Conflict refers to disputes between people or organizations within a certain entity on issues ranging from resource sharing and task divisions to the general direction of the business (Omisore & Abiodun, 2014). For example, in the case of Luxor Incorporated, controversy occurred when management decided to slash budget spending and lay off employees due to the economic downturn. However, there was discontent because the workers were dissatisfied with the actions taken to address the issue.
Conflict may arise as a result of poor communication in the workplace. For example, if a manager fails to communicate or uses inappropriate styles, employees may make incorrect assumptions and variance in the policy interpretations which in turn it decreases their morale as well as their job performance. Furthermore, ineffective leadership can cause conflict in a work environment as employees may feel frustrated and henceforth quit their jobs. Luxor incorporated leaders made quick decisions without taking into consideration the views of their employees which later resulted in their moral concerns as well as the practice of the unethical behavior. Additionally, differences in the personality and failure to understand the various values can lead to disputes between employees and the management or the coworkers (Omisore & Abiodun, 2014). In the workplace, people also experience the role conflict whereby the conflicting demands are on a single employee in which compliance with them becomes entirely different and results to a dispute with those in authority. Lack of honesty between the workers and their respective managers also contribute to the workplace conflict as individuals suggest that their leader is always lying to them. The passive aggressive behavior and the office romances can make the co-workers feel uncomfortable and may raise accusations of favors.
Unresolved Conflict and Unethical Actions
Unaddressed conflict in the workplace always results in low employee morale as they deviate their efforts from focusing on the achievement of the organizational goals and objectives and start thinking about their personal interests (Olivier, Poitras, & Chênevert, 2009). The employees will believe that they are not involved in the decision-making and are not attached to the overall performance which makes them think of unethical behaviors that can benefit when motivated by their leaders or managers. Henceforth, there will be decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, high staff turnover as well as loss of the profitability. For the case of Luxor Inc., after the employees realized that the company layoffs and the budget cuts would mean a little pay and, therefore, they had to engage in the malpractices as a to satisfy themselves or get other options from which they can get higher incomes. The excessive complaints about the small matters that can be solved quickly through effective communication results to employee dissatisfaction that will tend to feel underpaid or unappreciated and thus involve themselves in the unethical behavior in the workplace.
Demotivated individuals will not see any significance of performing better as they may not meet their needs as desired and this according to the expectancy theory of motivation by Victor H. Vroom. As a result, the Luxor Inc. staff will see no need for improved team performance or cohesion due to the inability to have a better foundation for solving the problems that face them. Therefore, they participate in the minor infractions such as overbilling of clients and misuse of the sick days in various departments. Conflicts show that a person’s needs have not been met and if the employers do not look for the practical solutions for solving the disagreements, then the employee will have to look for the alternative strategies to satisfy themselves in the organization (Olivier et al., 2009).
Three Methods of Conflict Resolution
Open Door Policy
In this method, all the doors of the CEO or managers’ offices remain open for all employees to access them and raise their issues and concerns. Hence, it becomes easy to create a workplace whereby there is a frequent interaction between the management and the staff members can have the liberty to meet the team leaders and discuss what they feel is not right (Oni-Ojo, Iyiola, & Osibanjo, 2014). Thus, the new president can address the workers regularly and ensure that they are motivated as well as remind that they should improve their performance and ethical behavior in the achievement of the set goals and objectives. Henceforth, it will facilitate effective communication, no room for confusion, encouragement of healthy discussions as well as seek clarity.
Neutral Third Parties
The neutral third parties refer to those persons or team of people that become involved in assisting the disputing parties to resolve or manage conflict. This approach necessitates that a mediator or the arbitrator should help the disputants to come to a consensus by exploring different interests or needs underlying their high positions that raise a state of discord or disagreement the employees who may end up practicing unethical behaviors (Oni-Ojo et al., 2014). Mediators will facilitate discussions between Luxor Incorporated’s new president through the imposition of a process and structure designed to move the employees and the management to have a mutual understanding. Henceforth, they can act as facilitators or consultants that aid in the provision of an efficient response in the firm.
Negotiation is a technique whereby the parties discuss their issues amongst themselves and later reach a conclusion that can benefit all of them (Oni-Ojo et al., 2014). The president and employees can sit down and negotiate and achieve the desired of a friendly and peaceful workplace without hurting anyone. The primary focus of negotiation is on the differences and aims at coming up with beneficial outcomes that imply both employees and the management including the president should facilitate collaboration and cooperation to improve the results. The staff can explain why they think that the layoffs are not good and the leaders have to convince not to participate in unethical practices which may impact the company performance and reputation negatively.
Roadmap or Plan to Encounter Conflict
When an employee faces a conflict with co-worker within the same department, it is crucial to avoid office gossip which may be unprofessional. The next step is to address such disagreements as soon as possible to avoid hostility towards each other. It helps in preventing the dispute from becoming a bigger problem. Then wait when everyone has calmed down, and it is easy to have the rational conversation. Afterward, agree to discuss this issue face-to-face in a private setting to defuse all things include gestures. Try to find common ground by identifying something both agree. It is crucial to listen and keep an open mind to understand co-worker’s point of view. After such discussions, it becomes easier to know the employee and why they should involve a neutral third party. For example, if the conflict is about work harassment, then it is essential to consult the supervisor within the department who can help in reaching alternative solutions. The employee should be introspective as well as recognize how individual actions contributed to an issue and learned lessons on how to overcome them in the future (Omisore & Abiodun, 2014).
Olivier, D., Poitras, J., & Chênevert, D. (2009). The impact of leadership on workplace conflicts. International Journal of Conflict Management, 20(4), 340-354.
Oni-Ojo, E. E., Iyiola, O. O. & Osibanjo, A. O. (2014). Managing workplace conflicts in business environment: The role of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). European Journal of Business and Management, 6(36), 74-83.
Omisore, O.B., & Abiodun, A.R. (2014). Organizational conflicts: Causes, effects, and remedies. International Journal of Academic Research in the Economics and Management Sciences, 3(6), 118-137.