6 Causes of Conflict

causes of conflict

Conflicts can occur over substantive or emotional issues. People engage in conflict for various reasons, which are as follows:

Incongruent needs or interests

Two parties engage in conflict when an activity satisfies one party’s interest and dissatisfies another’s. In an organization, the Head of HRD and Senior Corporate Executives sat together and decided that employees’ benefits would be given on the basis of seniority. Employees engaged in conflict with that decision.

One group of employees thought that employees should be given benefits based on performance because it satisfies their interests, and another group of employees thought that employee benefits should be based on seniority because it satisfies their interests. Therefore, conflict occurs because of interests.

Incompatibility of behavioral preferences

Conflict occurs due to differences in behavioral preferences. One person or party behaves in a way unlike that of the other party or person. For example, one mid-level manager unintentionally made some mistakes, and now he is ready for bitter behavior from his boss.

In the end, the boss behaved so badly to the mid-level manager that he didn’t even think of it. After that, conflict continues between the boss and the mid-level manager.

Short supply of mutually desirable resources

In a private commercial bank, there are two Deputy Managing Directors who are working together for the betterment of the bank. After three years of successful completion of their banking service as DMDs, both DMDs are eligible for the post of Managing Director.

If you promote one, then the other will be dissatisfied, and both will be engaged in conflict with each other. So, here, conflict arises because of the short supply of mutually desirable resources.

Different attitudes, values, and skills

Two colleagues have a good relationship between them. One day, one colleague did something in the office place which he thought was right according to his attitude and values, but his opponent thought that this type of act could only be done in a private place. Thus, they engaged in conflict.

Exclusive behavior regarding joint actions

Sometimes, exclusive behavior regarding joint actions creates conflict. If one party or person shows exclusive behavior and completes the task successfully, there will be no conflict.

But if the party fails to complete the task, then another party or person blames the opponent. So, here, conflict occurs because of exclusive behavior.

Interdependent functions or activities

The Marketing department and the Production department are two interdependent departments. Sometimes, the Marketing department creates a good market for its product, so demand is high, but the Production department cannot supply as per the demand.

So, conflict occurs between these two departments. On the other hand, the Production department produces a large quantity of products, but the Marketing department cannot sell them. Now, again, conflict occurs between these two departments.