Sample Business Studies Paper on Conflicts in an organization


Brief Overview

Conflicts in an organization describe any complex situation in which conflicting objectives, approaches, and behaviors result in disagreements between various groups of employees. Conflict is inevitable in any viable institution, and not all conflicts are bad for organizational growth. Most studies stress majorly on the significance of avoiding conflicts, especially in corporate setups. This research aims at ascertaining various causes, impacts, and strategies that can be used to manage conflicts in institutions. The study, therefore, further aims at examining various works of literature on the causes and sources of conflicts in organizations, and possible impacts on the performances of employees. The proposal will be very particular on the causes, types, impacts, and feasible strategies that can be used to avoid conflicts and enhance employee task performances.

Research Questions

  • What are some of the causes of work conflicts in organizations and the viable strategies an organization can employ in curbing them?
  • What are the various types of conflicts and the benefits and disadvantages associated with work-related conflicts?
  • How can companies deal with interpersonal problems and personality conflicts existing in organizations?

Literature Review

In most institutions, some reasons can be attributed to the rising instances of conflicts, especially when the employees are confused about their roles (Cloke, & Goldsmith, 2001). Vaguely defined tasks will most likely result in more clashes of ideas between different groups of employees. Failing to specify individual goals within a firm and resources sharing, for example space and equipment, may also lead to conflicts within organizational set ups. Interdependence among employees can also be accredited to the rising cases of conflicts within an establishment (Cloke, & Goldsmith, 2001).

This occurs majorly when a product passes through various stages and is handled by different groups of employees. While a particular group may be prompt in delivering its part of the deal, the other might delay the process (Cloke, & Goldsmith, 2001). The blame will most likely be directed to the entire unit involved in the production rather than the groups, resulting from conflicts among the employees (Cloke, & Goldsmith, 2001). Another reasonable cause of conflict is the distinctive traits, which may affect the relationship between employees given that formal interactions may be hindered.

Per se, every manager is tasked with instituting relevant and appropriate strategies on the best way to minimize conflicts effectively. In essence, most establishments currently operate in dynamic settings and are constantly looking for the best strategies to help in improving their performances and effectiveness. While conflicts mostly arise from disagreements over ideas, every manager must subscribe to the fact that it is part of the human relation (Staines, & O’Connor, 2000). To succeed in such a complex environment marred by interpersonal conflicts between employees, an establishment must change its approach to enable it to avoid such cases. The rivalry for limited resources upsurges the probability of a conflict arising in an organization. Many studies have in the past articulately analyzed various types of conflicts between personnel in institutions. For instance, conflicts related to task execution, procedural, and between individual employees have been explicitly analyzed by many scholars (Volkema et al., 2006). When employees disagree on how to execute certain instructions, task conflicts ensue. Besides, clashes in the form of hostile interpretations of individual traits will in most cases lead to clashes in an institution. Another type conflict arises from procedural drawbacks in which employees disagree on the relevant methods to follow in executing organizational objectives (Volkema et al., 2006).

However, other studies assert that not all conflicts in an organization are detrimental to its general performances. While individuals mostly analyze organizational conflicts regarding negative forces that operate against the successful execution of tasks, they fail to view its positive impacts (Boz et al., 2009). Subject on the nature, conflicts may ultimately help in improving the eminence of decisions made by the management. Similarly, through conflicts, the personnel may be stimulated and more involved in discussions and improved cohesion among different groups of employees. The mutual hostilities between group members may also enable the organization to establish effective conflict resolution strategies (Boz et al., 2009). The study also affirmed that conflicts that related to task execution facilitated the exchange of ideas and assisted the personnel to identify various glitches in the production process that required improvement.

Intrinsically, the employees will be positioned to improve their knowledge and accurately assess the situation (Boz et al., 2009). When adequately resolved, conflicts also enable the employees to develop new approaches and ideas requisite in achieving high-quality performances. The study further confirmed that conflicts contributed to structural novelty and efficiency when successfully managed (Boz et al., 2009). Another past study on the conflict at work postulated that if not keenly controlled, conflicts may result in reduced employee cooperation, derailed communication, and reduced organizational performances.


Per se, managers should formulate working strategies to reduce cases of poor employee performances and increase cooperation between different production units. When conflicts are effectively managed through the application of viable strategies according to a past study, an organization will be able to achieve most of its organizational aims and purposes.

As illustrated above, resolved conflicts will result in increased organizational performances in the long run. Different studies further analyze possible strategies that organizations can employ in resolving arising conflicts between workforces. For example, Boz et al. (2009) advocate for transforming conflicts in an institution into a productive force at an earlier stage. According to the study, if not managed at infancy stage, conflicts may lead to withdrawal and reluctance to participate in crucial processes in the establishment. Martinez-Corts et al. (2015) discuss numerous strategies that management can employ to end conflicts between its personnel. The study discourages avoidance of conflicts, and instead recognizes that conflicts are part of any organizational system (Martinez-Corts et al., 2015).

This enables the management to resolve the emerging issues through diplomatic and practical means before getting blown out of proportion. On the other hand, Bethge and Borngräber (2015) emphasize on the importance of being objective when managing adverse situations. The study encourages the management to be more flexible when managing its employees. The result will be an absolute increase in the trust of individual employees, and to subscribe to any changes introduced in the production process. Lin et al. (2015) argue that every organization should establish an effective conflict management system that is fully integrated into the production processes. Nevertheless, it will entail assessing the possible causes of conflicts, addressing the problem, designing practical strategies to solve the problem, and implementing the resolutions (Lin et al., 2015). Patience is essential when trying to reach an amicable solution to a paradoxical situation. Lin et al. (2015) further argue that managers should avoid any form of coercion and intimidation when seeking a long-term settlement of the problem. The study affirms that the primary focus should be on the specified problem rather than concentrate on individual employees (Lin et al., 2015). Ultimately, the organization should consider keeping the communication between the employees open, and encouraging them to accept criticism and praise when deserved.


