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The Nature of Conflicts - Essay Example

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There is a specific branch of social psychology that investigates the sources of conflicts as well as suggests resolution strategies. This knowledge is extremely important for managers who have to control and organize work of numerous employees resolving conflicts between them…
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The Nature of Conflicts
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Download file to see previous pages Correspondingly, knowledge of psychology of the conflicting sides and ability to classify and forecast development of the conflict implied in this knowledge are literally priceless.
Organisational conflict is commonly defined as "disagreement between individuals or groups within the organisation stemming from the need to share scarce resources or engage in interdependent work activities, or from differences in status, goals or cultures" (Stoner & Freeman 1989). Earlier on scientists considered that conflicts are an evidence of ineffective functioning of the company and poor management: the traditional or unitary perspective implies that all conflicts are harmful and must be avoided (Esquivel, & Kleiner 1996).
By contras, representatives of the human relations or pluralist perspective view conflict as a natural and inevitable outcome in any group. Pluralists perceive conflict as inevitable because " various organisations participate in determining the rules of employment these have their own bases of authority, and whenever there are separate sources of authority there is the risk of conflict" (Clegg 1979: 1). Therefore, pluralists are salient in the approach of management: instead of a unitary denial that there was any rational basis for conflict, managers should recognize the inevitability of conflict situations and seek means to effectively regulate them (Edwards and Edwards, 2003).
Furthermore, proponents of the increasingly popular in...
ecades of intensive research, majority of experts put in question the traditional unitary perspective on conflict while leaning toward the opinion that even in best-managed companies conflicts are not only unavoidable but also desirable when properly controlled and managed (Esquivel, & Kleiner 1996).
Conflicts are unalienable part of interpersonal communication in everyday life, but organizational conflicts possess some characteristic features. While conflicts in interpersonal relations are caused by personal factors, majority of organizational conflicts have different roots. Employees may wage struggle for narrow resources or exploitation of equipment, working space or access to information, etc. The following classification of conflicts has been developed by one of the founders of Saxonic school of conflict studies:
Conflicts between individuals;
Conflicts between isolated social groups or groups that compete each other in a certain field of social or political life;
Conflicts between states;
Conflicts between states and separate individuals (or group of individuals);
Conflicts between social groups and separate individuals (Shellenberg, 1996).
This classification defines conflicts as conscious and intensive clashes of interests, the battle of social life. All conflicts fall into several categories, depending upon the social or political level, and it is also admitted that the essence of any conflict lies in psychological sphere, i.e. conflict is a manifestation of converse interests.
The above definition of conflict identifies the following major causes of conflict namely, the need to share scarce resources, engage in interdependent work activities, from differences in status, goals or cultures. However, the actual amount of causes that may potentially result in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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