Essay: Conflicts in the workplace


A ‘conflict’ is a difference in opinions or competition of interest or ideas. When people work together, conflict customarily occurs and is considered to be a normal part of working or doing business in every workplace. Disagreements tend to lessen morale, decreases productivity and results in more absenteeism in the workplace. According to estimates, company management spends at a quarter of their work time in handling and resolving conflicts.  Whether the parties involved in the conflict back down or fight it out, it creates tension in the workplace both for management and other employees. Proper handling of the conflict can turn a bad situation into a prospect for resourcefulness for better performance.


There are several reasons for conflicts in the workplace, and some of the most basic reasons are: Divergent Values and Principles Many different types of people work in one place. The people have different backgrounds; there is a difference in their educational standards and many other differences. Conflicts happen when people do not accept or understand each other’s different ways of life. Communication gaps: A difference in communication styles usually leads to misunderstandings between employees or between employees and management. The absence of effective communication is one of the major reasons for conflict at the workplace.

Personality differences: People in all workplaces have different personalities and different views of life. Colleagues must make efforts to understand and accept each other’s way of working and solving problems to avoid conflicts. Different Interests: Conflicts are bound to happen when workers are more concerned with their individual goals than the goals and objectives of the organization or the wellbeing of the organization. Insufficient resources: Frequently employees have to compete for scant resources for them to do their work effectively. A resource scarce workplace is the most probable place for conflicts

Deficient performance: When one or more workers in a workplace is not pulling his weight and underperforming then conflicts invariably occur because the others might be suffering because of that one person. People adopt several different ways to address conflict in the workplace which includes avoiding the issues or person(s) arriving at a solution that is acceptable to all the parties in a conflict should always be the desired goal of the arbitrator(s) who should make it clear to both parties why the conflict has to be solved as soon as possible. Avoiding conflicts is the easiest way to deal with conflicts. This does not really solve the issue but pushes it underground and it can resurface later in a more deadly form


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