Identifying And Resolving Organization Research Paper

Length: 6 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Business - Management Type: Research Paper Paper: #45103088 Related Topics: Organizational Communication, Active Listening, Carl Jung, Text Messaging
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Organizational Conflict


Management Theory and Thought: Identifying and Resolving Organizational Conflict

Understanding Individual Preferences

Organizational Diversity

Interpersonal Communication

The modern business environment has become more complex and diverse than ever before. Globalization has been driven by technological innovations that allow for greater communication, information sharing, travel, and business networks that span the globe. Employees today expected to handle workloads that push their productivity beyond that of any generation in the past. Furthermore, the complexity and diversity found in this environment often significantly increase the potential for organizational conflict. Teams are now more commonly spread out across geographic locations and often represent individuals from far different backgrounds.

There are many perspectives that can be used to try to build organizational conflict resolution capabilities in an organization and this objective can be viewed from many perspectives. For example, you can try to build conflict resolution skills in the individual, the team as a whole, or even through the organization by focusing on the organizational culture. The more comprehensive the conflict resolution perspective is, the more likely it is to be effective in preparing people and organizations for the challenges in conflict that they will likely face. This analysis will provide an overview of some of the ways in which organizational conflict can be mitigated in the modern work environment.

Understanding Individual Preferences

Much of the conflict that occurs between individuals arises from the fact that many people have different working styles based on attributes of their personalities. If follows that having an understanding of these differences can build an appreciation for different working styles and potential avoid or mitigate organizational conflict. The Myers-Briggs is a personality inventory system that was developed as an extension of Carl Jung's theory of personality types. It has been well researched and is a popular model in organizational psychology and in business in general.

In this model personalities are classified by different factors of the personality in which there are two poles of different types of attributes of personality that are opposite. For example, some people enjoy being around other people and crowds while others prefer to avoid crowds and spend more time alone. The former personality type could be considered extraverted while the latter would lean towards the introverted personality type. Understand such differences and the other differences in the personality categories can help members of a team environment understand the different working styles of their teams and address the potential for conflict even before it arises. The four different personality scale dimensions are as follows (The Myers & Briggs Foundation, N.d.):

Extroverted or introverted (E or I).

Sensing or intuitive (S or N).

Thinking or feeling (T or F).

Perceiving or judging (P or J).

Introverted and extroversion deal with how likely a person is to engage with others in a social or professional setting. Sensing or intuitive deals with how people judge various bits of information. Some people rely on intuition while others tend to be more analytical. The thinking and feeling personality dimension deals with how people process information and whether they are driven by their emotions or tend to be more calculating. Perceiving and judging deal with how people come to make decisions which can be a critical dimension for group functions. Understanding these different dimensions personality can help people understand each other's working preferences so that they can work more cohesively as a group.

Organizational Diversity

Another perspective which can help resolve conflicts in organizations can come from managing diversity. There are many advantages that a company can gain by proactively embracing diversity. Furthermore, even from a reactionary approach the current demographic trend makes dealing with diversity inevitable for all groups. The minority population in the United States is expanding more rapidly than the current Caucasian population. Minorities, now roughly one-third of the U.S. population, are expected to become the majority in 2042, with the nation projected to be 54% minority in 2050 (United States Census Bureau, 2008).

Diversity can be defined as either real or perceived differences in people in regard to race,...


Diversity can either have positive or negative effects on an organization depending on a number of factors including organizational culture. If an organization is not tolerant of diversity it can lead to high costs for employee turnover, narrow the pool of potential applicants, as well as limit the organization's ability to problem solve from different perspectives among other issues. All of these can be sources of organizational conflicts and embracing diversity can build a sense of empathy for people from different backgrounds in addition to understanding their personality preferences.

