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4.0 Conflict Management   and Peace Building

4.0 Module 301 : Conflict Management  and Peace Building

1.2.3 Causes of Conflicts

1.2.3     Causes of Conflicts


The following are some of the major potential sources of conflicts in organizations:

  1. Aggressive Nature of Man: A man is aggressive in nature and seeks expression of his aggressive impulses. Some conflict in organizations stems from the normal need of some people to find outlets for their aggressive impulses.
  2. Competition for Limited Resources: Inter-group conflict may arise when groups in the organization compete to win their share of the organization's scarce or limited resources such as money, materials and manpower.
  3. Clashes of Values and Interests: Differences in value and interests of various groups may result into conflict between or among the groups involved.
  4. Antagonistic Roles: Inter-group conflicts may arise because different groups occupy different roles that are apparently antagonistic to each other, e.g. the accounts department whose main role is to conserve the organizations funds may be in conflict with the marketing department whose role in promotion may require it to spend quite an amount of the organizational funds.
  5. Drives for Power (Political Maneuvering): Inter-group conflicts may arise due to political manoeuvring that certain groups may engage in as they try to acquire power in the organization, e.g. wanting to be in charge of certain new responsibilities.
  6. Poorly Defined Responsibilities: When job responsibilities are for example ambiguous, conflict may arise from disagreements about which groups have got certain responsibilities over certain tasks.
  7. Introduction of Change: Changes such as acquisition and mergers creates a lot of competition and conflict at the initial stages. For example, when an organization is merged into another, a power struggle often exists between the acquiring and acquired organizations. Similarly, where certain changes are introduced into the organization conflict may arise between management and workers between those opposed to and those for the change.
  8. Organizational Climate: An organizational character, personality or climate such as the amount of psychological distance organizational units maintain from each other, can be a major source of inter-group conflict. For example, there would be minimal conflict when professional groups have very much or very little distance psychologically from the administration than when they have medium distance.
  9. Distortion of communication.
  10. Attitude and value difference


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