Friday, January 17, 2014

Structural sources of organizational conflict

In the last byte, we began our discussion about the sources of conflict. We listed the structural sources of organizational conflict in the last byte; we shall discuss these in a bit more detail here.
  • SPECIALIZATION - When jobs are highly specialized, employees become experts at certain tasks.  Highly specialized jobs could lead to conflict as people would be little aware of the tasks that other's perform.
  • INTERDEPENDENCE - Sometimes work requires groups or individuals to depend on one another to accomplish a certain goal.  This dependency is not an issue as long as the process works smoothly, however it could soon turn into a blame game when there is a problem.
  • COMMON RESOURCES - Sharing common resources by multiple people could be another source of conflicts. This escalates in case the resource is scare.
  • GOAL DIFFERENCES - When multiple groups work towards maximizing a specific group objective, the lack of understanding of other's objective is the common source of this.
  • AUTHORITY RELATIONSHIPS - A supervisor-subordinate relationship is another source of conflicts as one has authority over another. Through greater emphasis on team approach, empowerment etc the potential for such conflict reduces.
  • STATUS INCONSISTENCIES - Resentment amongst people due to strong status differences (between management and non management say) is a source of conflicts.
  • JURISDICTIONAL AMBIGUITIES - Unclear lines of responsibilities within an organization is the source of such conflicts.

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