Research Methods

This section gives the proposed research approach or method that would be coherent to the research. The section summarizes the identified designs and strategy that would be applied to extract valid data and information worth defending the research thesis.

Research Design

The research will adopt a cross-sectional study based on the hypothesis and objectives of the study. This is because the study questions involve analyzing single data entities but over a given duration of time to capture the pattern of participation in their analysis (Blessing, & Chakrabarti, 2009). The cross-sectional research design would be more realistic in recognizing the impact of the entire organizational structure and employee’s interaction with a small sample of it (Blessing, & Chakrabarti, 2009). As such, the study design would give more information about the study sample by using few respondents as the research sample.

The design would also be more efficient in information and data collection since it involves analyzing and recording various characteristics of the study units (Blessing, & Chakrabarti, 2009). Moreover, this model stands a better chance of expanding the researcher’s knowledge regarding the scope of the study and those approaches perceived as productive to the research. In its context, the research will tend to be more comparative in its analysis of the varying elements and data collected. This would help in distinguishing the various components and types of conflicts in the studied organization, thereby giving a deeper understanding of employee behavior, organization structure, a chain of command, and organizational interaction.


Sampling Strategy

The study intends to use sampling analysis rather than census analysis since it is cheaper and time effective (Blessing, & Chakrabarti, 2009). This would involve taking a sample of organizations and randomly selecting managers and employees to make the study sample. The sample size will constitute of one hundred elements or respondents consisting of managers and workers picked from the various department but focusing more on human resource and public relations agencies since they are more concerned with employees’ affairs than other departments. This sample size is considered reasonable and significant since it is large enough to avoid sampling errors based on sample size (Blessing, & Chakrabarti, 2009). It also offers room for representation of all types of major conflicts within organizations.

Data Collection

The research will use questionnaires and interviews as the tools of data collection during the study (Blessing, & Chakrabarti, 2009). The questionnaires will be pre-tested with few managers from the formed sample to verify and ensure that all questions formulated in the questionnaire are relevant, thereby meeting their intended purposes. Suggestions would also be incorporated during the interview to capture the self-opinion of respondents as far as organizational conflicts are concerned and their solutions. The study emphasizes on using questionnaires for the sake of consistency by all respondents (Blessing, & Chakrabarti, 2009). However, the questionnaires will be divided into two parts; part one and part two. Part one will comprise questions pointing out strictly on organizational factors concerning the conflicts experienced whereas part Two will comprise open-ended questions where the respondents will be expected to give their opinions. Part Two of the questions opens to the descriptive analysis of the topic with respondents making self-opinions.

Ethical Issues

There is a theoretical claim that conflicts exist in organizations as asserted in this proposal. Therefore, to prove this, the research based on the above methodology stands a chance to show that by rejecting the null hypothesis, if so, or accept the null hypothesis if otherwise. The ethical issues in the study would then arise with the intent of fulfilling the objectives of the study concerning recognized theories and statistical estimations. The assumption in the study would jeopardize the exhaustive research by making its findings false and invalid. Hence, it will be prudent enough that the survey is based on recorded and collected data and information rather than mere claims of the researcher and the respondents. This would be justified by the argument of pre-testing the questionnaires and other tools that will be used in the study to avoid false results. Moreover, all concerned parties must put in place recommendations that will be made for the study to enable it achieve the desired results.


 Duration of the study Work to be Completed Resources Required
September Writing of the research proposal Books, laptop, and other writing materials
October Formulation of questionnaires Research reference books
November Pre-testing of the questionnaires Questionnaires
December Undertaking the research study Data collection Questionnaires and Research assistant
January Data cleaning and hypothesis testing Statistical Software and Data Distribution Tables
February Writing the research findings through bringing together information collected Information Reports, Data results, and Reference Books,
March Research Presentations Research Findings (Final Research Report)




Appelberg, K., Romanov, K., Honkasalo, M. L., & Koskenvuo, M. (2007). (Eds.) Interpersonal conflicts at work and psychosocial characteristics of employees. Social science & medicine, 32(9), 1051-1056.

Bethge, M., & Borngräber, Y. (2015). Work-family conflicts and self-reported work ability: cross-sectional findings in women with chronic musculoskeletal disorders. BMC musculoskeletal disorders, 16(1), 1.

Blessing, L. T., & Chakrabarti, A. (2009). DRM: A Design Reseach Methodology (pp. 13-42). Springer London.

Boz, M., Martínez, I., & Munduate, L. (2009). Breaking negative consequences of relationship conflicts at work: The moderating role of work family enrichment and supervisor support. Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 25(2), 113-122.

Cloke, K., & Goldsmith, J. (2001). Resolving conflicts at work: a complete guide for everyone on the job. Jossey-Bass Inc Pub.

Keller, S. (2015). Conflicts at Work Place. SCHWEIZER ARCHIV FUR TIERHEILKUNDE, 157(7), 366-366.

Lin, J. H., Wong, J. Y., & Ho, C. H. (2013). Promoting frontline employees’ quality of life: Leisure benefit systems and work-to-leisure conflicts. Tourism Management, 36, 178-187.

Martinez-Corts, I., Demerouti, E., Bakker, A. B., & Boz, M. (2015). Spillover of interpersonal conflicts from work into nonwork: A daily diary study. Journal of occupational health psychology, 20(3), 326.