Institutional Conflict

The conflict phenomena is an inevitable occurrence within a corporation. Conflict is described as an undertaking of incompatibility amongst staff members, administration, or shareholders affiliated to the corporation. In the current business sphere, conflict resolution is vital. Conflicts may positively or negatively impact a company’s operations based on how they are resolved. According to Katz and Flynn (2013), corporations deal with extreme workstation disputes attributed to differences in human relations, perplexing organizational arrangements, rivalry among members, and scarce resources. The essay seeks to assess causes of conflict, the role of functional conflict in institutional change, the role of dysfunctional conflict, recommend a conflict resolution strategy for functional conflict and dysfunctional conflict.

Cause of Institutional Conflict

Coleman Deutsch and Marcus (2014) state that “individuals within a workstation, may be in a state of dispute when one or more parties feel that a continuing or an unsettled conflict presents a risk to any actual human situation.” Disputes that arise should be tackled and thoroughly determined to sustain the human and economic state of the corporation. Before solving a dispute, it is important to assess the various cause of conflict. The following are three causes of institutional conflict:

Non-existence of Common Performance Standards

Conflicts are seen to be widespread in corporations where there are discrepancies in performance stipulations and rewarding structures. These types of discrepancies are attributed to the non-existence of universal performance criteria within different divisions in an institution. For example, staff in the production department are typically reimbursed for their efficiency, and the continuous production of limited products that frequently advances the adeptness. Sales divisions are frequently remunerated for their temporary reactions to market revolutions, commonly at the expense of long-term performance efficiency. In this case, every institutional department will battle to attain their performance standards resulting in institutional conflicts.

Personal Differences

Divergence of individuals’ dissimilarities such as competencies, traits, and individual abilities frequently influences interpersonal correlation in an organization. Personal aggressiveness, repression, supremacy, and forbearance towards uncertainty are likely to impact how individuals handle possible conflicts within an organization. Exceptionally, this type of conduct is likely to impact the existence or non-existence of conflicts in a corporation.

Communication Challenges

Communication is vital at each organizational level. Communication challenges are majorly attributed to misinterpretations, misunderstandings, withholding information, and failing to consider the cultural divergence. When these transpire within the communication processes in an institution, personnel, administrators, or non-managers are expected to react with rage and obstruction, igniting disputes. Efficient communication and awareness of probable causes of disputes amongst staff members at diverse organizational levels are crucial, reducing instances of disputes within an institution.

Contribution of Individual Differences and Perceptions to the Conflict

Within an institution, individuals exhibit various unique personalities, principles, emotions, and values that differentiate them from each other. During the enrollment period, an organization hires individuals with expectations performing with certain attributes to meet the organization’s goals.  According to Hocker and Wilmot (2018), conflict and emotion are at the center of both the challenges and the resolutions. Each experiences feelings of blame, disgrace, arrogance, humiliation, and repulsion. It’s the very nature of a human being’s involvement in society that ultimately results in such feelings.  Nonetheless, most persons are capable of coping with such an emotional state, while some are incapable. When individuals bring unsolved problems to the workplaces, the mentality is on a diverse wavelength compared to the entire workforce.

Role of Functional Conflict

A functional conflict is a form of dispute in a group, which results in positive outcomes. In most cases, the affirmative outcomes are correlated to the institution’s growth.  The administration or administrators might take advantage of this form of conflict and channel it towards supporting the company’s objectives.  The role of functional conflict in institutional change includes advancing competition. In this case, personnel are extremely driven by conflict and task rivalry. The healthy type of rivalry might lead to increased efforts amongst employees and lead to enhanced productivity. The subsequent role involves the non-existence of suppression. Open sharing of disagreements assists in reducing tension and assists in the identification of weaknesses. Therefore, it promotes harmony amongst personnel.

Role of Dysfunctional Conflict

A dysfunctional conflict is an undesirable conception that every institution should proficiently manage without affecting a company’s operations. A dysfunctional disagreement contributes to more damage than good to the institution. The roles include dissatisfaction.  A disgruntled worker might lose focus in their duty, badly affecting the group’s productivity. The other role entails distraction. Personnel engrossed in a dysfunctional conflict might prioritize individual victory. They tend to lose concentration on the institutional objectives that need to be accomplished (Oore Leiter & LeBlanc, 2015). The personnel engaged in a dysfunctional conflict are seen to be detrimental to the organization.

One Conflict Resolution Strategy Used with Functional Conflict

Varied Persons’ perspectives can always accelerate conflict within an institution, and how the disagreement is managed determines the efficiency of conflict resolution. The conflict resolves may be accomplished when there is functional conflict as it promotes and allows arbitration to address diverse problems amongst staff members. Application of the contact hypothesis theory would be efficient in minimizing bias, discernment, and conflicts amongst rivaling factions in an institution. The fundamental basis of the concept is encouraging interpersonal contact. Therefore, personnel in an institution would always appreciate diverse viewpoints and develop collaborative solutions to address disagreements.

One Conflict Resolution Strategy Used with Dysfunctional Conflict

One of the most practical methods of determining dysfunctional conflict is instituting trust, using constructive approaches during conflicts, and contemplating a conflict resolution technique. Incorporating constructive behavior while addressing dysfunctional conflict is important since it alters the focus of conflicting members to collaborative methods of tackling the disagreements (Katz & Flynn, 2013). On the other hand, meditation enhances dysfunctional circumstances by fostering dynamic and healthy disagreements among disagreeing factions.


Institutional conflict may either be viewed as functional or dysfunctional. Conflicts may have affirmative or adversative impacts on the development of an institution depending on how the conflicts are typically managed. Due to the negative impacts, the institutional leadership needs to avert any form of conflict to guarantee smooth company operations, seek suitable methods managing conflicts when they arise and confront disagreeing factions, and efficiently address the issues. It is also important to incorporate constructive resolution techniques to reduce conflict’s negative impacts and change the conflict situation as a transformation opportunity.




Coleman, P., Deutsch, M., & Marcus, C. (2014). The handbook of conflict resolution: Theory and practice. Retrieved from

Hocker, J. L., & Wilmot, W. W. (2018). Interpersonal conflict (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Available in the courseroom via the VitalSource Bookshelf link.

Katz, N. H., & Flynn, L. T. (2013). Understanding conflict management systems and strategies in the workplace: A pilot study. Retrieved from 45fa-8aa2-15b786943975%40sessionmgr4008&vid=1&hid=411

Oore, D. G., Leiter, M. P., & LeBlanc, D. E. (2015). Individual and organizational factors promoting successful responses to workplace conflict. Canadian Psychology, 56(3), 301–310.




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Institutional Conflict . (2021, November 10). The Studypool . Retrieved July 19, 2024, from
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