The Causes And Impact Of Conflict in an Organization

The Causes And Impact Of Conflict In An Organization

Industrial conflict is defined as any conflict or dispute o difference between employers and employee or between employers and workmen or between workmen and workmen which is connected with employment or non-employment or with condition of labour of any person

In other words conflict relates to inter-organization relations about jobs value regulation that produces disagreement and conflict hence an organizational conflict can arise in any business trade occupation and organization providing employment for certain persons.  At least one of the conflicts must be a body of men acting in a collective manner and hot individual.

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A conflict at work involving an individual is better descried as a grievance.  The collective sense o organizational conflict does not mean that the demand occasioning it must be made collectively.  A single person who is a workman can raise conflict individually on behalf of a group. An organizaiton conflict may also arise between a group of individual or a group of employers or between two unions

According to R. Kilaman and Kenneth W. Thomas (1976) define conflict as the condition of objective importability between values or goals as the behaviour deliberately inferring with another’s goal achievement and emotionally inerms of hostility.

Academy of management journal vol. 9 of 1966. suggested that conflict may be useful in so for as it hampers supervising subordinates.

According to Edward J Murray define conflict as a situation in which a person is motivated to engage in two or more mutually exclusive activities. In a monogamous society man cannot many two women at the same time or matter how attractive they are to him.  A business man may be  faced with the efficient stranger for an important  position.

Conflict may occur on many different levels on the behavioural level. Tribesmen may be motivated both to approach and to avoid the table object.

According to Laura Mader in 1965 define conflict as a competition between at least two parties.  A party may be a person a family a lane age or a whole community or it may be a class of ideas a political organization a tribe or a religion conflict is occasioned by incompatible desires or aims and by its duration may be distinguished from to assume that some of the causes of conflict are to found in the aggressive behaviour that is almost universal among the vertebrates and is presumably adaptive in a broad range of environments.


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This is a situation were an individuals is attracted to two or more goals that are of equal importance to him but removal and law dictates that he can only have one at ago.  For example he may have two hundred Naria and the choice would be whether to text book that costs the same amount or a short of equal amount or in another example to choose one job out of two that are available to him (note government law dictates) one should not have more than one permanent job at a time.


A person is at the cross road of two things that he wishes is to avoid. For example during the Biafran Nigeria war there was rampant conscription at able bodied men into the army were a situation may arise where in other to avoid enlisting in the army the young men decide to leave the country.  In this case he as avoided the two alternatives


This exist when there are both good and bend element me certain action. The example is that a first-degree graduate may be offered on excellent job in bad location when this happens it is also a conflict situation.

Conflict can also exist interns of the role-played and the personality of the inevinbent when such happen they can be classified as Kole conflict personality


In this study the researcher explained inter group conflict as it relates to individual an also as it relates to group in an organization.

As for individual level it talks about

  1. Inter group conflict as displaced aggression aggressions is a consequence of the frustration induced by deprivation. A typical example is the case their rise during the later pant of Babangida’ Regime where public workers in Nigeria through then joint action committee opted and released the suppress tension which was caused by the high cost of living. When the happens the frustration may or may not be directed to the instigator this is because it might be due to complex in tangible phenomena [inflation changes in moral   values) or the instigator might be too powerful to be a suitable target.  When this happens the aggression may be displaced to a person or an objective available at that point in time and place.
  2. Inter group hostility as a result of dissimilar benefit attitudes to wards those who hold such benefits this theory is contrary to one which say that people tend to dipstick others who have similar benefits. This theory sporadically suggests that an out-group is rejected not because it members belong to a different group but because they have or are been to haves dissimilar benefit to those attributed to members of one” own group.

As for group level

  1. Inter group discrimination as a function of read conflict there the relationship between two goals is observed.

These theory goes to say that conflict of group interests causes inter group conflict if groups of people are in some from of competition for rewards etc the resulting relationships will be typically hostile.  Each group would like to outwit the other thereby resulting in hostility


  1. Inter group conflict as a function of social competition this theory suggests that inert group behavior establishes one’s group as superior and consequently enables the individual concerned to improved his identity.  Stephenson and protection.  In their book stressed that an important aspect of group is whether it can contribute in positive ways to the individual social identity. If leaving it is impossible one can either try to change one’s interpretation of its attributes so that negative features may be seen as important or desirable or more importantly for theory and practice one can engage in some from of social action which leads to a change in the desirability of the group


“There appears to be lacking ambiguity in discussing conflict when we refer to structuralism against the human relations theory. What do they understand by “conflicts?  Oppositions of understands to exist that is why men are underscoring to find solution.  But this admission is essentially at variance with the Marxist idea of the inevitability of the “class struggle” imbedded in the intrinsic directionality of interest against which Eiton Mayo and many others before and after him so effectively worked when Etzion writes that there are many ways to make lasour more pleasant but none to make it satisfy in any dissolute sense the seems to be fighting against a non existing “angelical host” of theorists for as far as we know of the earthly ones none has ever tried to make labour “a satisfying” or to transform the factory into a “happy family” no even the relay assemble test room at it’s best could be called so moreover are we going to dissonant the influence on works of the out plant factors as the lotion studies revealed”

Discontent frustration dissatisfaction and similar feeling and states of mind are often the by-product of commitment as disappointment is that of have yet they are often compatible with the sense of achievement and enterprise in fact the greatest innovations in history have often been tortured by a sense of futility and failure and had quite frequently to fight against malice misunderstanding and opposition.

