Conflicts in the organization - Organizational psychology

Conflicts in the organization

One of the indicators of the socio-psychological climate of the organization is conflict, since a complex system of relations in organizations creates the possibility of the emergence of various conflicts.

The word conflict comes from the lat. conflictus - collision. Conflict is usually understood as the collision of oppositely directed, incompatible tendencies in the consciousness of a single individual in the interpersonal interactions (relations) of an individual or groups of people. The clash is associated with acute negative emotional experiences against the background of the need to regulate them.

The classic United States United States psychology KK Platonov gives the following definition of conflict: it is a conscious contradiction between communicating personalities in the presence of attempts to resolve them against the background of emotional states.

The causes of conflicts in organizations are described quite adequately by the five-factor model, which has the following types of factors.

1. Information factors are associated with the inadmissibility of information for one of the parties in the conflict interaction (incomplete or inaccurate facts, involuntary or conscious misinformation, etc.).

2. Behavioral factors encompass the most typical behavioral stereotypes that cause conflict situations (stereotypes of superiority, aggressiveness, etc.).

3. Factors of relations result from dissatisfaction in the interactions between the parties (for example, about the discrepancy between the contribution and the remuneration in the labor interaction).

4. Value factors are the principles by which a person follows or is expected by others (colleagues, etc.).

5. Structural factors are existing objective circumstances of both the external environment in which the organization operates and its own organizational environment that arise as a result of structural imperfections and does not depend on the desires of the executor of the role, for example, the leader (imperfect laws, lack of financial resources or technical resources and so on).

6. Factor of individual tolerance - intolerance of participants in interaction to existing contradictions, different opinions, positions, etc. It reflects the range of acceptability of the partners of conflict interaction, because what distinguishes people from each other, or distinguishes them in a social environment (in a group), quite often causes irritation, aggressive behavior on the part of others.

7. The factor of the organization's dynamism, which concerns organizational changes, various innovations, since any change always affects someone's interests.

The most traditional types of conflicts described in organizational social psychology are interpersonal, intragroup, intergroup and social (associated with the social protest of large groups against existing living conditions, payment for work, etc.).

There are numerous classifications of conflicts in the organization. The most appropriate to the specifics of organizations is NV Grishina's typology, which includes four types of conflicts.

The first type includes conflicts due to the achievement of the basic goals of joint labor activity. This group includes everything that prevents the successful work of a person in the organization (unfavorable working conditions, production difficulties, etc.).

The second type is conflict, due to the achievement of personal goals in joint activities (conflicts due to wages, distribution of vacations, shifts, career growth, etc.).

The third type of conflict is associated with the discrepancy of the participants in the interaction with the norms of behavior adopted in the organization (in the group). These are conflicts due to different expectations for the role. So, with the change of the leader, the performers are waiting for petty tutelage, as it was before, and the new leader encourages independence.

Finally, the fourth type of conflict is personal, arising from the personality characteristics of the participants in the interaction (personal incompatibility, etc.). All these types of conflicts are manifested both in horizontal and vertical contours of communication in organizations.

Given that each organization can be represented as a system of social status positions associated with relevant social roles, specific to organizational social psychology will be the conflicts generated by the characteristics of the organizational role. Usually these are:

- role conflict, i.e. the contradiction of the requirements imposed on the person performing this role;

- role uncertainty, ambiguity of requirements;

- role overload, i.e. excessive requirements.

It is these characteristics that cause neuropsychic stress when performing roles.

In recent years, and noted such a characteristic, as role underload. The conflict that arises in this case is caused by the fact that the performer of the role believes that his role responsibilities do not allow him to prove himself as a professional to the full extent and show all his capabilities and abilities.

The most studied, from the point of view of the organizational and psychological approach, are role (marginal) conflicts in the activity of heads of the primary level of management. These are conflicts that arise from the marginal (intermediate) position of the leader in the hierarchical management system. They are generated, above all, by the dual position of the leader: the leader is simultaneously a member of two fundamentally different groups and must obey different systems of norms and rules.

There are two main models for explaining the place and role of the manager of the primary production group in the management structure.

The first point of view is that the leader is a kind of person "in the middle", i.e. he is between the executors and the administration in the management structure. This situation leads to the fact that the manager as a person in the middle there are two oppositely directed forces, conditioned by a different set of expectations from workers and the administration. These forces are almost always in conflict, and the position of the leader is that he must satisfy his behavior and organizational activities, and both. Being in this position, the manager inevitably finds himself in a situation of role conflict (RK). The dilemma is that no matter how he acts, someone will be dissatisfied with his behavior. This is due to the contradictory nature of the set of expectations, which is due to the antagonism of the relationship between the administration and employees. From here the leader can experience frustration, tension, blocking the realization of the desired goals.

The second concept is as follows. One of the main functions of management is to make a decision. Therefore, an analysis of how this function is represented in the activities of the manager allows one to judge its role in the management structure. Practice shows that the head of the lower level of management plays a very modest role in making decisions concerning the main issues, both in the sphere of production and in the sphere of relations between executors and administration (here representatives of a higher level of management prefer). All this leads to the fact that the manager is only forced to obey the solutions developed above or is simply their conductor (transmitter). This indicates that he is not actually a full member of administrative and managerial personnel.

The head of the primary level of management shares with them duties to implement the general policy at work, but does not participate in the adoption and definition of this policy. Moreover, his position differs also in that representatives of a higher level of management give orders to people who belong to the administration (for example, the manager of the primary group), whereas the essence of the work of the manager of the primary level of government is that he must transfer these orders to people who do not belong to management personnel. Because of this, such managerial positions are difficult for effective implementation and tend to gravitate toward peripheral (marginal) than middle.

