Conflict is disagreement between individuals, people or groups of people or a clash between ideas, principles, etc. Conflict must be as long as man remains in the state of incompatibility in attitude and behavior.
VIEWS OF CONFLICT
- Traditional views.
- Human Relations views.
- Interactionist views.
- Traditional view of conflict: Believes that conflict is bad, harmful and should be avoided.
- Human Relation view of conflict: Advocated for acceptance of conflict. Believes that conflict is inevitable and not evil.
- Interactionist View of conflict: Encourages conflict and said that it brings viability, creativity, innovation, etc.
TYPES OF CONFLICT
- Functional conflict: This type support the goals of an organization.
- Dysfunctional conflict: This type of conflict hinders group performance.
- Process conflict: This is conflict over how the work should be done. For example, role that is over-loaded, role that is underloaded and role ambiguities i.e. roles or functions that are not properly defined.
- Relationship conflict: This type of conflict is located in personality relationship.
- Overt conflicts: Overt conflict explains the type of conflict that is not hidden but open while covert conflict is hidden and is difficult to be noticed. It is a type of conflict that takes people by surprise e.g. colleagues in an institution not on speaking terms.
CAUSES OF CONFLICT
- Limited resources: For example, in the areas of equipment, finance, facilities etc.
- Attitudinal or perceptual differences: Display of different attitudes, values or even perception of individuals to issues can cause conflict.
- Disagreement: Individuals with different goals, needs, priority and interests can bring about disagreement in any organization over policy issue or objectives.
- Organisational structure: Poor inadequate or not properly defined organizational structure can cause conflict.
- Leadership tussel: This is mostly common in a Laissez-faire leadership where almost everybody wants to be a leader of the group e.g. mob group or demonstrators.
- Poor or ineffective Communication: If the process through which information. massage get to workers in an organization is defective, conflict is bound to occur.
- Self or personal interests: When individual interests are in contrast with that of the group, disagreement or conflict could come up.
CONSEQUENCES OR EFFECTS OF CONFLICT
- It makes for creativity: Conflicts bring about viability and creativity in an organization or group.
- It brings innovativeness: It introduces changes, brings about new ideas for innovation.
- Goal setting: It helps in goals that can be achieved within a possible time.
- Expansion of resources: Financial, material and human resources are expanded.
- Machinery for dialogue: Conflict helps to keep in place machinery for dialogue and mediation (committee) as conflict is inevitable.
- Re-designing the organizational structure of the organization: Which is a potential source of conflict.
- Resolution Committee: A conflict committee should be constituted.
- Issues generating conflict: Issues generating conflict should be removed.
- Dialogue: This is a useful conflict management tool and most importantly serve as a platform for parties to discuss and agree on policy issues.
- Collective bargaining and negotiation: This is mostly used when there is industrial dispute, For example, labour and government, workers and employers.
- Team-work and cooperation: Team work and cooperation have the capacity of producing desired result in an organization especially in the areas of achievement of goals. This should be incorporated in every organizations or group.
- Enhanced Communication tool: Machinery generating ineffective communication should be dismantled and in place effective and enhanced communication network enthroned.
- Arbitration: Industrial arbitration panel; cases of industrial dispute or conflict are in most cases referred to the body for settlement.
- Empowerment: Feuding parties should be empowered publicly.
- Tolerance: Parties in conflict should be told of the inevitability of conflict and the necessity for tolerance.