Impact of Conflicts on the Organization

Conflicts usually indicate a weak organizational culture in the organization. Such a culture is typical for young organizations in which the system of norms and values is not completely formed, and the method of shared values is not created. However, it often happens that a mature organization in which the staff is stable does not have a strong culture, which may be due to the lack of support for the organization’s core values (Hussein & Al-Mamary, 2019). Thus, the resolution of conflicts in enterprises becomes even more relevant, as they affect the efficiency of the organization and its ability to work smoothly.

When thinking about conflict, people often associate it with aggression, hostility, threats, and others. Because of this, the opinion has developed that battles are always undesirable and must be avoided or resolved immediately. Sometimes conflict can harm the goals of an organization or individual needs. Though there are times when it can help reveal a variety of points of view or provide additional information that helps to identify more alternatives.

It can make the group’s decision-making process more efficient or give people the opportunity to express their opinions and satisfy their personal needs for power and respect. It can also lead to the most effective implementation of strategies, plans, and projects, as discussions of various opinions on these issues are held before their actual performance. Conflicts can be functional and lead to an increase in the organization’s efficiency. In another case, conflicts can be dysfunctional and lead to a decrease in the organization’s effectiveness or personal satisfaction.

A conflict is, first of all, a clash of interests, goals, and not a contradiction, as many people think. It may turn into a fight between the parties but may remain at the initial level. The emergence of confrontations in the organization is influenced by the organizational behavior of employees, which focuses on interpersonal and intragroup clashes that occur due to various personality traits and lack of communication.

There are two approaches to considering conflict: on the one hand, conflict is seen as a problem that arises between people. It also cannot be planned or predicted at the stage of origin, that is, until it takes an explicit form. On the other hand, the conflict can be identified and prevented since it mostly indicates the presence of significant shortcomings in the organization, which can be placed before the conflict arises on this basis.

There are several types of conflicts in an organization:

  1. Intrapersonal conflict is associated with low job satisfaction, low self-confidence, and organization, as well as stress.
  2. Interpersonal. This type is the most common; most often, managers or leaders struggle for resources, capital, and the best employees in their department, equipment, or project approval.
  3. The conflict between the individual and the group occurs if a person takes a position that is different from the place of the group. Clashes between the leader and a group of subordinate employees are also widespread. If he applies disciplinary measures against subordinates, then the latter reduces productivity in response.
  4. Intergroup conflicts are conflicts between groups, formal and informal, functional groups within the company.

Constructive, or functional, conflicts with a certain degree of conditionality and for the sake of convenience of presentation of the material. It can be divided into general functions of the competition that take place at various levels of the social system (O’Neill et al., 2018). Additionally, the roles of the conflict at the personal level relate to the impact of the row directly on the personality.

A conflict is a form of disagreement resolution, and it reveals the gaps, miscalculations, and shortcomings that arise in society, and because of this, the conflict itself flares up. Moreover, the competition relieves social tension and eliminates the situation of stress, helps to ‘let off steam,’ defuse the problem, and removes the accumulated tension. The resolution of the conflict leads to the stabilization of the system while eliminating the sources and centers of dissatisfaction. For effective conflict management, the leader must:

  1. determine the type of conflict,
  2. identify its causes,
  3. determine its features, and then
  4. apply the methods necessary for this type of conflict to resolve it.

Thus, the conflict can have a functional and dysfunctional impact on the work of the enterprise. The first is manifested in the fact that as a result of a conflict of interests and goals, the management structure is improved at the enterprise, and new ideas are embodied (Pfajfar et al., 2019). In the second case, the negative impact is manifested in the weakening of the organization and unity of the team, selfishness in relation to other employees, and the decline of mutual interest in success. In extreme cases, it causes the departure of employees from the organization, that is, a decrease in whether work efficiency or also the loss of qualified frames.

The most common methods of conducting a discussion and presenting one’s position are the methods of argumentation and counter argumentation. Argumentation techniques usually include the presentation of arguments, the expansion of opinions, and the technique of positive answers. The methods of counter argumentation include the ‘turning’ of the partner’s statements, their dismemberment, and the counter-deployment of argumentation (Pfajfar et al., 2019). For example, the technique of positive answers involves the formulation of specific questions, with the help of which the opponent’s agreement is reached on each individual item. Thus, both partners gradually come to the same conclusion.

Typical destructive methods of influencing a partner in a conflict situation are the use of threats, ’emotional blows,’ humiliation, insults against the enemy, reference to authority, or its denial, avoidance of discussing the problem, and flattery.

  • Intimidation and threats. General formula: because I am stronger than you, because if you are not… then I… Examples: I have the ability to influence you; If you do not resolve my issue, I will have to turn to your leadership.
  • Avoidance of discussion of the problem, for example I think you are dramatizing the situation; I don’t see any problem here at all.

In the vast majority of cases, it is believed that the conflict is a highly negative phenomenon, causing misunderstanding, resentment, hostility, or threats. In other words, something that you should try to avoid by all means. Also, representatives of earlier management schools argued that conflict is a sign of poor organization management and an indicator of its inefficiency. However, many modern management professionals are increasingly inclined to believe that some types of conflict not only can occur but are desirable even in the most influential organizations, where employee relationships deserve the best ratings. The only thing that is needed here is to learn how to manage conflict.


Hussein, A. F. F., & Al-Mamary, Y. H. S. (2019). Conflicts: Their types, and their negative and positive effects on organizations. International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research, 8(8), 10–13. Web.

O’Neill, T. A., McLarnon, M. J., Hoffart, G. C., Woodley, H. J., & Allen, N. J. (2018). The structure and function of Team Conflict State Profiles. Journal of Management, 44(2), 811–836. Web.

Pfajfar, G., Shoham, A., Makovec Brenčič, M., Koufopoulos, D., Katsikeas, C. S., & Mitręga, M. (2019). Power source drivers and performance outcomes of functional and dysfunctional conflict in exporter–importer relationships. Industrial Marketing Management, 78, 213–226. Web.

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