Research Evaluates Relationship Between Organizational Culture and Conflict, and the Resulting Impacts on Performance - Pollack Peacebuilding Systems

Summary of:

Veerankutty, K., & Rehna, V. J. (2020). Role of organizational culture in resolving organizational conflict and its impact on employees performance – A critical overview. International Journal of Innovations in Management, Engineering, and Science, 6(3).

Background & Theory

This article explores how organizational culture and organizational conflict influence each other, and whether organizational culture can potentially reduce conflict and/or improve performance.

Research Questions

Veerankutty and Rehna, in “Role of organizational culture in resolving organizational conflict and its impact on employees performance – A critical overview” (2020), seek to address the following questions:

  1. What is the relationship between organizational culture and organizational conflict?
  2. Does organizational culture have the ability to impact organizational performance, and what role does conflict play in this?

Methods

18 companies in India were selected at random (of the 75 total determined to meet the proper criteria) to participate in this study; 12 from within Technopark and 6 outside of Technopark (which is a large area in India dedicated to IT). Selected at random otherwise, each company had participants from three categories: junior management team, functional managers, and senior managers. There were a total of 270 employees overall (180 from Technopark, 90 from outside Technopark). All participants were provided a questionnaire regarding their organizational culture and organizational conflict, and the responses were based on a 5 point Likert scale. The data was then compiled and analyzed.

Results

The results showed that the majority of all respondents, regardless of job category, felt that a strong organizational culture would ultimately have lower organizational conflict. It should be noted that those who had the highest agreement with this were senior managers (66.67%); this steadily decreased for the functional managers and then even lower for junior management team members. The results show that organizational culture and organizational conflict are certainly related to one another, and that organizational performance is affected by this relationship; primarily, the authors determine that some conflict in an organization is necessary and helps attain peak performance, whereas too much or too little conflict can actually have a negative impact on organizations.

What This Means

  • Conflict is unavoidable, and may actually be beneficial if kept at a reasonable level and in a way that can help produce innovation or new ideas.
  • Too much or too little conflict can have negative outcomes for an organization, primarily in the workforce. This is especially true when too much conflict creates a tense or stressful work environment and may contribute to turnover or lack of engagement.
  • A strong, and overall positive, organizational culture can play a large role in keeping conflict in check and also lead to higher performance. Not to mention, it generally leads to happier and more engaged employees.

Final Takeaway

For consultants: Measuring conflict in an organization may be a valuable tool to see whether there is too much conflict, or not enough to provide new results. Additionally, coaching leaders how to have a positive organizational culture is of critical value to lead to better outcomes for the organization.

For everyone: Learning how to deal with conflict is invaluable. The right organization for you likely means an organizational culture you can support and a workplace that knows how to resolve conflict appropriately.

Natalie Davis

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