Sources of Conflict - Organizational Behavior

1)     Organizational change: people hold differing views over the direction to go, the routes to take and their likely success, the resources to be used, and the probable outcomes. With the pace of technological, political, and social change increasing and the marketplace hurtling toward a global economy, organizational changes will be ever-present.

2)     Personality clashes: the concept of individual differences is fundamental to organizational behavior. Not everyone thinks feels, looks, or acts alike. Some people simply "rub us the wrong way" , and we cannot necessarily explain why. Although personality differences can cause conflict, they are also a rich resource for creative problem solving. Employees need to accept, respect, and learn how to use these differences when they arise.

3)     Different sets of values: people also hold different beliefs and adhere to different value systems. Their philosophies may diverge, or their ethical values may lead them in different directions. The resulting disputes can be difficult to resolve, since they are less objective than disagreements over alternative products, inventory levels or promotional campaigns.

4)     Threats to status: the status, or the social rank of a person in a group, is very important to many individuals. When one's status as threatened, face saving becomes a powerful driving force as a person struggles to maintain a desired image. Conflict may arise between the defensive person and whoever created a threat to status.

5)     Contrasting perceptions: people perceive things differently as a result of their prior experiences and expectations. Since their perceptions are very real to them (and they feel that these perceptions must be equally apparent to others), they sometimes fail to realize that others may hold contrasting perceptions of the same object or event. Conflict may arise unless employees learn to see things as others see them and help others do the same.

6)     Lack of trust: every continuing relationship requires some degree of trust-the capacity to depend on each other's word and actions. Trust opens  up boundaries, provides opportunities in which to act, and enriches the entire social fabric of an organization. It takes time to build , but it can be destroyed in an instant. When someone has a real or perceived reason not to trust another, the potential for conflict rises.


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