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Understanding Organizational. Part 2

by Daniel on September 30th, 2012

Another type of single-party conflict exists when an individual recognizes there are two or more ways to accomplish a goal, but cannot decide which method to use. In this case, a third party, such as another supervisor, may need to make the decision. A variation of this conflict occurs when two different solutions exist but both are equally unfavorable, such as when a manager must choose to continue operating a facility that is losing money or enter into a Chapter 11 business bankruptcy. Human nature may cause the manager to postpone making a decision to avoid being forced to choose. A third party, such as a disgruntled creditor, may ultimately demand a decision.

While single-party conflicts do occur, the most common conflicts within businesses are between individuals who either clash in personality or compete for company resources. One individual can create waves if his or her values and behavior do not match that of the group’s behavioral norms and culture, such as when a new employee is ill-suited to the group’s method of operation.

The different roles and responsibilities of employees in various departments can also cause conflict between groups due to different managerial styles and organizational arrangements. The fitness staff may conflict with the spa staff, for instance, or the nursery employees with the group exercise instructors.

Finally, and perhaps most obvious, is conflict or competition between businesses. To survive, a facility must compete not only with other competitors in fitness, but also for all other demands on the consumer’s health, recreation and leisure dollars. Fitness facilities are glowing examples of the necessity to compete efficiently and manage effectively to avoid permanently closing their doors.

Sources of conflict

Naturally, conflict can be caused by numerous sources that fall into several categories, according to Montana and Charnov. One basic source is differences in goals between individuals and departments. While the primary goal of all facility staff should be to provide a pleasant and rewarding experience to members, inherent differences exist across departments due to varying purposes, organizational patterns and styles of managers. The manager of the restaurant or pro shop most likely embraces different objectives than the manager of the personal trainers.

Another source of conflict is competition for limited company resources, which is inevitable since each department believes that its goals and needs are valuable. Top directors or owners must weigh all arguments and allocate resources according to overall organizational goals, which don’t always coincide with those of individual departments. A department that does not receive its requested resources may disrupt business if its staff acts in a passive/aggressive or non-cooperative manner.

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