took measures to stamp their authority. The conflict was, therefore, extending to all court clerks. At this point, it is clear that effective communication is imperative as a means of conflict prevention in the workplace. Emotions also come to play when the savvy executives put their desire for emotional superiority over the needs and cohesion of the firm.

Succinctly, the conflict continued for months because it was not effectively managed. The lack of an effective conflict management is illustrated by the short duration it took to calm the situation after the intervention. Communication was also a major driving force behind the prolonged conflict. The conflict, like most conflicts in the workplace, was as a result of inadequate information as well as misinformation. Clear, succinct, and relevant correspondence of information would have eased the extent and seriousness, and longevity of the conflict. Effective communication not only encompasses useful information but also depends on what those who have it do with it. For instance, employees and managers could have access to good information but what they do with it could also lead to a conflict.

The backdrop above illustrates how even innocent incidences can escalate to conflicts which left unresolved, can cripple and organization. It is, therefore, imperative for organizations to put in place measures that would not only help to manage conflicts but most remarkably, mitigate the onset of such problems. If the organization in question had some of these measures in place, the problem would not have surfaced in the first place. First, there should have been a clearly outlined communication procedure that the court clerk would have used. Such a formal procedure should encompass regulations surrounding escalation of grievances and disciplinary issues. Secondly, the firm should create relations where employees are valued, encouraged, and treated fairly. Development of such a relationship aid in balancing of personal and business needs, lack of which led to the onset of the conflict. Finally, all the stakeholders should have worked together. Teamwork fabricates trust between employees and the management. Connections heighten the value of the association by enabling all stakeholders to work adequately to respond to change.

In summary, conflicts are a fragment of individual connections and comprehensive development in the workplace. Consequently, no firm can develop without the capacity to manage and prevent conflicts in the workplace adequately. Along these lines, conflict determination is a fundamental piece of keeping up a flourishing working environment and the strategies and systemic methodologies presented by the backdrop above ought to be used in conflict management.

References

BIBLIOGRAPHY Hellriegel, D., Slocum, J. W., & Woodman, R. W. (1998). Organizational Behavior. Cincinnati: South-Western College Publishing.

Longe, O. (2015). Impact of Workplace Conflict Management on Organizational Performance: A Case of Nigerian Manufacturing Firm. Journal of Management and Strategy, 6(2).

Oni-Ojo, B. E., Iyiola, O., & Osibanjo, A. (2014). Managing Workplace Conflicts in Business Environment: The Role of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). European Journal of Business and Management, 6(36).

Thomas, K. W. (1992). Conflict and conflict management: Reflections and update. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 13(3), 265274.

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