Solving Conflict in the Workplace Term Paper

  • Length: 10 pages
  • Subject: Careers
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #36431085

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Where, those facilities that had an adversarial relationship between management / employees or other groups saw dramatic long-term effects. As productivity, higher costs and increased amounts of waste would occur at these facilities. This is significant, because it shows how various issues of conflict are like a cancer that will eat away at the most productive of organizations. In the case of the organization that we are examining, this shows that immediate action must be taken to rectify the situation. The longer the conflict is allowed to occur between the two sales people, means that the various emotions will continue to fester. At which point, it is only a matter of time until the situation will spiral out of control and the long-term productivity of the organization can be brought into question.

Hyde, M. (2006). Workplace Conflict Resolution and the Health of Employees. Social Science & Medicine, 63 (8), 2218 -- 2227.

In this article, the researchers were seeking to identify a direct link between the health of employees and conflict resolution. To achieve this objective, they would survey employees at two forestry manufacturing plants in Sweden and Finland. The results, of there survey was that those organizations that were able to successfully resolve different employee conflicts quickly, had a direct impact upon the overall levels of employee health. Where, researchers found that those entities with effective conflict resolution had employees who were: less stressful. This had a direct impact upon the physical and mental health of employees, where instances of absenteeism and sick days fell dramatically. (Hyde, 2006) This is significant, because it shows how there is a direct impact upon the health of employees, as the lack of conflict helps to improve the underlying levels of physical and mental health. In the case of the organization that we are examining, this helps to show how the continuing conflict between the two employees, could be having an effect on the physical / mental health of the staff. Where, it causes them to take sides, which will lead to an increase in stress levels.

Masters, M. (2002). Design, Implementation and Development. The Complete Guide to Conflict Resolution in the Workplace (pp. 267 -- 289). New York, NY: AMACOM

The piece of literature titled, Establishing an Integrated Conflict Resolution System, highlights the need to establish an effective conflict procedure process. Where, you consider six key elements to include: setting the objective for all conflict resolution proceedings, creating a system that is impartial, implement the system by encouraging employees / managers to use it as a way to settle disputes, consistently evaluate the system for effectiveness, adjusting the process to changes in the workplace and providing proper training. (Masters, 2002) This is significant, because it shows how an effective mechanism can be in place to address issues of conflict when they first occur. Where, both parties will feel as if their voices are being heard with the process being impartial, while ensuring that it is effective and can be changed. These elements are necessary in making certain that any kind of conflict that arises can be dealt with effectively, while ensuring that the procedure can remain relevant into the future. In the case of the organization that we are examining, this would be useful in helping to create a mechanism to deal with the conflict between the two salespeople and prevent such situations for arising in the future.


When you examine the underlying causes that are contributing to different issues surrounding the conflict between the two salespeople, it is clear that there are a number of issues which are affecting everyone. The most notable would include: emotions, culture, a lack of communication and the inability of management to resolve the issue. The obvious negative emotions between both individuals are helping to exacerbate the problem, as this will cause the two people to engage in actions that will create animosity. (Mayer, n.d.) Once this occurs, it will affect the culture of the organization, as other employees will be affected by the dispute between these two individuals. This will have a ripple effect upon organization, where the others will begin to display similar emotions because of the increase in stress levels. (Jordan, 2004) Since, the overall levels of communication were poor before the conflict began; the dispute caused the situation to become worse. As one salesperson believes that another is trying to make them look bad, by intentionally submitting their reports late. Since management was unable to effectively rectify the situation, by finding out why one salesperson is consistently submitting their reports late; shows how they obviously are out of touch with what is happening in workplace. Then, when you combine this with their inability to find out what is happening, shows that they have no control of the movement or activities of the personnel under their control. This highlights that a dramatic change needs to take place in the work environment, by addressing the immediate conflict and then establishing procedures to rectify similar situation in the future.

Conflict Resolution Recommendation

If the current conflict between the two salespeople is not rectified as soon as possible it will become much worse. This can lead to: a decline in productivity, a large turnover in employees, the company could lose market share to competitors and it could lead to unintended acts of violence (such as fights between the different individuals). To rectify the situation requires that management discuss the issues surrounding both individuals separately. Then, having the two sides sit and present their grievances to an impartial panel. At which point, the panel will render a decision that will address the issue of both parties. At the same time, it is requiring that each party is open minded during the process in order to move forward. This would have positive outcome, as both sides will feel that their views were respected and addressed. As opposed to doing nothing; this could cause the overall atmosphere of contempt to become more heated, leading to more serve problems down the road. Once this initial conflict has been rectified, you would need to establish a procedure for addressing various conflicts. To do this you would want to have the HR department survey employees / managers, to see what possible conflicts could be brewing beneath the surface. At the same time, you would have them establish a procedure where employees will have a chance to have issues that are most important to them heard in a timely manner. The best way to do this would be to create a grievance committee; that will hear various issues and then settle different disputes. This would consist of individuals from within management and select employees, where no one benefits one way or the other from the outcome. You would then, periodically survey employees and managers to see what issues are most affecting them. This would be accomplished through the HR department, at least once every six months. If the process for settling different disputes begins to become ineffective, you would survey employees / managers to find out what issues they believe are affecting the process and how it can be fixed. At which point, these changes will be implemented as part of the dispute resolution procedures for the company. This will ensure that any kind of conflicts that arise are dealt with quickly.


Clearly, the overall way that disputes are settled within the workplace must involve: flexibility, effective communication and way of allowing both parties to vent their emotions. This is important, because as globalization is having an impact upon the workplace, managers must be able to effectively deal with a host of situations. Where, the smallest conflict is similar to cancer, meaning that if it is not addressed, it will become worse and possibly spread to the entire organization. Once this takes place, is when you will see a dramatic increase in productivity and competitiveness, which could cause the company to lose market share to competitors. To avoid these kinds of situations, managers must be proactive by always looking for potential conflicts that could emerge. If they are unable to effectively resolve this situation on their own, there must be an effective procedure for resolving the dispute quickly such as: a grievance committee. This would help to address those conflicts while they are small. Over the course of time, this would have a positive effect upon the organization, as the lack of conflict will increase productivity by helping to keep everyone in a positive frame of mind. This helps to build unity among the staff, with them using these positive emotions to benefit the organization. At which point, productivity increases and the company is more agile in dealing with the changes that are taking place in the global economy. Where, effective conflict resolutions policies and procedures can address potential issues before they become a major problem. As a result, the…

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