What seems to emerge in so for as organizaiton is concerned such terms as conflict frustration phonation must be accurately defined and if accepting them in the ordinary sense of the term unavoidable nor internally or socially incompatible with harmony and satisfaction conflict being in the minds of man


The researcher been able to find out various source of organizational conflicts

  1. Win lose situation: A work well done to the deferment of another.  Here the quality control department ejects an item sent in by the manufacturing department in order to create on impression that they are actually donning  them job this occurs when the reward system is obviously hed to individual  performance rather than to total organizational success
  2. Competition Over Means Utilization: On assumption the primary aim   of the organization id to increase profit while the sale deportment wants to  have a variety of products to sell those in manufacturing prefers to build fewer products in larger quality.  In this case through the general aim is the same profit either of the department has a different means if living at the aim
  3. Status Incongruence: Differences in status may give rise to conflict in that one from one occupying a lower

“A typical situation is one in which Hirer college training programme and the jobs were systematically  rotated from one relatively low level supervisor to another follow up supervising ratings of a programme were used as criterion against which the test were to be validated. When the test were compared with the criterion intelligence and college grades were metrically related the brighter and  more capable the Harman the poorer the supervisor’s rating follow- up studies disclosed that the relatively low level supervisor felt threatened by the trainees. The more ideas and suggestion the trainee has the greater the treat.

  1. Perceptual Difference: For the fact that human being have different exposures and sets of value the tendency is that they will perceive things differently.  An economist and assistant will not look at profit from same point of view
  2. Conflict because of the need for change: The introduction of change in any organization often association with resistance for an organizaiton to proper therefore change must occur otherwise stagnation and obsolesce will dominate the system.  Because people are bound to resist change whenever any occurs may result to conflict
  3. Lack of competence: It is said that a bad workman always quarrel with his tools. When one is not competed in the position he is occupying there is very tendency that he would either carry  out his own duties wrongly  or face in the duty he is doing the first situation is where he misconceives his duties thereby lading to role conflict the role performance of each point in time depends on his role perception.
  4. Where management tends to fight the informal organization rather than work with them will increase the antagonism in dead of solving the problem.
  5. The adaptive behaviour of the employee has a cumulative effect feeds back into the formal organization. Example the worker who  has no power in the formal organization but emerges as a leader in the informal organizaiton feel very improtant and happy to contribute to the realization of the purpose of the formal organization and where that is deprived of him may result with a conflict.



As source of strength

  1. Conflict often serves for bring problem that have previously been ignored out into the open since recognition of such problems is an essential force. Step to the solution conflict can some time be useful in this direction
  2. Conflict encourages the consideration of new ideas and approaches.  In short it facilities innovation and change
  3. The opposing said of a company may carefully monitor each other’s performance thereby enhancing efficiency
  4. Because conflict enhances group loyalty it can increase motivation and performance with group or units
  5. Conflict challenges people and encourage change


  1. It generates negatives feeling among the persons concerned and it can be guide stressful
  2. It frequently interferes in the communication between individual and group or unit and in the way eliminates coordination between them
  3. It deviates legal energy and performance in the basic goal in this case it can seriously interfered with organizational effectiveness
  4. It increase the tendency of both sides to engage negative stress typing
  5. It has been found that conflict between groups often encourages their leader to shift from participating to authoritarian leadership.


Institutionalization according to Stephenson and Brother involves the setting up of organization and produces to handle conflict through such means as collective bargaining determination. While it should be emphases that such bodies as these do not resolve conflict they may be said the regulate it.  The continued recognition of such bodies give impetus to the convention of conflict

INSTITUTIONALIZATION provide workers with a degree of industrial citizenship.  In association with certain features of the wider society institutionalization conflict.  Each party has to recognize the legitimacy of the other’s existence.

When this is done the collective Bargaining Agreements of collective bargaining has now been permitted by law.  Individual bargaining is effect a material  act since the lake it or leave it proposition by an  employer forces the works to accept the job even  at disadvantageous terms to avoid employment and take care of a dependent family. Hence to strengthen  his position the worker joins the union who does the collective bargaining for him and the other members of the group collective bargaining removes most

The propensity at which conflict arises in organization is much broader then superficial analysis would reveal. The survival man is dependent on evolving better ways of resolving issues of conflict. One at man” most persistent interests therefore has been to find ways of reducing conflict or more to  say to increase cooperation in organization.

There is an erroneous assumption that increasing organizational co-operation will make organizaiton more productive.  In dead various measure to ameliorate inter group conflict have been suggested by politics managers educators doctors lawyers etc


  1. Dissemination of correct and accurate information to break down false prejudices unfavourable stereo types and hales
  2. Fair play and brother hood
  3. Introduction of various physical activities on organizational setting to reduce tensions spent-up frustration.
  4. Leaders or members of antagonistic group have ob difference occasions been brought together on conference tables to share them views
  5. Other leadership approaches have introduction like encouraging participation type of approach to managing

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