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Inter-Personal Conflict Within an Organization

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If an organization is to achieve all its goals and objectives it requires a good network of departments. These departments should not only uphold their autonomy, achieve their individual goals, but should also work together to attain the vision of that organization. If discord should arise then, there is a likelihood of the occurrence of a conflict. For instance, say the Sales, Engineering, Marketing, and Finance departments of an organization are in conflict. They all have legitimate complaints with regard to their areas of specialty. The Marketing department which deals with the clients and product promotion feel that the product does not address the buyer's needs and though the product is functional, it lacks practicality. The engineers complain that they are not adequately consulted in the conceptualization and subsequent design of the new product. The Sales and Finance departments in turn, are not concerned about whatever problems arise during the production process provided that the final product is being bought and is bringing back impressive returns. This conflict of interest could lead to the downfall of the organization if not well addressed and thus the need for amicable conflict resolutions within organizations.

Main causes of conflicts

Diversity in responsibility is probably the greatest predisposing factor to conflict. With each department trying to address a different goal, they often tend to disagree. For instance, the engineers are technical in their approach to the creation of the new product such that they may come up with a product that focuses on quality and usability. Whereas the marketing department maintains that, the most important features of the product should mainly be availability and affordability. This results in a conflict of interest between the two departments resulting in the possible disruption of the production process.

Absence of proper administrative structures within the organisation that regulate the interaction of these departments and ensure that they work together within certain boundaries, results in conflict. These structures form a foundation that adequately deals with how work should be coordinated and conflict and misunderstanding reduced to a minimum. Poor communication also causes conflict. The absence of proper channels through which the different departments can come together will result in the problem being ignored. This is usually due to absence of proper administrative measures to take care of the issue at hand.

Conflict resolution

Methods of conflict resolution

Identifying the underlying problem is usually the most important stage of conflict resolution (Johnson, 1976). Good and functional organizational structures should be implemented to promote greater integration and interaction of various arms of an organization. This should be done in a way that all the stakeholders direct their efforts to the realization of the goals and the vision of the organization. Strong structures allow for flexibility and for the attainment of beneficial solutions. Another method is the creation of a separate department that acts like a liaison between the different departments. This liaison department formulates protocol that



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