Organizational Conflict in a Formal Organization
The above subject matter cannot be discussed without first elucidating
on the key subjects viz: ‘conflict’ and ‘formal organization’.
The oxford dictionary of current English describes conflict as a lack
of agreement between opinions another school of thought sees conflict
as ‘a state of dysfunctionality in a system’. What ever the case,
conflict occurs in our everyday life either within a person when faced
with problem and possible options and/ or with another individual
either in a formal or informal setting.
On the other hand, a formal organization is typically understood to be
system/ group of people of coordinated and controlled activities that
arise when work is embedded in complex networks of technical relations
and boundary-spanning exchanges.
In effect, organizational conflict can be described as the interaction
of interdependent people who perceive incompatible goals and
interference from each other in achieving those goals. This occurs in
all formal settings. Disagreement between two or more parties who
perceive that they have incompatible concern.
Unlike the traditional view which sees conflict as being bad and as
such should be avoided, the contemporary view to which I belong, sees
conflict as neither inherently bad nor good but is inevitable in any
formal setting and structurally induced.
As earlier stated, no one person can constitute an organization and as
such there come a time when people will hold divergent views of a
As stated above that conflict is neither naturally bad nor good, it
often times enhances organizational performance as can be seen in
Intergroup conflict. This can lead to:
Increased problem awareness, increased exchange of information and
knowledge, improved decision processes, increased innovativeness and
creativity, Enhanced motivation and morale, Decreased tensions,
Enhanced psychological maturity or decline of organizational
performance such as: Increased stress and burnout, reduced
organizational performance, reduced morale and job satisfaction,
reduced loyalty to organization, Waste of resources and time.
To really understand the inevitability of conflict, we have to look at
the causes. These can be analysed as follows:
1. Mutually exclusive goals: both organizations and employees (group)
have their respective goals. These goal(s) to a large extent are
mutually inclusive. For example, if the goal of an employee is to
financially okay by way of receiving good salary, bonuses, etc, while
that of the company is to computerize its operations thereby reducing
the workforce. Both goals could be said to be mutually exclusive which
2. Reward structures: This mostly occurs in places where the
remuneration of employees is not up to...