The management of an organisation is primarily the responsibility of the senior level managers as they have to devise various policies and procedures through which the organisational activities can be carried out efficiently, and desired organisational goals can be positively accomplished. The managers within an organisation are responsible for managing different categories of employees to achieve positive contribution from them in attaining organisational goals. However, a major problem facing many organisations is regarding the conflicts within their employees. Conflicts are mainly the disagreement among employees on any particular matter, and this leads to arguments within them supporting that their points are better. The resulting impact of such conflicts within organisation is that they adversely affect the morale of the employees and ultimately their performance in the organisation. As a result of this, organisations have to suffer in terms of decline in their performance levels.
This report is aimed at analysing the conflicts and their impact on the performance of employees and the organisation itself. In performing the analysis, it is argued that conflicts of any type within organisation are detrimental to the employees and the organisation itself. In order to support this argument, the analysis in this report is structured in a sequential manner.
Analysis of the Concept of Conflict and Its Prevalence in Modern Organisation
Conflict is mainly defined as a strong disagreement that occurs between people or groups in an organisation. Conflict is mainly a friction or disagreement within groups of people regarding any particular idea or topic whereby the other members resist or remain unacceptable to the ideas of another member in the group. Such disagreement over the viewpoints of a member within the group by other members is termed as intergroup conflict. Conflict can be understood in different ways as Rahim (2011) indicated that there is no single meaning of conflict as it is defined in a very broad manner and at the same time, it is also defined in a narrow way. The broader definition of conflict indicates that it is a process that underlies organisational behaviour. Contrary to this, conflict is defined in a narrow way as an interactive state whereby the behaviour or goals of one actor is incompatible with that of the behaviour or goals of other actor or actors. Thus the analysis of the concept of conflict above implies that it is a kind of disagreement regarding the viewpoints shared by an individual by others (Rahim, 2011).
Conflicts in Modern Organisation: Modern organisations in the 21st century are highly encountered to the issue of conflicts within their employees and this is mainly because of the nature of modern day business organisation which is highly competitive and challenging. As indicated by Morgan (2006) conflict will always be present in organisation. There can be different forms of conflict and these include personal, interpersonal or between rival groups or coalitions. The higher chances of conflicts within organisation are mainly because such organisations encourage organisational politics as they are designed as systems of simultaneous competition and collaboration. This requires the employees to collaborate in order to achieve common goals, and their collaboration leads to differences in the viewpoints being shared by them. The resulting impact is higher overall chances of conflicts (Morgan, 2006).
It is not only the nature of the organisation that gives rise to higher level of conflicts within organisation, rather there are various other reasons which leads to such conflicting situation. As for instance, the generational shift within organisation is another major contributing factor towards conflicts among employees, and this is positing significant threats to the overall performance level within organisation. The generation X employees have occupied the senior level positions in many organisation, and generation Y employees have started taking major younger positions. The thinking and working approach of gen X and gen Y employees differ significantly which leads to disagreements within them regarding the ways of doing things, and the resulting impact is higher overall conflicts (Deal, 2007).
Impact of Conflicts on Employee and Organisational Performance
An analysis above indicates about the concept of conflicts and various reasons leading to conflicts within employees. However, as argued above, the conflicts have a detrimental effect on the performance of employees within organisation, and this has been indicated in the existing literature as well. As indicated by Deb (2009), decline in the performance of employees is assured if the conflict is dysfunctional and the decline in the employee performance directly contributes towards decline in the performance of the entire organisation. The impact of conflict on employee performance is a highly debated topic among the past scholars as asserted by Kusluvan (2003). The studies in the past have mostly focused towards analysing the relationships between different types of conflict and several individual affective outcomes such as tension, satisfaction, psychological wellbeing, compliance and commitment. The results as identified from the research studies such as De, Dreu, Van and Viannen (2001) indicated a negative association with all the above indicated variables.
The negative effect of conflicts between group members adversely affects the group climate and it therefore inhibits team effectiveness. The morale of not only the conflicting members, but also the other members in the group declines as a result of conflict and it thereby affects their overall contribution potential in achieving the group goals. The interpersonal conflicts that involves anger and frustration leads to adverse overall impact on the communication and cooperation between group members. A study by Rahim and Afza (1993) as cited in the Kusluvan (2003) indicates that some of the affective reasons lead to the desire of leaving the job by employees. Thus, conflict has the potential of not only affecting the organisational performance, but it also have negative impact in terms of organisation’s losing their key assets (Kusluvan, 2003).
