Managing Interpersonal Conflict in Organizations
Dil Prasad Shrestha1, PhD
This paper tries to summarize the theoretical perspectives on interpersonal conflicts and explain the paradigm shift of understanding conflict in organizations. It highlights the importance of conflict management and interpersonal conflict in the organization. Major causes and sources of interpersonal conflict in organizations include communication differences, structural differences, personal differences, and environmental stress. It also tries to give an overview of what tools and techniques are available for managers to handle the conflict in particular and interpersonal conflict in general. Nepalese managers seem to be less aware of the conflict handing styles and less prepared while managing conflicts in their organizations, resulting unsatisfactory outcomes, disharmony, and distractions from the main purpose of the conflict management. The paper concludes with measures that managers may apply to reduce the number and intensity of conflicts in their organizations.
Keywords: conflict, task conflict, interpersonal conflict, conflict in organizations, conflict management.
Conflict is an inherent process to human relations, especially in work settings. People have different experiences, values, opinions and ways to carry out tasks, which are likely to lead to disagreements (Martínez-Corts, et al., 2011). Research studies suggest the existence of two main types of interpersonal conflict at work: relationship conflict and task conflict. While relationship conflict comprises perceived interpersonal incompatibilities among group members such as disagreements about values, beliefs, attitudes and political ideology; task conflict consists of job-related disagreements about how to carry out specific tasks particularly in relation to discrepancies about procedures or the distribution of available resources.
When we use the term conflict, we are referring to...