The paper "Workplace Disputes and Their Management Strategies" Is a wonderful example of a Management Case Study. Workplace conflicts are a phenomenon that is bound to occur in an organization at one time or the other. Because people have different values and personalities, conflicts just become inevitable in any workplace. Diamond (2011, p. 2) defines workplace conflict as to the differences in needs, values, expectations, and wants in the workplace. As such, when employees have different values, expectation, needs, and want from those of the management, then a conflict is just bound to occur.
Wall and Callister's (1995, p. 518) study shows that managers spend about 25% of their time-solving disputes. Organizational conflicts result from a variety of causes, which can be positive or negative. However, the managers must ensure that conflicts are effectively managed to minimize the risk of it spiraling into a full-blown out dispute. This paper describes the causes of workplace disputes and the strategies that managers can adopt in resolving them. Causes of Workplace Disputes Disputes are likely to arise in the workplace at one time or the other.
The disputes can be among the employees themselves or between the employees and the management. In fact, there is no organization whatsoever that is immune from disputes because disputes arise from different sources some of which an organization might limit or no control over. The first major cause of disputes in organizations is differences in personalities. Branham (2005, p. 16) argues that people come from different cultural backgrounds and experiences that influence their personalities. This is especially so in the modern workplace that is made of employees from different nationalities, races, religions, and nationalities.
However, when employees fail to embrace the uniqueness in each other’ s personalities, disputes sets in, thereby making it difficult for the employees to work together, thereby resulting in a dispute (Diamond 2011, p. 23). For instance, an employee might happen to be an extrovert with an outgoing personality, resulting in the employee speaking his/her mind even when the timing appears not appropriate. Such an employee might offend a colleague who is an introvert because of the personality differences. Misunderstanding resulting from poor communication is another common cause of disputes in organizations.
Effective communication is critical in the maintenance of peace and a work environment where employees understand and get along with each other well. However, whenever there is a breakdown in communication, disputes are bound to arise. Communication breakdown can result from a variety of sources, including a clash in communication styles or failure to communicate (CPP, Incorporated 2002, p. 11). For instance, a situation might occur in an organization where a supervisor or manager has reassigned a worker from a given task to another but fails to communicate the reassignment to the employee.
Such a situation might make the employee who has been reassigned from a task to feel slighted, thereby creating tension and antagonism between the two employees and the supervisor. Unhealthy competition among employees is another common cause of workplace disputes. Wall and Callister (1995, p. 515) noted that some industries promote competition among employees more than others. The insurance industry, in particular, promotes competition among sales representatives which sometimes causes a clash between employees. It has been noted that, whenever a company has pegged remuneration based on employee productivity, such a policy creates competition among workers.
Therefore, if not properly managed, the competing workers can start sabotaging or abusing each other, thereby creating a hostile work environment. Such an unhealthy workplace is detrimental to the success of an organization because it discourages teamwork as it only serves to promote individualism.
Branham, L 2005, The 7 hidden reasons employees leave: how to recognize the subtle signs and act before it's too late. AMACOM, New York.
CPP, Incorporated 2002, Thomas-Kilmann conflict mode instrument. CPP, Incorporated, New York.
Diamond, A 2011, Conflict in the workplace: causes and cures. Robertson Publishing, Mason, OH.
Wall, J. A., & Callister, R. R 1995, “Conflict and Its management,” Journal of Management, vol. 21, no. 3, 515-558.