May 30, 2024

‘Conflict is a clash of interest, values, actions, views or directions.’

Conflict is a situation where individuals or groups having different deeds or goals are trying to fulfill their respective needs causing discomfort to each other.


Conflict situation arises due to 4F

  • Force: initiate and concludes conflicts
  • Fear: Imaginary concern for future
  • Fair: The sense of fairness, which determine the moral values of individuals
  • Funds: Tangible or intangible costs may provoke conflict, and also help towards its relations

Why Conflict arises?

People differ, so they

  1. See things differently
  2. Want different things
  3. Have different thinking styles, which prompt them to disagree
  4. Are predisposed to disagree
  5. Have different personality
  6. Have different status
  7. have ideological and philosophical differences
  8. Have different goals
  9. Have different approaches
  10. Are influenced by fear, force, fairness, and funds

Conditions leading to conflict situations in the organization

mnemonics: 2A 1B 5C 2D 1E
  • Ambiguous Jurisdiction (A situation it is unclear exactly where the responsibility of something lies)
  • Conflict of interest
  • Communication Barriers
  • Dependence on one party
  • Differentiation in organization
  • Association of the parties
  • Behavioral regulations
  • Expectation in performance
  • Competition for limited resources
  • Lack of cooperation
  • Unresolved prior conflict

Effects of Conflict

Functional/Positive Effects

  • Diffuse more serious conflict
  • Stimulates or searches for new facts or resolutions
  • Increase group cohesion and performance
  • Demonstration measure of the power of ability
  • Find a better solution to a problem
  • Generate healthy competition between groups

Dysfunctional/ Negative Effects

  • Hinders smooth working
  • Hampers the decision-making process
  • Causes the formation of competing coalitions
  • Reduce productivity

Stages in the conflict process


  1. Conflict situation
  2. Awareness of the situation
  3. Realization Manifestation of Conflict
  4. Resolution or Suppression of Conflict
  5. After the effect of the Conflict situation


Traditional Conflict

  • Conflicts are caused by troublemakers
  • Conflicts are bad
  • Conflicts should be avoided or suppressed

Contemporary Theory

  • Conflict is inevitable between human beings
  • Conflicts are often beneficial
  • Conflicts are the natural result of the change
  • Conflict can and should be managed

Conflict Resolution Behavior

  • Avoiding
  • Accommodating
  • Collaborating
  • Compromising
  • Competing
Conflict resolution


  • The parties are aware of but do not acknowledge it or attempt to resolve it
  • Delaying or ignoring the conflict in the hope that over time the conflict situation will resolve itself
  • ‘When another party is more powerful, the issue is unimportant, one has no chance of meeting goals, and the cost of dealing with conflict is higher than the benefits of its resolution.’


  • Search for common ground
  • Involves high Cooperation and low confrontation
  • DIsputant is willing to meet the needs of others (Accommodate) at the expense of his/ her own needs
  • The actual problem is not solved
  • WIN-LOSE Situation


  • Search for mutual satisfaction solution
  • High cooperation and low confrontation
  • Opposite of avoiding, analyzing the situation, identifying common goals, and commitment to working together
  • WIN-WIN Situation


  • Mid-way situation in which both parties are relatively equal in power and have mutually independent goals
  • Each party gives up something it wants
  • No clear winner or loser
  • NO-WIN, NO-LOSE situation


  • High concern for personal goals and low concern for the relationship
  • Tends to be uncooperative, forcing or demanding
  • One party’s gain is the other party’s loss
  • Win-lose conflict results in leave anger, frustration, and wanting to get even in future

Principle of Conflict Management

Principles of management are listed below:

  1. Let the individual express their feelings
  2. Listen actively
  3. Think before reacting
  4. Filter assumptions, rumors, and charges
  5. Develop a personal psychological power base
  6. Develop relationship base
  7. Assure a fair process
  8. Accept responsibility
  9. Define problems
  10. Determine underlying needs
  11. Use direct communication
  12. Look for interest
  13. Focus on the future
  14. Option for the future gain
  15. Find the common area of agreement
  16. Find a Solution to satisfy the needs
  17. Determine to follow-up you will take to monitor actions
  18. Determine what will you do if the conflict gets unresolved

See also: Participative Management

See also: Planning

See also: Collective Bargaining

See also: Stress Management

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