Conflicts in the workplace could occur between individuals or groups.
Conflicts may arise between individuals because:
- of a clash of personalities, difference of opinion, bullying or harassment
- of an aggressive or weak management style
- some employees may feel others are treated more favourably
Read more on managing conflict between individuals.
Conflict may arise between groups because of:
- team rivalry, disagreements or resentment
- a 'them and us' mentality between large groups of employees and their managers
- resentment of senior management, poor morale, low motivation, disagreement over pay, health and safety, redundancies and lack of proper consultation
Patterns of behaviour
Groups of people in a team tend to display a certain pattern of behaviour. Four distinct phases of a group or team's development are:
- forming - the team is new, uncertain of how to behave and reserved
- storming - the team argues about who should do what and how, and therefore conflict may occur
- norming - the team agree its core tasks and responsibility is assigned
- performing - the team operates according to agreed norms and can progress
Read more on managing conflict between groups.