Causes of conflict

The first step in knowing how to manage conflict understands why conflict occurs. Conflict within organizations usually occurs because of one or more of the reasons.

  • Competition for resources: In this resources the organizations are always limited. The more limited they are the more likely conflict is occur.
  • Task interdependence: Conflict is most likely to occur between individuals or groups that are dependent on one another.
  • Jurisdictional ambiguity: Overlapping responsibilities often lead to conflict. This can occur when one party takes responsibility that another can also claim.
  • Status struggles: Status struggles can result from perceived inequities. Status struggles can also occur when one person or group believes that it should be giving instructions to another person or group instead of receiving them.
  • Communication barriers: conflicts regularly occur because two people or groups do not speak the same language. Technical language can lead to confusion, which can lead to conflict about who said what or what meaning was intended.
  • Differences in values and beliefs: Conflict is more likely between groups with differing social, ethnic, racial or cultural values or beliefs.

Conflict management skills

Managers can develop conflict management approaches that fit their personalities and responsibilities. Development of these approaches depends on mastering conflict management skills. Some of the skills in conflict management, they are

  • Listening skills
  • Feedback skills
  • Conflict-management styles
  • Be selective about the conflict you get involved in
  • Evaluate the participants in a conflict
  • Assess the source of the conflict
  • Know your conflict management option and select the best one

Conflict management strategies

The competitive strategy for managing conflict may be useful when something important is at stake. Managers who use this approach too often however, often get the reputation of being too hard-nosed or disagreeable. The competitive approach should be reserved for truly important issues. Compromise is the best approach in many situations especially in situations in which it is necessary to work with the other party in the future and therefore t is especially important to maintain good relation.

Principled negotiation

  • There are four keys to principled negotiation
  • Separate the people from the problem
  • Focus on what people really mean
  • Invent potion for mutual gain
  • Use objective criteria


This article is taken from the book “Leadership and Management in the hospitality industry”. Robert H. Woods and Judy Z. King write this book.