College Essay Examples

Workplace Conflict


Workplace Conflict

A situation of discord in the workplace or an organization stems from people’s competing wants, values, and interests that are real or perceived to be real. Individual, group and organizational conflicts may all harm an organization. Control, prestige, and a lack of resources are the most common causes of conflict in the workplace. It’s not uncommon for factions in organizations to get into fights with each other. Solving such disputes rationally with an open mind and a willingness to consider both sides’ points of view and listen to one another is the most common method of reaching an amicable agreement.

  • Background Information of the Conflict Scenario 

When it comes to our case, we’ll be discussing a workplace quarrel involving two coworkers called John and Collins, who were both competing for the same promotion at their respective companies. It’s no longer pleasant to be around each other. Despite their mutual desire to maintain their connection, they hardly communicate with one other outside of team meetings.  One of the most often reported sources of stress among workers is interpersonal conflict at work. The Interpersonal Disagreement at Work Scale is the most often used tool for measuring interpersonal conflict at work (Pitafi & Liu & Cai, 2018). This form of conflict between the two has been shown to signify larger forms of harassment in the workplace. Role conflict, role uncertainty, and workload are all possible co-occurring stresses. It is has been linked to stressors including anxiety, sadness, physical complaints, and poor work satisfaction at the company.

  • Wilmot-Hocker Conflict Assessment Guide

When it comes to evaluating a dispute, the Hocker-Wilmot Conflict Assessment Guide uses simple questions. Focuses on many aspects of conflict, such as the types of conflict and their natures and styles. By analyzing conflicts in perspective of roles, processes, and patterns, Wilmot-Hocker claims systems theory examines conflicts. To learn the principles that regulate conflict behaviors, such as the one between Collins and John in our example, and the purpose that conflict represents within the system, this study sets out to investigate (Almeida & Costa & da Silva, 2017). We’ll use the systems theory method (There are no villains, great and evil individuals, or healthy and sick members in this interdependent system. This system will look at how these two workers interact with each other. Circular causality is a concept in systems theory that holds that all system elements are interconnected and impact each other in turn. Two further guiding concepts will be put into practice: persons in the system, like John and Collins, are given a role to play, and the scheme will try to retain them in that function.

Collins and John’s collaboration will keep systems running, even disagreements. Two people are required to dance the tango. John or Collins can adjust their behavior and break the loop; therefore, it’s a win-win. In a system where there is a lot of interaction, triangles are more likely to emerge as low-power individuals establish partnerships. The long-term behavior of triangles is predictable, but it may also be poisonous. According to Wilmot-Hocker, conflict rules are established in a system, no matter how defective, if the system’s core structure does not alter. When the person can no longer handle the conflict’s role, resolving the seeming conflict may generate avoid 9 (Almeida & Costa & da Silva, 2017). There are a variety of methods for identifying conflict tendencies between the two. Using metaphors and images, dramatic techniques look for clues as to why they are having a problem. When it comes to revealing relationships, this method will be most useful. The two sides may come up with a common metaphor. Using a common metaphor as a springboard for creative problem solving will benefit both sides in their disagreement.

  1. Nature of the Conflict

John’s promotion, which Collins had been vying for, was the catalyst for this interpersonal struggle to come to light. Young people’s engagement in the workforce might lead to misinterpretations. Work and friendship responsibilities may generate tensions in the office, but they can also be mutually beneficial. Disagreement between these two workers may significantly influence an organization’s working environment since Collins will begin to concentrate more on the conflict than on his responsibilities at work (Mangundjaya & Putri, 2018). In terms of the continuing connection between the parties, the following is the fundamental cause of the conflict: With John as Collins’ boss, Collins isn’t happy. External occurrences, such as how Collins feels his friends will see him despite boasting to them about his plans to become the next boss, are a part of the conflict that has been recognized.