According to Russell and Russell (2009), the conflicts within employees need to be resolved on immediate basis because it not only affects the performance of an individual employee, but it also leads to an impact over the performance of other employees as well. Thus, conflicts produced by individual employees may disrupt the work of others, and the impact would be severe over the entire organisation’s performance. Thus, immediate efforts are needed on the part of management to protect the organisation from facing adverse threats as a result of conflicts within group members. This shows that the role of conflict over the performance of not only a single employee but a group of employees is negative and this required immediate actions for better overall performance of the employees and ultimately the organisation (Russell and Russell, 2009).
As indicated by Schultz (2002), there can be serious negative effect of conflict on employee performance, and this is mainly because conflicts diverts the attention from the goal and leads to the depletion of resources such as time and money. The psychological wellbeing of the employees gets adversely affected as a result of conflict and it is the prime contributing factor towards higher level of stress in them. The conflicting thoughts among employees as a result of conflict lead to resentment, anxiety and tension and over a period of time, such conflicting situation if not managed properly would act as a barrier in the creation of a supporting and trusting relationships. The organisations therefore have to suffer in the long run from the conflicting scenario among its employees. The immediate actions are necessary in order to overcome such situation and thereby in attaining positive employee as well as organisational performance (Schultz, 2002).
The negative impact on employees’ performance and thereby on the organisational performance levels from the conflicts within organisation is also agreed by Maas (2010) by indicating that interpersonal conflict leads to the generation of group rivalry and this may lead to undesirable and objectionable behaviour on the part of its members. In addition to this, conflicts within group members are the main source behind the feelings of opposition, mistrust, disbelief and hostility among the members within various groups. The overall functioning of the organisation gets affected if such tendencies are not checked on time. The situation of goal displacement can also be possible form the organisational conflict because organisational conflicts are become a part of the organisational functioning. The negative effects from organisational conflicts can also be in terms of chaos, disorder and instability. These situations therefore become the primary contributing factor towards disequilibrium of organisational goals and disintegration of the major sub-systems that are involved within the organisation (Maas, 2010).
The analysis above clearly indicates that the impact of conflict within employees over their performance and the organisational performance is negative. However, a critical analysis of the existing literature indicates that conflict sometimes lead to better growth opportunities to organisation. As indicated by Moshal (2009), conflicting situation sometimes provide opportunities to individuals in order to make an impartial and objective assessment. Further, the conflicts within group members are often a source of gaining new insights regarding the ways of doing things in organisation and thereby allows for better opportunities in accomplishing organisational goals. The resolution of conflicts as performed often allows for better identification of ways in dealing with issues and they therefore leads to better accomplishment of the activities as assigned to group members. In addition to this, the changes as a result of conflict that are introduced in an organisation also justify them because they help managers in searching for new sets of objectives, policies, procedures and values (Moshal, 2009).
According to Dreu and Gelfand (2007), the entire exercise of resolving the conflict is an important medium in serving an organisation as a tool for organisational development. This is mainly because the occurrence of conflict requires the managers to locate it, identify it and properly analyse it so that necessary measures can be taken on immediate basis to achieve improvement over the existing situation. As a result of the measures undertaken for improving the conflicting situation, it would lead to strengthening of the internal environment and the quality of the internal environment would therefore be upgraded as a result of it. This would therefore reduce any anomalies in the existing organisational processes and therefore, better overall performance can be achieved. This indicates that there can be positive improvements that will be accomplished from undertaking the resolution process of conflict management (Dreu and Gelfand, 2007).
Overall, the analysis above indicates that the impact of conflicts is detrimental with respect to the performance of employees and ultimately the entire organisation’s performance. However, the analysis also revealed that the improvement over the organisational functions and processes can become possible from undertaking the revamping measures in resolving the conflicting situations.
This report is based on analysing the impact of conflict over the employee and organisational performance and the analysis is based on the argument that conflicts leads to negative overall impact on employee performance as well as organisational performance. The conduct of the analysis through a critical review of the findings of the past scholars revealed that the conflict has negative over impact on employee as well as organisational performance. The negative impact is mainly because of anger and frustrations as created within the group, and it not only affect an individual performance, but leads to severe negative impact on the performance of the other employees within group and ultimately, the entire organisation’s performance. As a result, immediate measures are required in dealing with such issue of conflict within organisation. However, the analysis also revealed that the potential way of resolving conflicts and better opportunities in achieving processes improvement can be possible from the measures as undertake in dealing with such issue of conflicting situation. But the discussion above has positively sufficed the argument that there is negative overall impact of conflict over the employee as well as organisational performance.