Causes of Conflict

There are 3 causes of conflict:

1.  Task conflict: It is the conflict over content and goals of work. Low and moderate levels of task conflict consistently has a positive effect on the group performance because it results a discussion of ideas that help the group to perform better. Hence low and moderate levels of task conflicts are functional conflicts.

2.  Relationship conflict: It is conflict over interpersonal relationship. Relationship conflicts increases dashes and decreases mutual understanding. This reduces organizational performance. Hence it is a dysfunctional conflict.

3.  Process conflict: Conflict over how to get work done is called process conflict. Low levels of process conflict are functional. Too much argument about how to do a work will only increase the time taken to do the task.

Conflict Resolution Techniques

There are a number of conflict resolution techniques. They are:

1.  Problem solving: This includes face-to-face meeting of the conflicting parties for the purpose of identifying the problem and resolving it through open discussion.

2.  Super ordinate goals: This includes allotting a shared goal to both the conflicting parties which cannot be attained with cooperation of each of the conflicting parties.

3.  Expansion of resources: When conflict is caused by scarcity of resources, like money, promotion, opportunities office space, it can be resolved by expanding the resources.

4.  Avoidance: It is only a temporary solution to a conflict. It includes withdrawal from the conflict or supervision of the conflict.

5.   Smoothing: It includes reducing the difference between the conflicting parties and emphasizing common interests between them.

6.   Compromise: It includes giving up something of value by each party.

7.  Authoritative: It is method; management uses its authority to resolve the conflict.

8.  Altering human variables: This uses human relations training to alter the attitudes and behaviors that cause conflict.

9.  Altering structural variables: It includes changing the organizational structure and interactional patters through transfers, job redesign etc.

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