Paresashvili, N., Maisuradze, T., Gechbaia, B., Weis, L., & Koval, V. (2021). Conflict management impact on the employee productivity. SHS Web of Conferences, 111, Article 01010. https://www.shs-conferences.org/articles/shsconf/abs/2021/22/shsconf_eecme2021_01010/shsconf_eecme2021_01010.html
Background & Theory
This article explores how conflict management styles can impact the workplace, including employees and performance/productivity. Specifically, they looked at how this can impact developing nations and performed this study in Georgia.
Paresashvili, Maisuradze, Gechbaia, Weis, & Koval, in “Conflict management impact on the employee productivity” (2021), seek to address the following questions:
- How often does conflict occur in the workplace and how is it managed?
- How does this impact the organization overall?
This study included a total of 550 participants, all of whom worked in Georgia in either a public or private organization. The majority of participants (80%) worked between 0-3 years at their companies, and ~17% were managers of some kind. The participants were surveyed on questions related to conflict frequency, what caused the conflict, conflict management strategies, likelihood of conflict resolution, how often managers involve themselves in the resolution process, and how employees feel they are impacted by conflict in the workplace. The data was then compiled and evaluated.
The results showed that there are many reasons that might cause conflict in the workplace, and in this specific case, the most likely reasons included “improper distribution of functions and duties,” “salary,” and “unstable emotional level of employees.” Roughly ⅓ of participants noted they were impacted negatively by conflict occurring in the workplace, but the majority (nearly 80%) expected the conflict could be resolved. The negative outcomes from conflict appeared to primarily be the likelihood an employee would leave the organization, there would be tension and stress in the workplace, and a negative impact on relationships. Managers were reportedly only involved in the resolution process 40% of the time, and the main method that was reported to help resolve conflict was through collaborative efforts of those involved. 70% of participants reported that they believe a democratic conflict resolution approach to be best, but no participant said they tend to agree/see the perspective of the offending party.
What This Means
- Developing nations may face more complex conflict situations and be less equipped to deal with them, but the approach is similar as it would be in a developed nation, which is proper training and understanding of conflict resolution for leaders and having appropriate policies and procedures in place to manage conflict in the workplace.
- Conflict can be very detrimental to an organization, especially when it is not handled in an appropriate manner or contributes to turnover or less productivity. Ensuring there are processes in place to address conflict will more positively impact all employees and the organization itself.
For consultants: The foundations of conflict resolution are always helpful, especially to coach organizational leadership or groups who may not be knowledgeable about how to address conflict properly. Determining easy ways to share the basics can go a long way!
For everyone: We all experience conflict from time to time; having a solid understanding of recommended ways to positively resolve conflict will only be a great asset in reducing the conflict we experience!