Conflict in the workplace is inevitable and sometimes cannot be avoided when employees with different opinions, perceptions, values, and personalities work together. This workplace conflict can be triggered by many factors such as poor management, unhealthy competition, inadequate training, unfair treatment, and many others. If workplace conflict is handled appropriately, it could improve organizational problem-solving skills, clarifies issues, foster creativity, and provides an opportunity for team members to expand their skills. However, poor management of an organizational conflict can cause a decrease in productivity, emotional stress, absenteeism, turnover, and termination (SHRM, 2022).
Reasons for Conflict
Every organization has needs and expectations; Conflict could arise in the workplace when employees feel that some of their needs and expectations are not being met or ignored (Sterud et al. 2022). Conflict in the workplace could result from poor communication, inadequate training, unclear job roles, unresolved work issues, increased workload, and many more. Poor communication in the workplace is the leading cause of conflict between employees or management and can lead to poor performance, lack of teamwork, lack of information, and misinformation. The lack of close communication fosters misunderstanding, creating distrust and conflict. Unclear job roles can cause conflict if the job descriptions and roles are unclear, generating role conflict. The increased workload can lead to employee burnout, causing poor mental focus, decreasing motivation, and exhaustion, thus decreasing employee performance. Inadequate training results in the employee having difficulty adapting to their work environment leading to mistakes. Unresolved work issues can create tension in the workplace leading to frustration and loneliness. Individual perception can result in conflict in the workplace due to people’s differences in how they view things. For instance, if a co-worker with authoritative behavior tends to antagonize another coworker by pointing out minor differences, conflict is bound to occur in that workplace. Conflict ensued between a white lady and a newly hired nurse from Africa. Because the lady is from a different diversity from hers, she was bullied because of her accent, and the white lady also said people from Africa couldn’t speak good English. That is how she perceives people from Africa. Conflict in any organization is inevitable due to differences in upbringing, perception, values, and belief system. Conflict can be positive if appropriately resolved and disastrous if not well settled.
COM FPX 3700 ASSESSMENT 2 Institutional Conflict
Functional conflict is a typical conflict that supports the organization’s goals and improves employee performance. In every organization, people tend to have an opposing goal that can be resolved amicably without conflict. This type of conflict promotes sharing of ideas by the employees, increases teamwork, which is the ability of the employees to work together to achieve a common goal, improves communication among team members, increasing productivity and employee motivation. This type of conflict changes conflict from negative to positive and gives each party the opportunity to resolve the problem. The role of functional conflict is to allow employees to understand and respect other people’s ideas, support their organizational goals, increase productivity, and promote sharing of ideas and information among team members.
Dysfunctional conflict is a clash or harmful misunderstanding that occurs between two or more persons in an organization. This type of conflict can negatively affect employees’ performance, impede organizational goals, decrease productivity, and increase high-stress levels leading to employee turnover and absenteeism (Angelo, 2019). In this type of conflict, employees cannot work together to achieve their organizational goals due to a lack of resolution to differences leading to a breakdown in communication that further decreases productivity. Dysfunctional conflict can be caused by employees who decide not to work together with other team members due to a lack of motivation, causing conflict among the group (Freund, 2019).
Conflict Resolution Strategies for Functional and Dysfunctional Conflict
Conflict resolution is imperative in any organization. There are many strategies to resolve functional conflict in the workplace; firstly, employers need to create an environment of trust in which the employees feel comfortable addressing issues and concerns arising in the workplace, encouraging employees to share problems and ideas and participate in decision-making. Also, the management should focus on developing good communication skills such as active listening, sharing feedback, clarity, and concision. Demonstrating good communication skills and listening attentively will help resolve conflict effectively when both parties are allowed to air their concerns. Collaboration is promoted when functional conflict is resolved, and employees and management are inspired to evaluate their performance.
COM FPX 3700 ASSESSMENT 2 Institutional Conflict
Dysfunctional conflict can be resolved when the management gathers all the parties involved in the conflict, listens to their grievances and viewpoints, and arrives at a solution. Resolving this type of conflict is essential in the workplace due to the potency of escalating issues. Delay in resolving dysfunctional can lead to increased tension and frustration among the members. It is then necessary to resolve dysfunctional conflict promptly and efficiently in order to decrease work disruption and various negative implications for the organization (Verdhan, 2021).
Sterud, T., Marti, A. R., & Degerud, E. (2022). The relationship between workplace conflicts and subsequent physician-certified sick leave: A prospective population study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(10), 6047.
Freund, L. (2019). What Is Dysfunctional Conflict? Retrieved June 06, 2020, from
Verdhan, R. (2021). Dysfunctional conflict – How to resolve? Explained! with example
SHRM, (2022). Managing workplace conflict
Angelo, E. (2019). Managing interpersonal conflict. Nursing Management, 50(6),22-28 https://doi.org/10.1097/01.numa.0000558479.54449.ed