Conflict and Stress

Conflict[edit | edit source]

A conflict is disagreement among two or more individuals, groups or organizations. Both too much or too little conflict within an organization/group can be dysfunctional. An optimal level of conflict can be beneficial to the group/organization. There is a relationship between conflict and performance.

A conflict can have different causes and can be therefore also separated in particular conflicts. The Interpersonal conflict refers to that different people have different goals/ attitudes/ perceptions. This can be seen for example in personality clashes, which means that two people distrust each other’s motives or dislike each other. Also different beliefs or perceptions about how the group should proceed/carry out this work can be regarded as an interpersonal conflict. An 'Inter-group conflictcan occur for example between the Marketing Department and the Production Department in an organization. This can happen due to organizational causes such as poor management, leadership or scheduling of work or different goals e.g. marketers spending on an advertising campaign vs. accountants who want to reduce costs. Moreover, also Inter-organizational conflict can naturally occur in form of competition.

Managing conflict[edit | edit source]

A conflict can be managed through stimulation , control and resolving or elimination . Stimulating a conflict means amongst others to increase the competition between individuals or group; to bring outsiders in to "shake up things" or to change established procedures. By controlling a conflict we mean for example to expand the resource base (e.g. funding); to enhance the coordination of interdependence; to set supra-ordinate goals or to try to match the personalities and work habits of employees to avoid conflict. To resolve or eliminate a conflict, one can convince the conflicting parties to compromise or to bring conflicting parties together to confront and negotiate the conflict.


Stress[edit | edit source]

Stress can be an outcome of conflict. It is an individual's adaptive response to a stimulus that carries excessive psychological or physical demands. Stress generally follows a cycle referred to as the General Adaption Syndrome , which has three stages: Alarm , resistance and exhaustion. Furthermore, an optimal stress level can lead also to motivation, excitement and innovation. A too little stress level can cause lethargy and differences. A too high stress level, on the other side, can result in emotional and psychological damage.

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