Conflicts In Organizations And Mediation

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Conflicts in organizations and mediation


Conflicts have existed, exist and will exist while there are suitable, relevant environments, etc. where they can be carried out and of course while there are those who are in conflict.

These conflicts can occur in the social or business context, this deliverable will focus on the conflict in companies, organizations. The different types of conflict, models, flows, diagrams, structures, currents trends, schools will be analyzed.


We often associate the word conflict with violence, insult, grescas, fights, destruction, irrationality, with negative things. On the other hand, we have the imprisonment that represents the opposite of conflict and this is sustained by the main social institutions:

  • The home, the school, religion. In these institutions the conflict is almost never encouraged
  • In organizations (companies). It seeks to avoid conflicts that alter the good performance of collaborators and therefore productivity.

In current theories it is said that the conflict is inevitable and does not have to be negative. The conflict allows us to develop new ways to solve problems. Theories such as Sewing (1968) indicate that "conflict is a struggle on values or claim of status, power and resources also neutralize, harm or eliminate the individual". Suarez Marines defines it as: "an incompatibility between behaviors, perceptions, objectives and/or affections between individuals and groups". J. Walls, JR defines it as "the conflict is the process in which one of the parties perceives that the other opposes or negatively affects their interests"

Causes and factors

Cultural factors. It is tried to justify violence through its values and beliefs. People exercise cultural violence to impose and maintain their rules.

  • Structural factors. Lack of equality, exploitation.
  • Behavioral factors. It occurs as a result of structural and cultural factors through aggressive (physical or verbal) behaviors.

Conflict response

According to Thomas (1992): assertiveness: the extent to which a person tries to satisfy their own interests.

Cooperation: the extent to which the person tries to satisfy the interests of the other party.

The resulting styles:

  • Collaboration: (assertive cooperator)
  • Competition: (assertive and non -cooperator
  • Avoidance: (not assertive and non -cooperator)
  • Accommodation: (not assertive and cooperator)
  • Commitment: (moderately assertive and moderately cooperator)


Conflict resolution

Means the process by which a conflict is resolved by identifying the causes that cause it its origin. For conflict resolution there are some formulas that can be used: negotiation, mediation and arbitration.


This procedure tries to help resolve a conflict and preserve interpersonal relationships through compression of the parties involved, they always win something.

  • Formal mediation: they are a set of techniques formally defined for conflict resolution. They contain phases for the fulfillment of realistic goals
  • Informal mediation: is to face conflicts through dialogue, each person has a different way to do so.


There are several models:

  • Traditional -linear model (Harvard -Fisher Model): The goal is to reach an agreement
  • Transformative model (Bush and Folger model): The agreements lack importance, focuses on the transformation of relationships. The opposite of the previous
  • Narrative Circular Model (Sara Cobb Model): Try to achieve the main objectives of the previous two models: reach an agreement and improve relationships.


  •  Avoid win/lose syndrome
  •  Produces a high degree of satisfaction, acceptance and compliance
  •  Reduces tension and violence
  •  Ends long -term conflicts


Organizational culture

Organizational culture expresses the ways of acting, behaving, relating. Include values such as respect, tolerance. Normally the organizational culture is not something that is written in a manual or that is explained is something that is taken for granted, it is taken for granted.

The conflict in organizations

Foucault (1992) argues that: from the moment an organization is created a certain type of hegemony, power and this generates a resistance and a certain conflict.

Effects, risks and costs 

An organizational conflict shows how dissatisfied the person and groups within the organization, this affects the company as a whole.

But we can also get positive aspects of conflicts such as finding new opportunities for improvement in some processes.

When conflicts are not managed correctly they become risks for companies.

  •  Work violence
  •  Verbal abuses
  •  Absenteeism

This results in costs:

  • OPPORTUNITY: Low productivity
  • Continuity: loss of trust between groups
  • Toxic environment: Diseases: Stress

Conflict phases


  • Evolution of soft tactics to hard tactics
  • Of individualist to competitive try to defeat the other
  • Increased number of people involved

Stagnation: cannot get worse due to lack of resources to do so.

  • Physical, psychological resources exhaustion, time.
  • Social Support Loss


  • Communication in controlled and favorable environments
  • Small things that may agree


Dysfunctionality or conflict functionality

Dysfunctional consequences:

  • Produce tension and stress among collaborators.
  • Causes communication delays
  • Inadequate redistributions of resources.

Functional consequences:

  • Antagonism is common in interpersonal relationships
  • The conflict establishes limits and maintains the identity of the groups
  • Makes the member of the organizations more capable of facing and solving problems



Conflicts in an organization will always be present. There are functional and non -functional consequences, we must avoid as much as possible the non -functional. The functional consequences could on the other the capacity of workers to resolve similar conflicts in future situations.

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