Significance of Organizational Conflicts
Organizational conflicts always happen as the individual differences predetermine disagreements on various issues. However, even though the conflicts lead to negotiations and often create an unpleasant atmosphere between the co-workers, they cannot be regarded as purely negative phenomena. The conflicts can be either functional or dysfunctional. From the functional perspective, a conflict can be seen as productive because it makes the members of the organization learn, improve, develop creativity and problem solving skills. On the other hand, a conflict can be seen as dysfunctional as it can become a threat to the structure and stability of an organization to the degree that it stifles creativity and positive changes. Nevertheless, regardless of the positive or negative consequences, any conflicts are useful experiences for people and an organization. This paper is aimed at showing why an organizational change is a significant factor that influences almost all aspects of work and even of the personal life of the employees.
Proper management of the conflict is always the first step on the way to bringing useful lessons for employees and employers. The productive change usually appears when a company manager puts his efforts into the development of cooperative relations in the company. The specific corporate ethics and team building lessons are the best ways to make both parties learn a life lesson from any confrontational situation. The reason is that the kind of conflict, and mainly the competitive relationships between the workers, is the main feature that predetermine the conflict constructiveness and its results (Tjosvold, 2008). At the same time, it is important to pay particular attention to the possible negative consequences of conflicts and try to avoid such widely spread conflict effects as employee turnover, increased absenteeism, and increased health claims. The reason is that reaction of a person on a conflict depends on a great number of interior and exterior factors that demand specific analysis for each separate situation.
In their article, Hom and Kinicki (2001) pay particular attention to how exactly dissatisfaction of an employee can lead to absenteeism and turnover and emphasize that interrole conflict and job avoidance influence turnover indirectly, while unemployment rates affect it directly. In addition, the research provided by Batt and Valcour (2001) showes the crucial role of human resource practices for decrease of the turnover intention rates among the dual-earner white-collar employees. As a result, they emphasize the effectiveness of the organization responses that include the work-family policies, work design and commitment-developing incentives. In such a way, workplace flexibility, friendly atmosphere and appropriate level of the corporate business ethics of an organization decrease the employees propensity to resign from a job and are efficient for the proper work of the whole organization.
In his article, Messersmith (2007) pointes that the atmosphere at work, as well as the conflict consequences, is dependent on a great amount of factors. For instance, for the IT workers, the work-life conflict is predetermined by the aggressive timelines, long working hours and consequent lack of balance between the work and personal life (Messersmith, 2007). Work-life conflict of the IT workers can be represented in many ways and cause a number of emotional problems for the workers that can later influence the work quality. The academic literature has documented such results of work and work-life conflict as decreased job satisfaction, career dissatisfaction, increased turnover intentions and lower organizational commitment (Messersmith, 2007). With regard to the reasons of such conflicts, it is essential to pay attention to such factors as behavior-based, time-based, and strain-based conflicts. The first issue implies the difficulties caused by the reserved emotional behavior at work and openness outside the work settings. The second type of conflict is caused by extra hours spent at work. The last one occurs as different work stressors become so strong that they impact the personal life and even family life role. All of these factors together with individual peculiarities define the impact of the conflict on the employers work and life in general.
Interdependence of all life spheres is also emphasized by the other scholars. Grzywasc and Bass (2003) demonstrate close interconnection of the work and home atmosphere with the mental health of the workers. The conflicts that are not constructive or those that happen with a weaker person on the regular basis or during the inappropriate time can become a real problem for an employee and for their family. If the conflicts at home or at work create the constant burden and strain for a person, multiple outcomes for the overall life quality are possible. Grzywasc and Bass (2003) mark the reduction of the efforts, irritation, tiredness, worries and distractions in such cases. These are the health factors that can decrease the quality of work and worsen the family life relations. At the same time, the regular worries and stresses can lead to more serious health problems that may include different psychological disorders, depressions or even substance addiction with all its further consequences.
To sum it up, there are numerous examples of how the conflicts can become functional and bring positive results for both parties. People can learn new things, learn about each others weak and strong sides and improve their skills. However, providing the balance between the personal and professional life should be regarded as a primarily important issue. Conflict can have a strong impact on all spheres of life as it influences human emotions. Mainly, creation of the proper atmosphere and working on the collaborative relations in a team will let the employees and employers avoid a number of unfavorable issues, including employee turnover, increased absenteeism, increased health claims, etc. The mental and physical health, good disposition of the workers and the ability to become more experienced and learn from mistakes is a contribution to the overall effectiveness of an organization.