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Types of Conflict in Organisational Behaviour

Types of Conflict

Types of Conflict 

Before going any further, let us first give a brief description of what conflict is. There are actually a lot of ways to define conflict due to how it is used in many areas.

Hence, to keep it simple for the layman, conflict pertains to the opposing ideas and actions of different entities, thus resulting in an antagonistic state.

Conflict is an inevitable part of life: Each of us possesses our own opinions, ideas, and sets of beliefs. We have our own ways of looking at things and we act according to what we think is proper.

Hence, we often find ourselves in the conflict in different scenarios; may it involve other individuals, groups of people, or a struggle within ourselves.

Consequently, conflict influences our actions and decisions in one way or another. Conflict is classified into the following types:

  1. Functional Conflict-

    Functional conflict is healthy, constructive disagreement between groups or individuals. The conflict which supports the goals of a group and also improves its performance is known as a functional or a positive conflict.

The functional conflict is helpful in the achievement of the goals of a group. Positive results of functional conflict include:

  • Awareness of both sides of issues.
  • Improvement of working conditions due to accomplishing solutions together.
  • Solving issues together to improve overall morale.
  • Making innovations and improvements within an organization.
  1. Dysfunctional Conflict-

    Dysfunctional conflict is an unhealthy disagreement that occurs between groups or individuals.

The conflict which obstructs the achievement of the goals of a group is called a dysfunctional or destructive conflict. Negative results of dysfunctional conflict include:

  • Individuals use threats, verbal abuse, and deception, which destroy relationships
  • Both parties can end up losing in this type of conflict
  • This type of conflict can lead to retaliation and further acts of negativity.
  1. Task conflict-

    Task conflict relates to the content and goals of the work.

  2. Relationship conflict-

    Relationship conflict focuses on interpersonal relationships.

  3. Process conflict-

    Process conflict relates to how the work gets done. Studies demonstrate the relationship conflicts are almost always dysfunctional.

  4. Intra-organizational conflict-

    It is an umbrella term for any type of conflict that takes place within one organization.

  5. Inter-organizational conflict-

    It occurs between different organizations, such as between two competing firms in an industry.

  6. Vertical conflict-

    It occurs between hierarchical levels, say between management and employees.

  7. Horizontal conflict-

    Horizontal conflict takes place between different individuals, groups or departments at the Same hierarchical level say between two competing departments that have similar power and authority in different areas.

  8. Resource scarcity conflicts-

    It is a common type of conflict in organizations, takes place where resources are scarce, such as during financial constraints or even if office space is limited, creating conflicts between individuals, teams, and departments.

  9. Role conflict-

    Role conflict is about expectations of tasks, primarily when they are not communicated effectively or the communication given is not received effectively.

  10. Interpersonal conflict-

    It refers to a conflict between two individuals. This occurs typically due to how people are different from one another.

We have varied personalities which usually result in incompatible choices and opinions.

  1. Intrapersonal conflict-

    Intrapersonal Occurs within an individual. The experience takes place in a person’s mind.

Hence, it is a type of conflict that is psychological involving the individual’s thoughts, values, principles, and emotions.

  1. Intra-group conflict-

    It is a type of conflict that happens among individuals within a team. The incompatibilities and misunderstandings among these individuals lead to an intra-group conflict!

It arises from interpersonal disagreements or differences in views and ideas.

From the above discussion, we can say that the types of conflicts are different and their impacts are also different.

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