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Organizational Conflict

Essay by   •  July 21, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,925 Words (8 Pages)  •  2,033 Views

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Organizational conflict is a state of discord caused by the actual or perceived opposition of needs, values and interests between people working together. There is the inevitable clash between formal authority and power and those individuals and groups affected. Conflict is likely to appear during change because it is at such times that accustomed ways of working are challenged. A lot of arguments apropos change and conflict apply about because they reflect the human factors accepted to a lot of organizations. An altercation of the attributes and types of organizational change is followed by an assay of how such disruption can generate attrition and conflict. A dichotomy arises because, whilst personal conflict leads to frustration and loss of efficiency, most commentators altercate that an amount of conflict is both assured and healthy, if channeled productively. Different strategies for conflict resolution are discussed: collaboration; competition; accommodation; abstention and compromise. There are other more direct and more diagnostic ways that might be used in appropriate circumstances. The great strength of the nondirective approach (therapy of Carl Rogers),It is argued that a collaborative and participative access is the most likely way of securing co-operation, and that a administrator needs to be able to employ an array of approaches to conflict resolution, depending on the circumstances

Conflict may be defined as struggle of contest between people with opposing needs, beliefs, ideas, values or goals. " It is not surprising, then, that organizations experience tensions when new strategies are introduced, as it is at just such times that established principles and methods are most likely to be challenged, altered or jettisoned. Formal organizations are rational structures that, based on their assumption of emotions, feelings, and irrationality as human weaknesses, try to replace individual control with institutional control. Thus the principle of task specialization is seen as a device that simplifies tasks for the sake of efficiency. As a consequence, however, it uses only a fraction of a person's capacity and ability. The principle of chain of command centralizes authority but makes the individual more dependent on their superiors. The principle of normal span of control, which assigns a maximum of six or seven subordinates to report to the chief executive, reduces the number of individuals reporting to the head of the organization or to the manager of any subunit. Although this simplifies the job of control for the manager, it also creates more intensive surveillance of the subordinate, and therefore permits him less freedom to control himself (McGregor, Maslow, Argyris). For a manager, ambidextrous with change presents a dichotomy. Buchanan point out the absurdity that differences are capital to change but that it is these differences which can accomplish disputes. (Raimo Vayrynen) points out, conflict is acceptable if there is a perceived abhorrence or if the participants apperceive that there is account in conflict, that is, something to be acquired or beneath to lose than by actual passive

However, abounding writers, including Michael Nicholson (1992 ) altercate that a certain amount of conflict is both assured and healthy, provided it is directed positively. The crisis is that conflict can become claimed and negative, and undermine individual and organizational performance. Striking a antithesis between the two is easier said than done and a administrator will charge to apply a variety of methods in attempting to do so.

Organizational change

According to Daft (1994), managers sense a charge for change if they apperceive a achievement gap, that is, a disparity amid absolute and adapted levels of performance. It seems a somewhat attenuated analogue in that it implies that all change is planned and absolute and seems to avoid the achievability of adventitious and potentially abrogating change - for example, abrupt account cuts. This said, a lot of change is planned, is advised to be absolute and arises from the need to acknowledge to new challenges and opportunities (Mullins, 1996).Organizational change may be incremental (linear) or abolitionist (discontinuous). It may be an acknowledging acknowledgment to external, ecology factors or generated proactively in apprehension of approaching trends (Hamel). Both, however, are response to how an organization perceives its accepted or approaching environment.

Implementing changes is not easy. Likert, in Cornell, (1996) identifies three styles of managing change: accurate (imposed by management); advising(discussed with staff but still decided by management) and participative (involving staff in decision- making). Further, Lewin's broadly cited archetypal break the management of change into three phases. First, unfreezing (diagnosing problems and an acquaintance of the charge to change). Second, alteration - the breaking of old habits and acceptance of new abilities and behavior and third, refreezing - evaluating and accumulation the changes (Daft, 1994)

Sources of conflict during organisational change.

Cornell (1996) identifies four responses to change: abandonment (including resignation), resistance, acceptance (a reluctant bowing to the inevitable) and embracing (welcoming change and the opportunities it brings). The aboriginal three of these indicate conflict. DeBono (1985) provides a simple framework which helps to explain why such reactions occur. He states that humans disagree because they wish altered things or because they apperceive things differently .Organizational change provides abounding befalling for either or both of these scenarios to could cause conflict.

The style of change

As discussed above, participation, provided it is genuine, is broadly admired as the most effective way of introducing change with minimum of resistance. (it is also apparent as one of the added advantageous strategies for ambidextrous with conflict should it appear (Baker, 1989- see below: Strategies for managing conflict.) Nevertheless, many writers asserts that it as well requires time and backbone to establish, especially where, historically, there has been a hierarchical and authoritative ability area anybody 'knows their place' and is not acclimated to getting consulted. In applied terms, it is added decisive, quicker and accordingly appetizing to impose change with little or no participation

Threat

First, such changes may be perceived as blackmail to the accustomed adjustment and specialism. For example, agreement ahead absolute accountable specialists into a communication aggregation with collective responsibilities may be regarded by some as deskilling and loss

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