Organizational Conflicts, and ways to avoid its adverse effects

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Conflict is defined as an interactive process manifested in incompatibility, disagreement, or dissonance within or between social entities (i.e. individual, group, organization, etc.)
In this article, I would like to concentrate more on the organizational conflicts and the process to manage those conflicts.

“Conflict is a process that begins with when one party perceives that another has adversely affected or is about to adversely affect the interests of the first party”.Stephen P. Robbins

There are two main types of conflict that can occur within an organization like Structural Conflict and Behavioral Conflict.

What is a Structural conflict?

For example, this type of conflict may arise from the way the company is organized to accomplish work, from different and conflicting goals, and from different professional points of views.

  • Horizontal Conflict which can occur between different dept, division, and units
  • Vertical Conflict which is all about authority relationship.

Horizontal Conflict

Horizontal Conflict happens among people regarding Job role or Sometimes maybe for proper resource allocation. For example when two or more people want to grab the credit of any work individually or sometimes proper resource allocation among the different division can be the reason for a Horizontal conflict.

Vertical Conflict

Vertical Conflict happens between superior body and subordinate body within an organization.

Behavioral Conflict

It happens between two person’s behavioral factor like different ideas, jealousy, tension, insecurity, complexity etc. It can occur when two people are suspicious of each other or inferiority complexity or maybe mistrust issue. Behavioral Conflict can also happen within a single person even when someone’s mind and heart are not feeling the same for anything or maybe he or she is in dilemma for a particular thing. Then the conflict occurs between what anyone thinks and what he or she does.

Conflict Management.

Conflict management is a process to improve the negative aspects of any organization. It is very important for organizational growth. Through this process, the organization tries to overcome the negative things and enhance the outcome and performance of every member of the organization.


5 significant Conflict Management Styles by Kenneth W. Thomas and Ralph H. Kilmann to follow


 Accommodating if someone likes to implement an idea or practice but the other person needs an alternative/better option for the same, first person can come up with a mutual solution. It might be a case of sacrificing something for better for the first person. For example, if a manager requires formal dress in the office can institute with ‘casual Friday’ policy to keep the subordinates happy and productive.


Collaboration is required when an organization need to find the best solution and also accepted by everyone. Managers can collaborate with other employees to make any new policy or make a decision to set future goal etc. It is one of the most popular conflict management styles to come up with a creative decision by everyone. But discussing top level management decision with office supplier is just a waste of time.


When two top-level bodies of an organization hold approximately equivalent power and trying to establish an acceptable, if not agreeable solution, conflict occurs. A compromising style is to accept one solution by compromising by any party. This way the result is win-lose as one party win and other lose here, to accept one solution for future growth. As example business owners sometimes compromise at the time of contract negotiation with other business.


Competition styles works best for a limited number of conflicts. When any organization faces any critical situation or any emergency condition, competition style can be benefited. For example, management can follow competition style at the time of crisis or decision making which can generate ill-will situation like a pay cut.


This is the style where no need to consider other party’s concern or courage. By avoiding the conflict, someone essentially pretends that it never happened or doesn’t exist. The avoider hopes the problem resolves itself without a confrontation. Sometimes it can be a profitable conflict style for the organization. Like sacking a popular but nonproductive employee or stonewalling etc.

3 common situations of conflict management:-


A win-win situation is expected at most essential conflict resolution. Where both the parties close to an optimal solution. This situation occurs most of the time from a cooperative approach.


Win-lose is a situation when one party become the winner and other lose something.


A lose-lose situation occurs when both the parties end with a negative involvement. This situation of conflicts are not expected and create the worst impact on any organization growth.

Where more than one person involves, the chances of conflict may arise without depending on the situation. The goal of any organization has to manage conflicts carefully to avoid a severe breakdown in productivity and trust. Especially for the small organizations, serious conflicts can cause of the death of the business.

Aritra Ghosh

Results-Oriented, Conscientious, Efficient, Marketing and Communications Manager.

About The Author

I have extensive client management, marketing, and admin experience. With excellent managing skills for Website development, Mobile Application Development, Digital marketing for our clients all over the world. Has a high level of literacy and is able to create engaging communications which incite action. Exemplary communication and relationship-building skills ensure the ability to network skilfully and build mutually beneficial relationships.

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