  1. Conflict Elements

Both sides have distinct ways of expressing their conflict. John uses a conversational technique to convince his buddy that he, too, will be promoted in the future. Collins is primarily concerned with the way people display their illiteracy. He acts as though nothing could happen. The following are the supposedly conflicting goals: John wants to keep in touch with his pal. After all, John was promoted due to his hard work and outstanding communication skills; therefore, he urges that they come up with a long-term solution. Collins has his sights set on the managerial position. Thus their relationship means nothing to him right now (Brule & Eckstein, 2019). In this instance, the extent of his power will be widened. In his mind, money and a good reputation are the only prizes that are rare. This relationship between the two sides is intertwined with their respective interests. This is how they’re getting in each other’s way: Despite John’s refusal to speak, Collins insists that the management position that has been granted to him be canceled and re-assigned to him instead. The unsolved issue is increasing the stress. Their capacity to avoid aggressiveness and violence and negotiate dependency, as well as harmonizing interdependence with independence to enhance their relationship and at the same time make adjustments in their behavior patterns, was a result of the productive cycles’ transformation (Brule & Eckstein, 2019). Multiple factors, such as perceived scarcity of resources and perceived conflicting aims, might be changed by finding innovative solutions to the problem at hand. A breakup will have a significant detrimental influence on John and Collins’ friendship. Identifying the emergence of behavior issues and emphasizing the role of play and storytelling in gaining insight into interpersonal conflict’s innermost thoughts and emotions and potential results.

  1. Styles of conflict

In this case, the dispute resolution options were influenced by the unique approaches of each side. John chose a posture where he would be able to hold his ground. One must have bravery and an understanding of the opposing party’s viewpoints before deciding to stand your stance. Collins is battling with John by refusing to back down. He makes every effort to defeat John and force him to relinquish control of the position (Nafisi et al., 2021). Because John is against this choice, it’s clear that this method might be harmful to their relationship. Avoiding confrontation is a key part of his approach. It’s as if it never happened to him. He pretends that being the boss isn’t a problem. The benefits of Collin’s strategy in this disagreement were his lack of hostility and mutual understanding from an outsider’s standpoint. Because of Collin’s manner, interpersonal interactions were negatively impacted. In John’s approach, there was little dispute and no violence. This conflict system may be seen from an external viewpoint as a cohesive and adaptable system.

Workplace Conflict

  1. Power

When it came to their authority, John and Collins had quite different views. In his conclusion on his relationship with Collins, John demonstrated his authority by expressing his displeasure and disapproval of their connection. In avoiding any discussion of the promotion, Collins proves his dominance. Both sides avoid discussing power openly. They avoid talking about it at all costs. In the parties’ eyes, the connection between them is a source of their personal and the other’s dependency. Observing from the outside, I can categorize several aspects that they do not include, such as language and friendship. Financial Control, Relational Linkage, and Communication Skills are the power currencies that the parties view themselves and each other owning. According to an outsider’s view, expertise seems to be a power currency that the players are not aware of (Skarlato, 2018). Through conversation, the parties cannot reach an agreement on the relative power dynamics between themselves. There is no doubt in their minds that they have a significant impact on the outcome. In a dispute, each party’s appraisal of power has a significant impact on future decisions.

  1. Goals

Emotional expressions of wants and plans help the parties to crystallize their aims. Collins and John are both self-assured individuals. They make objectives for themselves to attain success. Collins, on the other hand, does not refer to them in terms of individuals or systems. The objectives of one party are considered by the other. It becomes clear to Collins that John is only concerned with becoming the company’s manager. Collins wants John to have less clout than he has now, and John knows it. Self-goals have a lot in common with these notions. Since the commencement of the fight, the objectives have remained constant. John and Collins both want to keep their friendships alive; thus, their aims are in line. John and Collins both have transactive goals, which allow them to adjust their objectives due to their interactions. Both Collins and John can make sense of their dispute and even gain from it because of their retroactive aspirations (Mbegu, 2018). In this circumstance, John and Collins are aiming towards content objectives. As far as John is concerned, he wants their relationship to continue. Becoming a manager is Collins’s ultimate objective in life.

  1. Tactics

It seems that the players are mulling through their dispute options. They are not spontaneous because Collins feels he can persuade John to give up the job, while John believes that his hard work earned him the position in this scenario. There is no difference in how the two parties evaluate each other’s strategy. Both Collins and John desire to be involved in the conflict, although John prefers not to. Competition tactics dominate the tactical alternatives, which John and Collins do not wish to engage in (Sibel et al., 2018). They’re still holding their own. Each participant’s strategy has a direct effect on the other since they are all interconnected. This strategy is intertwined because John and Collins do not want to break their relationship, and the dispute is escalating, maintaining, and decreasing. They only need some time to figure out what’s wrong with them.

  • Conflict Resolution

Interventions used to resolve this conflict include; doing an assessment, regulating oneself, and attempting solutions.

