Types of Conflict - Free Paper Sample

Published: 2023-11-09
Types of Conflict - Free Paper Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Leadership analysis Conflict resolution Conflict management
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1148 words
10 min read


The conflict illustrated here falls under interpersonal conflicts in the workplace. Interpersonal conflict at the organization level occurs when a person interferes with another one’s attempt to achieve their goals. According to the Journal of Business and Management Research (Chaudhry & Asif, 2015), the interpersonal conflict in MCA is largely task-oriented. The parties involved in the conflict are Peter Smith, who is the board chairman, and Keith Schmidt, who is an executive director. Their differences are primarily based on the development direction that the organization should take. In typical cases, the chairman of an organization should have the final say in regards to almost all issues in the organization. However, there is a difference between making decisions and micromanaging other directors of the organization.

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In the earlier years before Keith Schmidt was hired, there seemed to be no disputes in the organization. Things, however, change with his recruitment, and their relationship with the chairman looks tense from the beginning. While the two have no personal differences, they do not agree when it comes to ideas and opinions. Interestingly, the conflict is between the two, although it escalates when members of the board are voting. Peter losses control of the board, and all this can be attributed to his differences with the executive director. Unless there is a structure that clarifies the issue of role ambiguity (Einarsen, Skogstad, Rørvik, Lande & Nielsen, 2018), similar conflicts will as well manifest under the current MCA leadership.

Structural Solution

CMA is facing leadership wrangles that are mainly a result of gaps existing in their style of management as well as their management structure. One of the best alternatives out of this mess is to develop a clear policy that is guided by the human resource department. Such policies are meant to highlight the various roles of the different members. There is also a need to come up with a description of the multiple tasks to be performed by the various members. With such clear guidelines, there will be minimal wrangles within the organization, and if they are to be there, none of them will be task-based. The other short-term alternative would be to find an external mediator to stand in the place of missing conflict resolution systems (Ebner & Parlamis, 2017). Such mediators would bring new perspectives that would solve their differences before they escalated.

The best structural solution to mitigate the problem of role ambiguity is to separate tasks and develop clear responsibilities. At no point should an executive director have the same powers as a board chairman. With no power separation, it will be difficult for the members of the organization to respect the leadership. From the beginning, Keith Schmidt should have been reporting to Peter Smith, who is the board chairman. Whenever leadership structures are clearly outlined, every member of the organization will stick to their roles and report the progress to the relevant authorities. Such an organization also means that all orders of the organization will be originating from a central location.

Discussion Questions

Peggy Fischer has for sure taken over the organization when it is in a critical stage. One thing that becomes clear is that the Smiths hold the key to the success of the new space that the organization has been working on. This is based on the five million dollars that they pledged towards the project. Now that the Smiths left unceremoniously without honoring the pledge, Fischer has a huge task ahead to have the pledge honored.

Since Fischer has served on the same board as Peter Smith, it will make no sense to rush and sue the family for not honoring their pledge. Instead, the first approach would be to send a mediator to Smith’s home. According to Lewicki, Barry & Saunders (2015), effective negotiation requires more planning and strategizing. Such mediators will convince Mr. Smith on the importance of honoring the pledge. At the same time, Fischer can go ahead and visit the Smiths at a personal level as a negotiation approach (Lewicki, Barry & Saunders, 2016). This way, they will have a clear understanding of why the pledge has not been honored.

Fischer should also avoid making rushed decisions without consulting the rest of the organization. In this case, it will be more sensible to involve the board before making any move. According to Korobkin (2014), effective negotiation and conflict resolution at the organization level will need a collective approach. If anything, the board can make recommendations where necessary and even pin-point mistakes before the final decision is made. Additionally, the board will be a reflection of the views of the whole organization, unlike when individuals make decisions.


Suing the smiths should come as the final option. After the mediator has failed to convince them and Fischer has made a personal attempt, all amicable approaches will have been exhausted. The only option remaining option will be to file for litigation. Although there are drawbacks to these court battles, at least the firm will not lose without a fight. Even if the firm may not achieve the five million dollars pledge, they will at least have showed the rest of the organization that pledges must be honored.


Chaudhry, A. M., & Asif, R. (2015). Organizational Conflict and Conflict Management: a synthesis of literature. Journal of Business and Management Research, 9, 238-244. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ch_Asif/publication/275955013_Organizational_Conflict_and_Conflict_Management_a_synthesis_of_literature/links/554d78a408ae739bdb8da487.pdf

Ebner, N., & Parlamis, J. (2017). Weaving together theory, research, practice, and teaching: A fourdimensional approach to negotiation and conflict management work. Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 10(4), 245-251.

Einarsen, S., Skogstad, A., Rørvik, E., Lande, Å. B. & Nielsen, M. B. (2018). Climate for conflict management, exposure to workplace bullying, and work engagement: a moderated mediation analysis. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 29(3), 549-570. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Anders_Skogstad2/publication/301330465_Climate_for_conflict_management_exposure_to_workplace_bullying_and_work_engagement_a_moderated_mediation_analysis/links/59f9e152458515de05ce50e2/Climate-for-conflict-management-exposure-to-workplace-bullying-and-work-engagement-a-moderated-mediation-analysis.pdf

Hann, D., Nash, D., & Heery, E. (2019). Workplace conflict resolution in Wales: The unexpected prevalence of alternative dispute resolution. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 40(3), 776-802. Retrieved from http://orca.cf.ac.uk/92170/1/EID%20accepted%20draft.pdf

Korobkin, R. (2014). Negotiation: Theory and strategy (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Aspen Publishers.eText ISBN: 9781454846109, 1454846100

Lewicki, R. J., Barry, B., & Saunders, D. M. (2015). Negotiation: Readings, Exercises, and Cases (7th ed.).eText ISBN: 9781259192029, 1259192024

Lewicki, R. J., Barry, B., & Saunders, D. M. (2016). Essentials of Negotiation (6th ed.). Retrieved from http://dln.jaipuria.ac.in:8080/jspui/bitstream/123456789/2947/1/Essentials%20of%20Negotiation%20by%20Roy%20J.%20Lewicki%2C%20Bruce%20Barry%2C%20David%20M.%20Saunders.pdf

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