Essays on Conflict and Cooperation in the Workplace Case Study

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper "Conflict and Cooperation in the Workplace" Is a wonderful example of a Management Case Study. Where there are humans, there are conflicts. Just like any social set up the business organizations are not bereft of the conflicts among the individuals or group of individuals. This paper discusses the conflict in the workplace with special consideration for the role of employers in dealing with such situations. After building a fundamental understanding of the concept of conflict and conflict at the workplace, the paper delves into the elucidation of workplace conflicts by pointing out its types, stages, manifestation, identification and the extent to which an employer needs to be involved in the process of mitigating conflict creating factors and resolving the conflicts. Introduction To comprehend the topic logically, it is mandatory to understand the concept of conflict and its implication in the workplace. Conflict Conflict is defined as ‘ a struggle or contest between people with opposing needs, ideas, beliefs, values, or goals’ .

The outcome of the conflict is not something predetermined as it may be productive or nonproductive (Foundation Coalition). Conflict at Work Gill Dix in his paper ‘ Conflict at Work: The pattern of disputes in Britain since 1980’ believes that ‘ conflict is an inherent feature of the employment relationship’ (2008: p. 2).

According to the same author, the concept of conflict is holistic and involves a number of dimensions starting from large scale and drastic conflicts to the small scale individual conflicts which include grievances and professional jealousy. Based on the directional pattern of conflict, it can be said that conflict takes place at two levels. One is the horizontal level and the other is the vertical level.

In any business organization, the conflict at the horizontal level occurs among the individuals having similar standing in the organization. On the other hand, it can also occur among individuals with differential ranks. In any case, the conflict arises as a result of a clash of interests between the two parties. Types of Conflicts According to Robert Bacal, there are primarily two types of employee conflicts. The first is known as the substantive conflict whereas the second is called the personalized conflict. Bacal reckons the knowledge of these categories as the prerequisites of conflict resolution for the employers.

It is because only after the identification of conflict category can an employer take relevant steps to resolve the clash. a. Substantive Conflict Substantive conflict is a type of clash that arises between individuals or groups of individuals as a result of disagreement on any substance or issue. This kind of conflict can have two-dimensional corollaries. It can be a good thing because such disagreements probe into a solution and invite a more analytical approach to the problem. However, the darker side of the picture suggests the exacerbation of the situation through extremity on the part of the two or more parties involved. b.

Personalized Conflicts The personalized conflicts are the clashes that arise due to the personal biases of individuals or groups of individuals. Stated differently, these conflicts are not grounded in any logical explanation for hostility against any individual or group of individuals. Unlike the formerly discussed category of conflict, the personalized conflicts do not invite any critical approach or fostering of problem-solving. It is because these conflicts are solely emotion-driven (Bacal: 2008).


Bacal, R (2008). Conflict and Cooperation in the Workplace. The Work911

Workplace Supersite. Available from[Accessed 3 September 2008]

Dix, G., Forth, J. & Sisson, K (2008). Conflict at Work: The pattern of disputes in

Britain since 1980. National Institute of Economics and Social Research. Available from [Accessed 3 September 2008

Hyde, M. A. 5 Keys to Resolving Employee Conflict. EBSCO Host Publishing.

Available from [Accessed 3 September 2008]

Kushner, S. R (1996). Some New Ways of Looking at Conflict: Recognizing and

Dealing with It. Sage Publications. Available from [Accessed 3 September 2008]

Lane, Jan-Erik (1994). Will Public Management drive out Public Administration?

Asian Journal of Public Administration. Vol. 16 (2). pp. 139 – 151.

Managing Conflict at Work. Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

Available from [Accessed 3 September 2008]

Seidenfeld, M (2008). Resolving Conflicts. EBSCO Host Publishing. Available from

[Accessed 3 September 2008]

Stewart, F (1998). The Root causes of Conflict: Some Conclusions. Relief Web.

Available from [Accessed 3 September 2008]

Understanding Conflict and Conflict Management. Foundation Coalition. Available


[Accessed 3 September 2008]

What is Conflict? (2003). Tearfund. Available from

[Accessed 3 September 2008]

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us