  1. Conducting an Assessment

In this dispute, there are several recurring patterns, including norms of communication and interaction. Both John and Collins refuse to remain silent. They can interact well in person, over the phone, and on the internet (Kyem, 2021). Maintaining their ties, John and Collins also keep in touch. Because there are no statistical tools available, this workplace dispute cannot be quantified.

  1. Self- regulation

For now, everyone’s working schedule will remain the same until Collins is promoted to a manager in some other department of the organization or the board of directors is invited to convince them to create an entirely new managerial position for Collins. The parties see these options as the only options for change (Kyem, 2021). The system’s conflict philosophy might be summed up as realizing the need to find effective solutions to the issues at hand. For identity or system regulation, there are stress management and emotion control approaches that have been applied so far. The system could make good use of these tactics, and the case’s resolution gave their relationship a fresh start.

  1. Attempting Solutions

Several solutions have been considered to resolve the disagreement, including having a meaningful discussion, enlisting the help of other resources such as the junior management and board of directors, and investigating other choices without external influence. Because John and Collins are aware of the harm these elements are doing to their pleasant connections, the remedies that have been tried have not become part of the issue. As a result of John and Collins’ initial failure to find a comprehensive solution to their dispute, other parties have been drawn into the fray (Thompson, 2018). This is not a reoccurring issue in the workplace. The connection between John and Collins changes as a result of the proposed remedies. Solutions that have been explored thus far include enlisting the help of friends at their workplaces.

Workplace Conflict

  • Psychological or Behavioral issues experienced

As far as stressors go, psychosocial stressors are perhaps the most prevalent. Some examples of these are excessive job expectations, restrictive working hours, and a lack of control over the workplace. Stress in the workplace harms both the employee and the firm as a whole (Sibel, 2018). Workers’ physical, mental, and behavioral health and well-being are all affected by work-related stress. Collins seems anxious since he does not support his friend’s promotion. He insists that he be granted the managing post.


As a result, it is important to infer that Wilmot & Hocker’s Dispute Assessment Guide may be used to comprehend the nature of a workplace conflict better. This evaluation tool helps to discover the best method of resolving the problem in this case. It’s never a good idea to take workplace dispute resolution lightly. It is possible to avoid situations that lead to employee negativity, stress, demotivation, and dissatisfaction by effectively managing conflict. We all know that working in these circumstances leads to more absenteeism, higher staff turnover, division of labor, and dissatisfied employees who are constantly on the search for something better.



Almeida, J., Costa, C., & da Silva, F. N. (2017). A framework for conflict analysis in spatial planning for tourism. Tourism Management Perspectives24, 94-106.

Brule, N., & Eckstein, J. J. (2019). “NOT My Issue!!!”: Teaching the Interpersonal Conflict Course. Journal of Communication Pedagogy2(1), 5.

Kyem, P. A. K. (2021). Perspectives on Natural Resource Conflicts. Managing Natural Resource Conflicts with Participatory Mapping and PGIS Applications, 49-67.

Mangundjaya, W. L., & Putri, A. R. (2018). Uncertainty Avoidance, Culture, and People’s Reaction to Conflict. UI Proceedings on Social Science and Humanities, 114119.

Mbegu, S. (2018). The Role Professionalism in Managing Conflict at Work Place. Open Access Library Journal5(11), 1.

Nafisi, N., Noori, A., & Mokariantabari, M. (2021). Inter-Organizational Conflict (IOC) in Building Refurbishment Projects; an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) approach. Journal of Construction Research2(1).

Pitafi, A. H., Liu, H., & Cai, Z. (2018). Investigating the relationship between workplace conflict and employee agility: The role of enterprise social media. Telematics and Informatics35(8), 2157-2172.

Shufutinsky, A., Sibel, J., Murray-Hayden, P., Shufutinsky, D., & Cox, R. (2018). The disruptive technology that will change the practice of conflict analysis and resolution. OD Pract50, 54-61.

Skarlato, O. (2018). Toward an Integrated Framework of Conflict Resolution and Transformation in Environmental Policymaking. Conflict Transformation, Peacebuilding, and Storytelling: Research from the Mauro Centre, 221.

Thomson, R. A., Overall, N. C., Cameron, L. D., & Low, R. S. (2018). Perceived regard, expressive suppression during the conflict, and conflict resolution. Journal of Family Psychology32(6), 722.

Wallensteen, P. (2018). Understanding conflict resolution. Sage.

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