ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Conflict Management in project implementation

Updated on March 19, 2012
A small conflict, it can be resolved easily.
A small conflict, it can be resolved easily. | Source

Conflict means friction, discord, dissent, collusion or contention. It results from clash of values, interests, actions or directions. A conflict is more than a mere disagreement. It could be actual or perceived.

In traditional view, a conflict is bad, caused by trouble makers and must be avoided or suppressed.  But in contemporary view, it is normal and inevitable, often beneficial and natural result of the change. It should be managed rather than suppressed.

What is an organizational conflict?

Organizational Conflict is the ‘discord’ that arises when goals, interests or values of different individuals or groups are incompatible and those people block or thwart each other’s efforts to achieve their objectives. Moreover, it is inevitable given the wide range of goals for the different stakeholder in the organization. In project implementation, a simple disagreement may arise (i) between team-members, or (ii) between functional managers and line managers. If unresolved, it may escalate into verbal assaults and resentment.

If there are no conflicts, it shows that the management emphasizes on uniformity or conformity which may discourage new ideas or innovations. For organizational performance, Conflict is good if not excessive.

SOURCES OF CONFLICTS

Organizational conflict stems from a variety of sources. There different groups working for the same project. They may be functional managers or line managers. They may be teams A, B & C. They have different goal and focus. They are interdependent and if there is lack of coordination, conflict would arise. Their authority may overlap. Two or manager managers may claim authority for the same task leading to a conflicting situation.

Similarly lack of transparency in reward system may be a cause of heart-burning and subsequent conflicts. One person or one group may be rewarded for achieving goal while another is not rewaarded for no apparent reasons.

Above all, scarce resources may cause conflict. These resources include finance, equipment and facilities. Initially, the conflict starts over the allocation. Everyone does not get what one aspires for. Subsequently, there may be a stress from working with inadequate resources.

TYPES OF CONFLICTS

There are a number of types of conflicts such as (i) interdependence conflict, (ii) management styles conflict, (iii) background conflict (white collar v. blue collar, professional v. non-professional, male v. female and (iv) personality conflicts.

A manger should be able to distinguish functional conflict from dysfunctional conflict. In functional conflict, the employees may disagree or discuss how best to do a certain task. But this is constructive as it may lead to an ingenious way to complete the same task. Such conflicts may (i) bring up better results, (ii) oblige individuals to think of a plausible solution.

But, on the other hand, dysfunctional conflicts are destructive as (i) no one tries to find a solution but advance it own arguments, (ii) seniors do not take interest but assume that a solution would come by itself. Such a conflict hamper smooth progress and productivity, causes more and continued conflict, lower morale of workers and supervisers and results in inappropriate behaviors.

MANAGING CONFLICTS

There are a few strategies that can be used to resolve a conflict. Resolve does not necessarily solve a problem but it means sort of settlement for the time being. When a manager is pressed for time, he or she should resolve the problem a way that project does not suffer. However, to avoid a flare up and backlash, the manager may just settle the conflict and leave the solution at a later stage.

The important factors are:

  • Issue importance– what the issue under conflict or litigation, is it important, are principles or values involved in the conflict.
  • Relationship Importance – how important is it that cordial relations be maintain with the other party.
  • Relative power – how much power or leverages you have to use in a certain situation.

After considering the importance, the manager may adopt any of the following strategies:

(1) WITHDRAWAL

The manager may not pay any attention to the conflict and let the other party satisfy its concern. Avoiding is beneficial if the manager is busy with other important job or if the issue is not important or the other party is un-important.

The conflict may resolve naturally with the passage of time or the other party may realize it high-headedness and seek forgiveness at a later stage.

This approach is viewed as postponing an issue for later or withdrawing from the situation altogether. It is regarded as a temporary solution because the problem and conflict continue to reoccur over and over again.

(2) SMOOTHING

In a small or unimportant conflict, it is best to accept the view of the other party. In this case, the areas of agreement are emphasized and the areas of disagreement are downplayed. One of the parties may sacrifice its own concerns. This may be a trade-off at a later time and is good if the consequences are small, stakes are low and continued harmonious relationship are desired.

(3) FORCING

Because of time constraint or discipline issues, the manager may be used the necessary authority to settle the matter without regard to the concerns of the other party. This would discourage unnecessary or baseless conflicts.

(4) COMPROMISING

This situation calls for give and take. When the issue is moderate, comprising is the best solution. In other words, it looks for a solution which is acceptable to both parties to avoid a deadlock or for the sake of continued good relations. In this situation, the manager cooperates with the other party to understand their concerns and expressing his or own own concerns in an effort to find a mutually and completely satisfactory solution. This is a classic example of win-win situation.

(5) SOLVING

But a much better way is to solve the conflict especially when the conflict is over an important issue. Necessary guidance may be obtained from the official manual and agreements, the matter may be studied threadbare and a solution found which is justified.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      willy 

      3 years ago

      M educated already

    • profile image

      ria 

      5 years ago

      very useful

    • hafeezrm profile imageAUTHOR

      hafeezrm 

      6 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Zohaib Noor for your comments.

    • profile image

      ZOHAIB NOOR 

      6 years ago

      SIR VIDEO IS OUTSTANDING IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT ..

    • profile image

      Farasat Ara 

      7 years ago

      Respected Sir:

      This is such an informative Material on Conflict Management that how we handle it positively ,you clear some confusing points so well which help me that how i manage any conflict in Organization.

      Thanks

      Regards,

      FARASAT

    • Kamran100 profile image

      Kamran100 

      7 years ago

      i 'm doing study about human resource management, your hub give me a good piece of information thanks:)

    • profile image

      Jameel Ahmed 

      7 years ago

      Sir, I was unable to attend when you lectured this chapter but when I read this hubpage, I am completely satisfied with each and every point, I feel proud of being your student.

    • hafeezrm profile imageAUTHOR

      hafeezrm 

      8 years ago from Pakistan

      Thank Rufi. You are a big encourgement.

    • Rufi Shahzada profile image

      Rufi Shahzada 

      8 years ago from Karachi

      Dear Sir Hafeez,

      This is such an excellent HUB over Conflict Management, all the modes are explained so well. Only a single reading would be enough for an amateur.

      Thanks for such knowledge.

      Regards,

      Rufi Shahzada

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)