Sample Management Essays on Managing Inter-departmental Conflicts

Managing Inter-departmental Conflicts


Conflict is inevitable in organizations. When two or more people come together in workplace setup different values, beliefs, and skills come into play, which may result in conflicts. Indeed, for instance, irritating instances such as negative attitudes which cause people to strike out at one another occur repeatedly. Essentially, conflicts are part of life and thus work environments must exhibit cases of conflicts that may occur between departments and senior levels of organizations. While conflict may be helpful in streamlining departmental changes within a work environment, unresolved conflicts may lead to feelings of dissatisfaction, loss of happiness, depression, and other negative emotions (Amy & Lowry, 2013). In fact, conflicts may result in work withdrawal, resignation, aggression, and violence thereby disrupting normal business activities. Some schools of thought posit that staff productivity is affected by conflicts and disruptions of activities (Amy & Lowry, 2013). Therefore, it is paramount for organizations to develop strategic management strategies aimed at managing and resolving conflicts to guarantee a free flow of activities between departments.

Strategic Management in Conflict Resolution


Strategic management conflict resolution strategy is a method of resolving conflicts in organization by making the process of conflict resolution a strategic advantage for the company. The organization recognizes the need to ensure conflicts are amicably resolved to prevent the organization from experiencing crises in its operations. Additionally, strategic managers are actively involved in formulating policies to manage conflict resolution between departments. In essence, policies of conflict resolution define conflict, highlights ways of discovering conflict, and aid decision making to resolve conflicts that arise in the course of operations. Strategically, the organization must ensure that it instills conflict management skills in its employees to supplement life skills; these are useful in cases of eminent conflict. Conflict management skills will make it possible for staff members to choose the conflict mode that is productive for a given situation. Consequently, it makes it easy for moderators to implement modes effectively hence reduce direct and indirect costs associated with conflicts.


It is important for business managers to evaluate different strategies and chose the best and most appropriate for a specific organization and situation. There has been a habitual tendency for business managers to use some strategies more than others despite being inefficient. For that matter, it is paramount for an organization to develop and implement a strategy that is most appropriate for particular interdepartmental conflict situations. Moderate amount of conflict can effectively be handled in a more constructive way and in the process ensure an organization attains its optimum level effectiveness.

Strategic human resource management skills are crucial for managers interested in managing and resolving conflicts in organizations. Strategically, business managers need to create a competitive work environment for all staff in an organization. This is supported by the assertion that people who tend to operate through a competitive environment stand a chance to succeed and avoid conflict because they know what they want. This makes managers to operate from a dimension of enforced power drawn from ranks, positions and expertise and thus evade crisis and conflicts. The strategy is effective in situations when there are emergency conflicts and decisions are to be made so as to restore service provision. Furthermore, strategic management ensures that unpopular decisions are made; however, parties responsible for that particular conflict may exploit the situation selfishly to the disadvantage of the other person.

Consequently, this strategy is effective as it creates collaborative efforts to ensure speedy resolution of conflicts. Thus, problem solvers work hard to ensure that all the needs of departmental staff involved in the crisis are solved amicably. This is a situation where people sit down, discuss pertinent issues causing crisis and finding lasting solutions to departmental problems. Therefore, managers effectively cooperate with staff involved while acknowledging the importance of each of member of staff involved in a conflict. Conflict resolutions experts have established that this method is critical and useful when a departmental head needs to bring together variety of viewpoints to get the best solution to a problem (Zafara et al, 2014).

Furthermore, this strategy is effective in resolving conflicts where both viewpoints of people involved in needs to be accommodated. The parties must show willingness to meet the diverse needs of others at the expense of their own needs. In the process of resolving the crisis, departmental staffs concerned are encouraged to show willingness to give in to others, but can be persuaded to surrender positions even when it is not warranted. Still, this method is critical in situations when peace is more valuable than winning the contest. Peace is important in an organizational setting because it ensures that people work in harmony and activities are run smoothly and effectively without any hitches. Seeding ground may also be helpful in instances when an organization wants to avoid a conflict entirely.

Implementation Stages of the Strategy

Implementation of the above conflict management strategy follows a series of stages to aid in solving conflicts likely to arise in the organization between departments. Moreover, implementation of the strategy should follow a timeframe and ensure that it meets organizational needs and current priorities.

Assessment of Conflicts and Internal Management Initiatives

First, it is important to assess the chances of conflicts occurring and evaluate available mechanisms to address the same. In a situation that conflicts are constantly experienced between departments, strategic managers must liaise with human resources department to take the responsibility of training its staff on conflict management. This is important since strategic management strategy of conflict management requires that strategic managers coin policies and procedures of managing such conflicts. For instance, a conflict may occur in a company between sales and marketing departments; a situation where there is a drop in sales as a result of poor marketing. Such a conflict will be solved by implementing stringent policies to govern work activities of different departments.

Addressing Staff and Organizational Needs

The next step in the implementation of the strategy is the thorough assessment, evaluation and analysis of staff and organizational needs likely to trigger conflicts. To ensure successful implementation, the organization need to build an openness culture that favor different conflict modes and thus prevail upon the organization to accommodate diverse views and needs. Assessment of values, beliefs and needs is crucial since it helps in the implementation of strategic conflict policies in strict observance of vital human factors likely to trigger interdepartmental conflicts. Appropriate adjustments will therefore be done at this stage of implementation to harmonize procedures and policies.

Evaluation of the Strategy Stage

Period evaluation of the strategy needs to be conducted to ensure that it meets organizational conflict management goals. Significantly, appropriate decision making is critical in ensuring success of the system by adjusting on contentious section envisaged in the program. Evaluation is a critical element in implementation because it helps identify key areas that may not be working well according to plan. Furthermore, evaluation is fundamental in creating appropriate benchmarks within appropriate time and within budget.


Conflict is part and parcel of human life and cannot be avoided in any work environment. Conflicts will always be occurring no matter the organization, service, staff or customers. For that matter, many organizations today have recognized the need to resolve conflicts among their employees. On the contrary, some organizations encourage conflicts to promote change in some aspects of operations within the organization. The paper has extensively explored strategic management strategy in resolving conflict so as to improve on productivity, staff retention and sound decision making.




Amy, R. & Lowry, C. (2013). Conflict Management: Difficult Conversations with Difficult

People. US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Web. Accessed October 6, 2017.

Zafara, F., Ashfaqb, H., Alic, A. & Imrand M. (2014). Conflict Resolution in Organization

through Strategic Management.  International Journal of Sciences: Basic and Applied Research (IJSBAR) (2014) Volume 14, No 1, pp 1-15.