Thus, the position of the manager of the primary level of management has some characteristics of the manager, but at the same time, there are no main characteristics of the manager. Hence, it is concluded that people who occupy the position of a manager, feel they are disadvantaged in the role of a leader. This confronts them with a dilemma that ends with a personal conflict that represents the specific form of the RC.

Studies conducted in the United States social organizational psychology have shown that, while in a situation of conflicting competing expectations (demands), some of the leaders are experiencing an acute psychological conflict, which is, in fact, a form of role conflict. At the same time, they suffer not only industrial, but also social effectiveness of activity, and general neuroticism of the individual is also observed. All this makes the problem of the role conflict and its resolution in the activity of the manager urgent. To diagnose this type of conflict, a special psychodiagnostic toolkit has been developed that makes it possible to identify leaders of low, high and medium conflict in this situation. In addition, the constant performance of the role of a leader in such contradictory situations leads to the formation of a specific type of personality, which is sometimes referred to as a paradoxical type. Its main feature is that in the personality of such a manager, conflicting features do not just get along, but such a leader, while preserving his physical and mental health, displays a variety of behaviors that are contradictory in nature. The success of the activity of such a leader depends on his abilities and abilities to solve the problem of integration, contradictory characteristics, requirements, social functions and roles in the management process, or otherwise - "combine incompatible", in a situation of competing pressures. Currently, there is an attempt to identify managers who are able to solve the problem of reconciling conflicting expectations for the role of the leader in a situation typical for role conflicts.

The main characteristic of the role conflict situation is that it carries uncertainty, frustration and threat through possible negative sanctions to the role performer, which are related to the discrepancy of his behavior with expectations. It is these three characteristics that cause the anxiety, tension and psychological conflict of the role-playing artist.

The degree of involvement of the individual in the RK affects the effectiveness of the role: the more an individual is included in the RK, the greater the relative inefficiency. There are three main factors that determine the intensity of the RC:

1) comparative incompatibility of expectations between roles, i.e. the ratio of common and incompatible requirements of several roles to their performer;

2) the degree of rigidity, rigor with which role expectations are expressed (requirements);

3) features of the personality and setting characteristics of the individual.

The key moment in solving the conflict situation is the decision making by the role performer in accordance with the expectations of the main role. The choice of the main role is, as a rule, based on two main criteria:

a) personal, it is meant that the individual will choose as the main such a role that is most congruent with his needs;

b) legalization (fairness) of the expectations of this situation, i.e. an individual can not long ignore the just expectations of others, since he is the executor of the social role imposed by a formal organization.

Thus, effective management of the RC should include consideration of three conditions:

1) choosing the main role;

2) compatibility of needs, expectations of the individual with the role being performed;

3) the legitimacy of expectations within the situation.

The concept, which most fully develops the issues of the RK in the organizational context, is the theory of organizational stress. The central concept connecting the properties of an organization and the behavior of individuals is the concept of a role group that acts as a unit of analysis and an explanation of the individual's social behavior in the organization. The very concept of "role group" is essentially regarded as a circle of communication between a focal person (a person who takes a position to be studied), conditioned both by functional ties and intimate personal relationships with significant others.

All members of the role group have a conception of what they should or should not do to fulfill their role in relation to the focal person. In this case, all the members of the role group are considered as transmitters (senders), and the expectations they convey are regarded as transferred roles. The process of transferring the role is not purely informational, since an attempt is made to exert influence on a focal subject whose aim is to achieve the correspondence of the behavior of the focal person with the expectations of the role transmitters. Such actions are considered as role pressure. They can come from formal and informal sources, be legal or illegal, prohibit or prescribe, and reflect the transmitted demands on the focal subject. However, the individual does not react directly to these requirements, but rather to how he perceives and understands them.

The concept of organizational stress is based on the assumption of completely different role expectations in relation to the focal subject, who at any time can put pressure on this person, in the direction of various types of behavior. Insofar as these role pressures cause role forces in him, he will experience a psychological conflict.

The general condition for all these types of conflict is that the members of the role group exercise role pressure to change the behavior of the focus subject, these pressures threaten the existing balance at the time of the role, and the stronger the pressures (even the failed ones) (from oneself), the greater the conflict is experienced by the focal person.

The theoretical model of the RK is built around the notion of an episode consisting of role expectations, pressures from role senders (transmitters), psychological conflict and efforts to overcome the conflict. The role-playing episode includes organizational factors, interpersonal relations of all members and personal factors. Organizational determinants of the Republic of Kazakhstan refer, mainly, to the structural and official characteristics of the organization. Interpersonal relationships include four aspects of interaction:

a) ability to influence;

b) affective characteristics (respect, confidence in promotion, benevolence, sympathy, etc.);

c) the dependence of one on the other;

d) the style of communication between the focal person and the members of her role group.

A significant place in the dynamics of RK flow, adaptation to it and its resolution is assigned to interpersonal relations, and personal factors are considered to be important determinants of the differential causative agent of role pressures and differential reactions to role pressures.

In general, conflicts in organizations can be kept at a tolerable level, through the introduction of structural changes in the organization, new criteria for selection and placement of personnel, and by increasing tolerance, overcoming the abilities of individuals to the situation of competing pressures and strengthening interpersonal ties among members of the organization.

The main socio-psychological mechanism for resolving conflict situations in the organization are negotiations and their various options, including, with the involvement of third parties, i.e. intermediaries.

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