Conflict is an inevitability in the workplace. Conflict is not always a negative as it can lead to positive change. Even the process of conflict resolution has possibility to bring workforces together to work for positive change.
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In this paper I will identify three types of conflict, the four stages of conflict, methods of conflict resolution and a personal experience with conflict in my workplace. There are three types of conflict as identified by Finkelman and these are individual, interpersonal and intergroup and/or organizational (2016). Individual conflict is defined as a role conflict where there is a conflict revolving around roles. Either a disagreement over roles or team members acting critical of another member for what they perceive as not performing activities that they feel are part of the team’s roles when it may not be (Finkelman, 2016). Interpersonal conflict is between people and can be due to disparities in each other’s personas. These differences can lead to conflict due to perceived competition or established boundaries feeling threatened (Finkelman, 2016).
An example of this could be the hiring of a new team member being hired with more experience than current employees and an established team member could feel her position as a resource on the unit is in jeopardy if team members begin to reach out to the new team member rather than her. This feeling can lead to discord between the two co-workers. The third type of conflict described by Finkelman is intergroup/organizational and this transpires when there is disputes among teams (2016). This can occur because of a misunderstanding of one teams’ role, rivalry between teams, or a lack of leadership which can be on the team level or organizational level (Finkelman, 2016).
An example of this type of conflict could be that the cardiovascular intensive care nurse wants to position the radiology technicians board behind her patients back to avoid the Swan-Ganz from becoming mispositioned. The radiology technician may feel that it is their job and that they perform this function in the other intensive care units without interference. They may also feel as if the nurse doesn’t know exactly how to position the board to obtain the entire field. According to Alessandra there are four stages of conflict Latent, Perceived, felt and manifest (2006).
The latent stage of conflict occurs with the perception of change this can be due to changes in the work environment such as a staff cutback, wage freezes, a new project, or organizational changes. The perceived stage happens when the staff realize that there is a problem. An example of perceived conflict would be staff members becoming aware of a staff member being unprofessional with a patient and the staff having to involve management for conflict resolution. The third stage is the felt stage and this is marked by the apprehension felt by the members.
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