Conflict management

Q1: Organizational “costs” from mishandled prejudiced and/or stereotypical behavior

Prejudices may refer to a single set of dynamics functioning to dehumanize individuals who have been identified as different in some particular ways from the people with perceptions limited to a dysfunction called prejudice. A stereotypical behavior is the manner of individual's response based on the past, usually childhood, models. Prejudice may arise as dedicated by the prevailing organizational culture amongst the management/supervisors or employees during normal workplace procedures. When prejudice and /or stereotypical behavior are mishandled in an organization setup, the following costs may accrue to the organization. To start with, group conflict may crop-up necessitating adequate attention and time from the management, and at times professional service in conflict resolution. Second, litigation costs may arise especially if the prejudice is from supervisors. Litigation costs would arise if subordinate staff initiates a legal intervention for infringement of rights/discrimination from supervisors who represent the organization. Third, training costs may arise in efforts to restore teamwork that is usually broken by prejudice.

Fourth, the organization may incur a cost of reduced quality in production due to the reduced employee motivation caused by prejudice culture. Reduced quality goes along with undue wastages in productions processes. Fifth, in working environments where production is done at stages, there may arise a cost of down-time that would result from employees not delivering the intended piece works in efforts to avoid contacts with a prejudiced employee. Finally, there is also a possibility of wastage and repeated work which is a cost to the organization resulting from ‘go slow' and/or strikes from supervisors' prejudice. The repetition of work is a non value adding activity which increases an otherwise avoidable percentage of cost of production. Prejudice compromises the cooperation at the working place thereby rendering the organization as an entity full of uncoordinated operations, thus distorting the necessary teamwork spirit.

Q2: Management of organizational versus individual value conflict

An organizational value may be defined as the acceptable standard governing behavior of individuals in a particular organization while personal values is the relative or absolute ethical value which represents the basis for ethical handling of an issue. The two sets of values may conflict while interacting within the organizational setup. When such incidences arise, managers in the contextual organization ought to resolve the conflict. The following actions can be taken by the manager in response to an organization vs. personal values conflict. First, the manager can conduct nondirective counseling characterized by deliberate efforts in listening to concerned parties with understanding. This can be facilitated by allowing the individual employee to vent out frustrations so as to achieve a problem solving frame of the mind.

Second the manager can adopt a compromise strategy without biasing on any side. Compromising is seeking a resolution that satisfies a portion of every party's value. Third, manager can avoid the conflict via intentional or even non-attention techniques by allowing limited interaction, where individual value indifferences prevail. Fourth, the manager can conduct power intervention by imposing solution from higher management without involving the employee. Finally, manager can opt to confront the conflict which would involve an open and fair discussion of the indifference causing such divergence. Confrontation achieves a resolution that may favor one or both parties, but which may be non- representation of any party so that each party's interest is not considered at all. The intent of any strategy should be to realize harmony, and fosters togetherness in organizational goal attainment.


Kreitner, R. & Kinick, A. (2001). Organizational behavior. Columbus, OH: Irwin/McGraw-Hill Publisher.

Himes, J. S. (2008). Conflict and its Management. Georgia Athens: University of Georgia Press.

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