Strategies for Conflict Management in the Workplace

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Conflict Management 

As per Webster's dictionary, conflict is termed as a strong disagreement or friction of interests or opinions. Conflict is part of businesses. Two people can contradict on some point. When conflict occurs employees' morale lowers and that leads to a decrease in productivity and an increase in absenteeism and mental health issues. Handling and resolving conflicts are complex tasks. An open mind is of utmost importance. Conflict management strategies help organisations to deal with corporate conflicts. There are different types of conflict in an organisation like lack of reporting system, differences regarding work culture and more. In this piece, you will find everything you need to know about conflict management and the types of conflict an organisation faces.

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Types of Conflicts in an Organisation

There are three different types of conflict in an organisation. 

Task Conflict

Task conflict involves tangible issues related to workers assignments and can include conflicts regarding resources, differences in ideas and policies, judgement and interpretation of information and more. Collaborative problem-solving sessions can help solve these conflicts, brainstorming possible solutions is important here.

Relationship Conflict 

Relationship conflict has nothing to do with work. This type of conflict generally arises due to differences in personality, interests, and other attributes. In organisations, relationship conflicts are common as people from different backgrounds work together and can have contradictory opinions. 

Process Conflict   

Process conflicts apply to the disagreement over methods or procedure to complete a task. It generally occurs when there is a concrete clash on procedures, policies and strategies.

Effective Conflict Management Strategies  

There are five major types of conflict management styles and knowing how and when to use each style helps organisations control conflict and lead to a healthy working environment for employees. 


This style is a mix of cooperative and assertive. People who collaborate attempt to work with others to bring a solution that satisfies everyone. Collaborating is best when long term relations are profitable and the outcome is important. In this style, negative effects are minimized as both the parties are satisfied with the solution.


People who avoid conflict are both uncooperative and unassertive; it is generally side-stepping from an issue. This works best when dealing with the situation is not compulsory for time being or is better to resolve it later.


Accommodating is to sacrifice your well being for satisfying others. This can be misleading sometimes as people tend to take advantage of the situation. It works best when the relationship is important than the outcome. 


This aims to find a negotiable and mutually accepted solution that partly satisfies both parties. This style works best where you are losing time and the outcome is not important.  

Distributive Negotiation 

This strategy is employed by the company in the case of limited distribution of assets between both the parties.  

Guidelines for Effective Conflict Management

By following the following guidelines organisations can manage and control conflicts.

Understand the Situation 

Understand and analyze all the details of the conflict. Action taken without understanding the issue can lead to more serious conflicts.

Acknowledging the Issue 

To acknowledge all the underlying issues that create conflicts is of utmost importance. Try to look at the different levels of problems and evaluate them. 


Never conclude on a conflict in haste. Look for all the information related to the dispute and then take the necessary steps. 

Keep Room for Communications 

Communication is very important for the smooth functioning of an organisation. One can solve a conflict by interacting with the parties.

Solved Examples

Q. Explain How the Establishment of Guidelines Can be an Effective Strategy to Control Conflicts in an Organisation?

Ans: Organising a meeting between the parties is an important aspect of conflict management. But to ensure the proper and quality outcome of the meeting, the organisation must set certain guidelines for the discussion. The guidelines can include avoiding emotional outbursts and more.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What Impact Does Emotional Regulation Have on Compromising, in Conflict Management in a Workplace? 

Ans: Emotional regulation is very important in conflict management. Keeping sentiments and personal feelings aside in a compromising style will bring positive outcomes by minimising negative effects.

As compromising style concentrates on satisfying both the parties partially, controlling emotions will enhance logical reasoning that will help supervisors to think rationally. Emotional regulation means keeping control of anger issues that can lead to more distressing situations. In conflict management keeping a rational approach is the best way to manage human behaviour. 

Emotional regulation might include behaviour such as reconsidering a challenging situation to lower anxiety and stress levels, focusing on positive aspects and more. 

Q2. How Conflicts Can be Handled in the Workplace?

Ans: Here are four effective ways to manage workplace conflicts.

  • Comprehend the Situation

Understanding the situation is important before jumping to solutions. Keep all the key details of the conflict and analyze them. Taking action without proper understanding can affect adversely. 

  • Acknowledge the Problem

Acknowledging all the underlying causes that instigate a conflict is of utmost importance. Look at various levels of problems and analyse the issues.

  • Patience

Do not take decisions in a hurry as it can worsen the situation leading to bigger issues. Go through all the important details and aspects of conflicts and then take action or steps.

  • Keep Communication Sources Open

Always communicate with people to resolve conflict. It is the key to the smooth functioning of businesses.