Pros and cons of organizational conflict

By on June 15, 2012

A conflict may arise when the individuals are not allowed to select the necessary alternative courses of action. The conflict between two individuals states that they have conflicting values, perceptions, goals and attitudes. Conflict is an energetic process as it denotes many events. Each conflict is made up of many episodes of interlocking conflict.

Guetzkow (1954) says that conflict must be aware by the parties. If nobody is aware of a conflict, then it is agreed generally that no conflict has occurred. Conflict is an impossible and natural output in any group and need not be a competitor but rather with the capability to have a strong force in determining the performance group.

In a group, conflict may be a positive force and it is important for a group to perform efficiently. Conflict is caused by management error in designing organizations or by troublemakers. Optimal performance of the organization requires a moderate conflict level. The management task is to manage the conflict level and its resolution for an optional performance of the organization.

Organizational conflict

Rahim (2001) says that organizational conflict has both advantages as well as disadvantages. The following table shows the pros and cons of organizational conflict

Positive Effects Negative effects
  • The release of tension.
  • Stimulating change.
  • Analytical thinking.
  • Identification of weaknesses.
  • Group cohesiveness.
  • High-Quality decision.
  • High turnover of employees
  • Dissatisfaction.
  • A weakness of organization.
  • A climate of distress.


Table 1 Positive and negative impact of conflict.Source: (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2004).

As the table shows organizational conflict has both advantages and disadvantages. However, managing it properly would result in positive effects to an organization.


  • Guetzkow H. 1954. Analysis of conflict in groups of decision-making, Human Relations Management Review, New York.
  • Rahim M. A. 2001. Managing organizational conflict. USA: Quorum Books.
  • Buchanan D and Huczynski A (2004). Organizational behaviour: an introductory text. USA: Prentice Hall.