Embracing diversity can support the way the modern workforce is operating as well. For example, some of strategies that are being used include in today's workforce include self-directed and cross-functional teams that are using tools such as total quality management (TQM) and just-in-time (JIT) inventory management systems that target reducing waste in manufacturing and service industries (Brenner, Fairris, & Ruser, 2004). These teams have to be flexible enough to work with a wide range of different groups and in many cases international partners. Thus understanding and appreciating diversity can be a significant tool to help reduce sources of conflict in the highly diverse and globalized workforce that is developing worldwide.

Interpersonal Communication

Understanding the role of interpersonal communications in the evolving world of communications can also be used as a measure to reduce the potential for organizational conflict. In just the last few generations there have been many breakthrough technologies; especially those relating to information and communications. Employees can now communicate with each other in a variety of different ways including text messaging, email, and video chat. Organizations are now using digital records and record management software packages and technology has worked to revolutionize the array of different methods of communication both internally and externally.

There are many pros and cons to each form of technology that can be used for communications an employees should be made aware of this differences. Despite the different methods of communication, the face-to-face meeting still remains the most effective in most situations and there are many tactics and strategies that can be used to reduce conflict through interpersonal communications. Some of the best practices for mitigating conflict through interpersonal communications include items such as:

Finding a safe place -- some times when two people disagree they can find a new and neutral space to try to work out their differences.

Use listening techniques -- when people are experiencing conflict there is generally a breakdown in listening. Employees can overcome this by trying to use active listening techniques to ensure they are listening to the other parties.

Problem solving with flexibility -- this technique allows individuals to focus on mutual gain rather than blaming each other for the source of the conflict.

Some even more advanced techniques can also be used to solve tense conflicts. One tactic is the use of active listening which represents a way to allow a way to release built-up anxiety and frustration in tense events (Terestre, 2004). Other interpersonal communication techniques, such as venting, can be used. This technique can let a leader use listening techniques and then reframe the potential options to an individual in terms of their own self-interest as well as organizational goals.

Different listening techniques have been considered important as far back as the early 1980s when a majority of Fortune 500 companies were identified to lack adequate listening training programs (Hunt & Cusella, 1983). Individuals with better listening skills have been found to be more capable of performing tasks efficiently than individuals who have more difficulty with listening; especially when individuals are actively listening to content (Gherri & Eimer, 2011). The use of listening to reduce conflict in organizations cannot be understated and still remains one of the most cost effective skills to teach.


There are many ways to help mitigate conflict in an organizational setting and this problem can be viewed from a variety of different perspectives. This analysis looked three different perspectives to help reduce organizational conflict. The first factor was the influence that different personalities can have on conflict. Much of the conflict that occurs between individuals arises from the fact that many people have different working styles based on attributes of their personalities. Another potential source of organizational conflict comes from diversity. There are many advantages that a company can gain by proactively embracing diversity but these depend on the organizational culture and its openness to diversity. Finally, interpersonal communication skills and especially listening techniques were also provided as another way to help reduce conflicts on an interpersonal level.

Works Cited

Brenner, M., Fairris, D., & Ruser, J. (2004). "Flexible" Work Practices and Occupational Safety and Health: Exploring the Relationship Between Cumulative Trauma Disorders and Workplace Transformation. Industrial Relations, 242-266.

Gherri, B., & Eimer, M.…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Brenner, M., Fairris, D., & Ruser, J. (2004). "Flexible" Work Practices and Occupational Safety and Health: Exploring the Relationship Between Cumulative Trauma Disorders and Workplace Transformation. Industrial Relations, 242-266.

Gherri, B., & Eimer, M. (2011). Active Listening Impairs Visual Perception and Selectivity: An ERP Study of Auditory Dual-task Costs on Visual Attention. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23(4), 832-844.

Hunt, G., & Cusella, L. (1983). A field study of listening needs in organizations. Communication Education, 32(4), 393-401.

Terestre, D. (2004, March 26). Talking him down: the crisis negotiator. Retrieved from Police One:
The Myers & Briggs Foundation. (N.d.). MBTI Basics. Retrieved from The Myers & Briggs Foundation:

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