Currently recognized reasons of conflict at work place are misunderstandings between the employees and management staff, diversity, or, rather, failure to comprehend diversity and individual peculiarities of people in the work place, failure to see the interests of the company as one’s own interests or, at least, as such that directly influence one’s own interests. The levels at which conflicts take place may be very different, varying from the one-hour conflict between two employees, which is easily settled and is, in many respects, self-managed, to big conflicts between subdivisions of the organization, its departments and so on (Kaye, 1994). At one of the places I used to work I had a very severe conflict with one of the people, who used to work in a parallel subdivision of the company, but had a higher position than I did. Thus on the one hand I was not subordinating to him, but he believed, that his higher position gave him the right to be somewhat rude to me. Which I, being quite young at that time, was not capable to properly understand and react to. I ended up quitting that job. The company was a small start-up, and conflict management was not among the directions which the company thought they could afford.
The conflicts heavily influence the performance of workers and the organization’s performance in general. This has been recognized by many scholars, some of them were going even so far as trying to understand the nature of conflict through linguistics (Moravcsik, ND). Therefore steps have been taken by many organizations, and this particularly refers to big corporations which can afford professional approach to conflict management, to combat conflict in a workplace. Among the steps undertaken by companies and corporations is recognition of diversity. This was a cause to a great number of conflicts, which took place in the work environment. This in turn significantly influenced performance of workers and the company in general (Babalola, ND). This is why recognition of diversity as a given, as something that rather contributes into success than prevents it, was certainly one of the most important steps made by the organizations in the direction of conflict resolution. Another step was, certainly, applying professional approach to conflict management. Recognizing this as a system problem, a problem, which calls for resolution, was, no doubt, very important and effective step leading to the resolution of the problem. Certainly, these attempts were quite successful, even though there is quite long way to go in this direction.
As mentioned above, diversity is one of the most important factors, which may influence the organization, its performance, as well as conflicts and their management. As globalization gains momentum, diversity is becoming an even more important factor at work places. This is why many organizations had to adjust their policies in accordance to new realities. A foreigner as an employee is not an exception to the rule any longer, and thus it is needed to observe, protect their interests (Liu, et al, 2008). The same refers to other diversity groups as well. An organization can make various steps in order to meet the needs of their employees, as diversity population. Among other steps, for instance, it is possible, and actually done by many corporations, to implement universal design for all of their employees to have equally easy access to the organization’s facilities. It is also possible to implement norms, which would forbid discrimination on any basis, and this is also done in many companies. These attempts and these steps are, no doubt, very effective, however, it is still important to work further in that direction and make further attempts to eliminate discrimination and to make a better use of diversity instead of trying to avoid or escape it.
- Babalola, Mayowa T., Stouten, Jeroen, Euwema, Martin C., & Franca Ovadje. The Relation Between Ethical Leadership and Workplace Conflicts: The Mediating Role of Employee Resolution Efficacy. Journal of Management.
- Kaye, Kenneth. (1994). Workplace Wars and How to End Them: Turning Personal Conflict into Productive Teamwork. New York: AMACOM.
- Liu, C., Spector, P. E., & Shi, L. (2007). Cross-National Job Stress: A Quantitative and Qualitative Study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 28(2), 209-239.
- Moravcsik, Edith A. Conflict resolution in syntactic theory