In business management, a number of problems exist. The problems may comprise of difficulties in managing innovation, conflict in the workplace, and increased turnover. During the research process, the above problems were analyzed. Thereafter, the researchers were able to narrow down on a specific topic. The topic chosen was conflict in the workplace. In this regard, the article below evaluates the selected topic using the steps suggested in the class textbook.
Clarifying research question
In any organization, conflict in the workplace is considered a major management problem (Akella, 2009). The conflicts might arise from personal differences or responsibility differences. As such, the exceptional features of workplace setup influence the conflicts. The features comprise of the stretched hours employees people spend in their workplace, the hierarchical arrangement of the business corporations, and financial or emotional the difficulties associated with relocating to a diverse workplace. In this article, research question seeks to answer how workplace conflict, as a business management problem, affects the operation of an organization. Highlighted below are the research questions of the article:
- How does conflict in the workplace affect the operation of an organization?
- What are the causes of workplace conflict?
- What are the solutions or interventions to workplace conflict?
- How does workplace conflict affect employee morale?
Proposing the research
Before the research was conducted a proposal was undertaken. In the proposal, the research questions, literature review, research methodology, findings, and the expected challenges were highlighted (Venable, 2014). Similarly, the proposal indicated the expected cost of undertaking the research. During the process, it was noted that data collection was going to be the costliest activity. The participants had to be paid, trained, and be provided with their travelling allowances. As such, it was noted that the cost of data collection was dependent on the size of the geographic scope selected. After a thorough budget and value analysis, it was noted that the value of the proposed project exceeded the cost of undertaking the project.
Designing the research project
The research utilized a mixed method employing both qualitative and quantitative designs (Cooper & Schindler, 2013). In addition, the study used a case approach to determine the study population. The purpose of using a mixed method approach was to ensure that the proposed research would benefit from the advantages of using both qualitative and quantitative methods and reduce the effect of the disadvantage associated with using only one of the two methods.
The study sought to assess conflict in the workplace. As such, the research identified business organizations as the target populations, from which samples were taken. In this research, the researchers identified six business organizations in the USA. All the organizations had an incorporated status and had at least 200 employees, a board of governors and at least one manager or CEO or any other equivalent office.
Both interviews and surveys were used in the study. Managers and employees in the target business organizations were interviewed because they were the participants of the study. Surveys were utilized in examining their approach towards conflict in the workplace. On the other hand, interviews were done through questionnaires to investigate their attitudes and perspectives towards the effects of workplace conflict in organizations.
Data collection and preparation
For this research study, the data were collected through field research. The method entailed the acquisition of data from secure and reliable business organizations, face-to-face interviews, and questionnaires. Business organizations provided the researchers with crucial information such as the present and the past workplace conflict’s reports. The sources were very efficient since they were bias free. The face-to-face interview required a participant to question participants in person to collect their personal views. During the interview, the contributors were asked to detail their perception about how workplace conflict affected business operation. The questions used during the interviews were open ended. Equally, questionnaires were used to collect private information from the participants. In general, the research used a mixed method approach. For preparation of statistical data, SPSS was used to develop statistical analysis techniques such as regressions and correlations.
Data analysis and interpretation
The data obtained were analyzed with respect to existing findings on the topic. From the analysis, it was found that workplace conflicts have an impact on a range of management and operation features in an organization. In the findings, the researchers offered the target audience with ways of making use of what they already know concerning how to relate with other people. The findings introduced a number of communication issues that fuel conflicts in the workplace. Later, it offers precise, tangible, and realistic means of substituting conflict-causing ingredients with more supportive ways of communicating. Based on the findings, it is apparent that workplace conflict results in lower productivity and increase employee turnover.
In business management setting, workplace conflict can have several repercussions. For instance, conflict can affect both the sharing of information and skills among the group members (Akella, 2009). Equally, frequent conflicts can affect the relationship that exists among the team members. For a specific team to meet its objectives it must be stable. However, when conflict is experienced regularly among its members, the team would be unstable. In this regard, team leaders should note that the stability of any team is paramount for the team to function effectively. The above imply that with increased workplace conflicts the teams will spend more time and effort addressing the issues. Through this, the development of performance norms will be compromised, thus affecting on the team’s effectiveness.
Even with of the above repercussions, managers should note that with appropriate approaches they could reduce the possible negative effects of workplace conflict and gain advantage (Gupta, Boyd & Kuzmits, 2010). Initially, when signs of conflict arise, team leaders should investigate on its causes and act appropriately. Once the team leaders have learnt of the cause of the conflicts, they should put in place measures to mitigate the effects of the problems. By investigating the cause of the conflict, team leaders can also put in place measures that will ensure that conflict is reduced in the future hence benefiting the company in the future. In addition, in the event of workplace conflict team leaders should ensure that high skilled negotiators are involved in addressing the issues.
Managers should adopt appropriate leadership skills to manage workplace conflicts. Most often, management teams have been advised by complex theorists to abandon command, control styles of management (Beers, 2007). Instead, they should set global performance targets and establish a few simple rules. Despite the fact that this approach can enhance creativity, it should be noted that it could promote conflict and waste. However, managers can still let go of control styles of management and ensure that organizational activities are coordinated with each other in accordance with organizational goals. As such, managers should build agile organizations. In these organizations, individuals should be able to tackle with ambiguity and harness the benefits of diversity. To mitigate the potential negative consequences of following complexity theorists, managers should resort to improvisation concepts. Through improvisation, creativity will meet with execution resulting in effective performance.
Equally, to avoid conflicts in the workplace managers should be charismatic. Charismatic managers make use of their individual appeal to get things done to their expectations. Through this type of leadership, a manager can influence and expand the interest of the followers and attain unwavering support among the followers. The situation will be beneficial to an organization because its interest will be given first priority rather than personal interest. Through this, conflicts will be avoided.
Reporting the results
At the end of the research, the report was compiled. The report comprised of the findings and the recommendations. During the compilation of the report, the researchers formatted their findings and the style of the report with respect to the target audience. In this research, the report was compiled in a memorandum format before being sent to the managers. Similarly, an oral presentation of the report’s findings and recommendations was produced.
Just like any other research, investigators were faced with ethical issues during their studies. Therefore, they had to be watchful when tackling ethical dilemmas encountered in the field. The problem of consent was recognized as one of the major issues. In particular, the issue of examining corporate managers based on their culture was a critical issue because managers tended to conceal such information.
Akella, D. (2009). Satyagraha: The Gandhian Philosophy of Conflict Management. Journal Of Workplace Rights, 14(4), 503-523.
Beers, L. (2007). Conflict in the Workplace. Pediatric News, 41(10), 61-62.
Cooper, D., & Schindler, P. (2013). Business research methods (12th ed.). Boston: Irwin/McGraw-Hill.
Gupta, M., Boyd, L., & Kuzmits, F. (2010). The evaporating cloud: a tool for resolving workplace conflict. International Journal Of Conflict Management, 22(4), 394-412.
Venable, J. (2014). Incorporating Design Science Research and Critical Research Into an Introductory Business Research Methods Course.