Discuss About The Paradox Leader Behaviors People Management?
An organization continuously thrive to achieve the goals it has set for itself to achieve increased profitability and sustainable growth, but in the path they keep on encountering challenges which come in the path of its success. Conflicts can be seen as an inevitable part of organizational life since the goals of different stakeholders such as the managers and employees are quite often incompatible. Conflict can be understood as an unpleasant fact in any organization as long as people compete for jobs, resources, power recognition and security. Organizational conflict can be understood as the dispute which occurs when interest, goals or values imbibed in an individual or groups differ from others. This eventually leads to a state when they start frustrating each other in an attempt to achieve their objectives. Conflict arises in a group due to scarcity of freedom, position and resources. People who value independence more often tend to resist the need of interdependence and conformity, in a similar manner people who seek power struggle with others for position or status within the group (Wallensteen, 2015)
The study here will analyse the managerial implications of the conflicts in the organization and the challenges managers face in managing the interface conflict.
Concept of Conflict and Conflict Management
Conflict has a plethora of definition from different scholars and researchers, but despite multiple definitions there are several common ideas which can be derived from them. Conflict can be understood as processes which begin when one party perceives that another party has negatively affected or is about to negatively affect something that the first party cares about (Kong, Dirks & Ferrin, 2014). It is a condition which arises whenever the perceived interests of an individual or a group clash with those of another group or individual in such a way that strong emotions are aroused and compromise is certainly not the solution for it. The above points clearly imply that conflict exists whenever an action by one party is seen or perceived as preventing or interfering with the goals, needs and actions of other party. Conflict can be seen as a perception issue-parties to the conflict must perceive that it exists or it does not exists (Clegg, Komberger & Pitsis, 2015)
Some people get confused between conflict resolution and conflict management, but there is a good difference between the two. Conflict resolution is an integral part of the conflict management, and conflict management encompasses both conflict stimulation and conflict resolution techniques. Personality’s differences or a clash in the emotional needs is one of the major causes of conflicts .Some of the major causes of conflicts in the organization are:
- Lack of information-Conflict arises when employees feel that they are less important in the organization and hence less information is shared with them in comparison to other.
- Lack of resources-Conflict arises when employees feel that management does not provide them with adequate resources to do their job, leading to dissatisfaction and reason for a conflict(Mago, Shemek & Sheremeta, 2016)
- Personal relationship- Workplace is stressful, and when people are not able to cope up with personal differences, conflict arises owing to personal relationships.
- Incompetent management-At times managers are not competent for the job and hence they cause confusion among the employees leading to stressful situation eventually ending up in causing conflicts(Anderson,Potocnik & Zhou,2014)
- Managerial Expectation-It is the job of the employee to meet the expectation of their managers, but in the case where expectations are not communication or expressed properly, conflict may arise.
- Breakdown in communication-This arises when one department requires information from another department, and the other department does not respond positively or conceals some information. This results in interdepartmental conflicts.
- Misinterpreting the information-This is very prevalent in an organization, a person at times misunderstands or misinterprets something said by someone resulting in serious conflicts(Shemla, Meyer, Greer & Jehn, 2016)
- Lack of accountability-This can arise when nobody comes forward to take responsibility and accountability for one’s action leading to a bad situation in an organization. This evokes frustration leading to conflict amongst the employees.
Challenges faced by managers in managing Interface Conflicts
Managers are supposed to manage the employees underneath them and facilitate an environment of sustained learning and growth in the team. Some of the challenges faced by managers are:
Limited resources-In an organization resources are limited and scarce, and the team or the individual members fight over the competing resources, which poses a challenge for the mangers in dealing with kind of conflict arising out of limited resources(Strange, Dreher, Fuchs, Parks & Tierney,2017)
Departmentalization and specialization-In an organization there are multi departments according to their specialization, manager often find it difficult to manage the conflict arising out of the departmental conflicts.
Role expectation-It is basically the misalignment between the requirements of the job as described and the actual nature of job, causing resentment among the employees. This is one of the major challenge manager faces on account of managing the job expectations(Hambrick, Humphrey & Gupta, 2015)
Environmental change-Organization tend to undergo change all the time, the change may be business oriented, process change, technological change, department change and so on. Employees find it difficult to accept the change which leads to conflict with the management. This is one of the major challenges posed to the managers owing to the change in environment.
Communication block-This type of challenge is faced by managers when one group has different information than the other and manager finds it really difficult to make a connect between the two. The manager is in a state of mind where he is unsure about which side he has to pick and does not have strong reasons to support his argument, thus leading to a challenge(Albers, Wohlgezogen & Zajac, 2016)
Doing something unethical or wrong-At times it happens in an organization that managers have to take a morally wrong path or adopt ethically wrong method to achieve an objective or complete a role. This at times does not go down well with the team members resulting in a conflict, further leading to a challenge to managers to handle the same.
