Positive and Negative Outcomes of Conflict Most people tend to think that conflict is a bad thing, however, if it is managed properly positive outcomes can be produced. It can be positive when it encourages creativity, new looks at old conditions, the clarification of points of view, and the development of human capabilities to handle interpersonal differences. Conflict can be negative when it creates resistance to change, establishes chaos in organizations or interpersonal relations, fosters distrust and builds a feeling of defeat.
Firms try as much as possible to reduce conflict in an organistion, since the outcome in most cases tend to inhibit productivity. According to Schmidt, Conflict consists of both positive and negative outcomes. Some of the positive outcomes of conflict are that better ideas are produced by interacting and sharing of thoughts also to new approaches are arrived at, individual views are clarified by being open, long standing problems are brought to the surface and resolved by having good communication and understanding, creativity and interest are increased by compiling ideas and interests, and ones capacity can be tested.
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Likewise negative outcomes of conflict are that people tend to feel defeated and humiliated, distance between people is increased because of intimidation, a climate of mistrust and suspicion is developed, individuals and groups concentrate on their own narrow interests and forget what is really important, and resistance is developed rather than teamwork which means that there is no co operation with employees working as a unit, and lastly an increase of employee turnover which is the increase in the amount of people leaving the firm.
Townsend sees conflict as a sign of a healthy organization ???up to a point. “A good manager doesn’t try to eliminate conflict; he tries to keep it from wasting the energies of his people…If you’re the boss and your people fight you openly when they think you’re wrong ??? that’s healthy. If your people fight each other openly in your presence for what they believe in ??? that’s healthy. But keep all the conflict eyeball to eyeball” Sources of Conflict There are many sources of organizational conflict, These are some of the main reasons why conflict arises in organizations.
Differences in perception – Basically mean that people interpret reality differently. They distinguish differences in the strictness, causes and consequences of problems. Misperceptions or differing perceptions may come from self-perceptions, others’ perceptions, differing perceptions of situations and perceptions of threat. Limited resources – In many organizations, resources are limited and by this conflict arises when individuals or groups have to fight for their share. The greater the limitation of resources the greater the prospective for conflict.
Conflict can be increased in an organization with reducing profits and revenues. Departmentalization and specialization ??? When an organisation is divided into various departments the tendancy is to focus with those who one is familiar with placing these goals first as opposed to the entire organisation’s goals. When departments need to co operate with each other conflict arises. The nature of work activities ??? Basically arrives when the task of one person is dependant upon work of others therefore results in conflict.
For example where a worker is given a task to assemble a certain number of components and the other worker responsible for forwarding the part assembled components does not supply a sufficient number in time. This will result in conflict. Role conflict ??? This basically means that the way in which people bahave is not appropriate as to how they are suppose to. There is role ambiguity where one is not clear as to their work responsibilities, they may either do too little or too much creating conflict.
Inequitable treatment ??? A persons thought of the operation of personnel policies and practices, or reward and punishment systems can result in tension and conflict. Violation of territory – People tend to get attached to their own territory in an organization such as their parking space, room or chair. If these assets are interfered with, it can cause and individual to feel intimidated or even resentful, therefore resulting in conflict or possibly retaliation.
Environmental change – The environment is continuously changing, In order for an individual to survive an adjustment must be made to sustain it. Many people are not willing to change to adjust to different environments and by this it creates conflict. Other Potential Sources of Conflict in Organizations Individual ??? This involves attitudes of an individual, personality characteristics or personal needs, illness or stress. Stress in the organization can be created by conflict; too much stress causes the productivity level to drop where revenue is less than cost.
Group ??? Group norms and group skills may work well most of the time as a unit but not all the time. Organization ??? Communication patterns, authority structures, leadership styles and management behavior, all these various aspects within an organization leads to conflict. The age gap ??? Basically refers to the differences in age in the workplace. Where there are the older employees and younger employees. Where experience is possessed by the older workers and power is possessed by the younger workers, this gap can then lead to conflict.