What is individual conflict?

Within an organization, there are three major conflicts caused by individuals as suggested by Druckman (1993). They are:

  1. Interest conflict– regarding preferred outcomes a discrepancy between individuals occur
  2. Understanding conflict– disagreements of interpersonal conflict about the good way to gain shared goal, and
  3. Ideology conflict– disputants’ differences in the values.

Managing individual conflicts

Individual conflicts can be minimized and turned beneficiary to an organization. It can be achieved by gaining a proper understanding of the individuals working in an organization (Gross and Guerrero, 2000; Jameson, 1999). Organizations must take effort and insist its managers to gain a complete understanding individuals working for them.  This can be done by conducting face-to- face meetings, feedback sessions and interactive sessions among the workforce. The management must study each individual’s like and dislikes in profession, and must allocate job accordingly (Rahim , Garrett  and Buntzman 1992). It should ensure to value each individual’s opinion in making a decision. By doing so, organizations can easily manage individual conflicts and make the best out of it. One of the best ways to manage individual conflicts is to offer paid leaves or sabbaticals to workers who are over frustrated and exhausted. It is found that more and more Americans consider sabbaticals as a way of recharging themselves. Most sabbaticals allow the recipient to take off with an appreciable pay cut while retaining benefits. The major reason behind the employees availing a sabbatical was found to be excess work pressure and burnout. Other factors included layoffs.

A survey conducted in the year 2000, by one of the famous HR consulting companies in New York, revealed that a majority of the employers offered paid leaves in order to keep its workforce happy and satisfied.  Besides, it has been identified that many employers were planning to add Sabbaticals as a part of their HR benefit programs (Baron , 1990; Rurphy & Saal, 1990). Thus by keeping an individual employee happy, an organization can minimize the negative impact of individual conflict.


  • Druckman D (1993), An analytical research agenda for conflict and conflict resolution, Manchester University Press, New York.
  • Baron R A (1990), Conflict in organizations, Hillsdale Press, New Jersey.
  • Rurphy K R & Saal F E (1990), Psychology in organizations: Integrating science and practice, Erlbaum Associates, New Jersey.

Rajalakshmi Rahul

Rajalakshmi Rahul is the CEO of Kalki Training Academy.She has four years of industrial experience as a telecommunication software developer. She is presently running her own educational consultancy, catering the needs of students belonging to both engineering and management discipline. She is a part of research and analysis team of Project Guru. She is a computer engineer with masters in technology management. She has graduated from Anna University and is a gold medalist.

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  1. Conflicts will always arise in companies or organizations. Everyone wants to be heard but sadly, that doesn’t happen. This results to conflict described in this eye-opening article. Some administrations try to straighten things out through open forums but if the root cause is not dealt with, it won’t do a thing to resolve the problem. Conflicts should be talked through the best way possible. Everyone in the group should join in thinking of solutions and not making the matter worse.


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