Team and peer conflicts-Managers want all its team members to collaborate and work in sync with each other creating positive synergies in the team, but employees due to diversity in the workplace get into conflicts disrupting the harmony in the team and resulting in a conflict. Managers thus find it extremely challenging to manage such conflicts(Zhang, Waldman,Han & Li, 2015)
These are the challenges managers find in managing the conflict, it is the limited control and power in their hands and the huge expectations the employees have on their managers leading to the issues and challenges managers face in managing interface conflicts.
Conflict management Strategies
These are some proven strategies which managers use while resolving a conflict
- Accommodating- This is the strategy in which the other party is asking whatever is demanded by them or requests for it. For example if employees want casual dressing in office, the managers can allow a casual Friday to accommodate their demands(Hillman, 2014)
- Avoiding-This strategy is aimed at putting off a conflict for an indefinite amount of time. The strategy is simple, by avoiding, delaying or ignoring the conflict; an avoider hopes that the problem will get resolved on its own. People who actively avoid conflict have a low esteem and low power. But this conflict management strategy is quite successful, although it has its implications as well(Mulki, Jaramillo,Goad & Pesquera,2015)
- Compromising-This is another useful strategy used by the managers, it involves calling up both the parties in the conflict to give up the elements of their position in order to establish an acceptable, if not agreeable solution. This is the strategy which prevails most in the organization where the parties hold almost equal power.
- Competing-This can be summed up as a zero sum game. In this one party wins and the other loses. This strategy works best in a limited number of conflicts such as emergency situation.
- Collaborating-It can be seen as one of the best positive strategy which leads to better outcomes. In this strategy ideas given by several people are collaborated to come at an agreeable solution.
Managerial implication of conflicts in an organization
Managers often become a part of conflict arising in the organization and even if they try to remain out of it, they are dragged into the situation. Managers serve as connectors between the organization and the employees and hence they are automatically in middle of a conflict, even if they wish for it or not, some of the implication can be:
Deteriorated communication- Managers are often the peacemakers or the communicators of the policies and procedures from the top management to the middle and lower level employees, hence they are very important wheel of the organization. It is seen that whenever a manager is involved in managing a conflict the flow of communication between the organization breaks. Manager is often seen in solving conflict and his time gets wasted in resolving the conflict. Communication sustainability is required in the organization, and if this breaks, a lot of business processes gets affected. Deteriorated communication is one of the biggest managerial implications of conflict management(Fotohabadi & Kelly, 2018)
Ineffective management of time-A manager is a person who is given additional responsibilities because he has proved his mettle in the past and is capable enough to lead his time. He is disciplined, values time and plans his day ahead to effectively utilize his time. Being dragged in conflict arising amongst the team or department, he is unable to manage his time. Most of his time gets wasted in consoling either of the parties and try to come up with strategies to cajole either of them. Due to all these unproductive time wasting activities he finds himself in a position with less time at his hand to work on his KPI/Goals.
Decreased productivity- Productivity/KPI is the benchmark against which the performance of the manager is being evaluated. In the atmosphere of conflict he is unable to get the goals of the organization fulfilled which adversely affects his productivity and thus his performance. Every person has the same number of hours to work in the organization, and if most of the time gets wasted in controlling the conflict and visiting each and every aspect of the conflict to arrive at an agreeable or an acceptable solution, the productivity of the manager crumbles down with a high pace. Decreased productivity can further lead to serious implication on the learning and growth of the managers.
Negative work environment-Conflict arises when an individual or a party is not comfortable with the other person or a group, this can be due to multiple reasons like; cultural diversity, lack of resources, communication challenges, hiding the information and many more. All this creates a negative work environment and the teams do not find themselves motivated enough to come to work. Negative work environment is one of the biggest demotivating factors for the employees, and in such condition the productivity of the entire team hampers which results in a negative implication on the manager. Manager is then seen to be incompetent and perceived as not a good leader in managing/leading the team.
High employee attrition- Conflicts are bad in general, in organization conflicts can be understood as termite which is dampening the pillars of success and growth. Employees work in an organization which facilitates an environment of positivity, learning and growth. When conflict arises in the organization and if not handled properly, leads to grapevine and rumours about the organization or the managers. It is often said that employees never leave the organization, but they leave their managers. Thus employees on seeing that the manager is unable to manage or handle the conflict, starts looking out to switch teams or even move to different companies. This employee attrition has a very negative impact on the performance of the managers.
Conflicts can be both positive and negative in nature, but the negative effects of conflicts are far worsening than the uplifting effects of positive conflicts. Thus it is always advise to have openness in communication, strengthening the team, team building activities, open forum for employee grievances in the organization so that the conflicts can be reduced as much as possible. Conflict is one of the biggest time wasters for the managers as they eat up on the time and their productivity, also lead to negative work environment. Thus it is highly advised that efforts should be made to reduce the conflicts arising in the organization and conflicts should be handled as and when they arise and not to be ignored.
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