Research Shows the Impacts of Conflicts on Productivity at the Workplace 

Published: July 6, 2022 | Last Updated: December 4, 2023by Vanessa Chapman

Summary of: Research Shows the Impacts of Conflicts on Productivity at the Workplace 

Sharma , R. (2021, June). Impact of Conflicts on Productivity at Workplace . Retrieved June 16, 2022, from Impact of Conflicts on Productivity at Workplace (2021)

Background & Theory

This article highlights how employee’s productivity is one of the most important factors within organizations, but how it is also the most pressuring variable of conflict for teams to overcome. As we all come from different upbringings, backgrounds, cultures, work styles, and communication styles, conflicts occur at different levels within every organization. Allowing people undergoing the conflict to mitigate the problem themselves may not be the best solution, while completely avoiding the issue will also cause harm.This article aims to find a variety of solutions for better productivity and retention within organizations. 

Research Question(s)

  1. What are the different types of conflicts? 
  2. What is the best way to mitigate / prevent conflict? 


Identifying Different Types of Conflicts 

The study focuses on vertical and horizontal levels of conflicts. The vertical level of conflict directly relates to different hierarchy levels within the organization. Whereas the horizontal level of conflict occurs between individuals at the same level. Conflicts are categorized as interpersonal or intra-personal. Interpersonal conflicts are between two individuals, while conflicts between one or two groups are considered intra-personal. Through the studies it has been shown that emotional intelligence plays a huge factor in having the ability to resolve conflicts. If we communicate openly and understand where each individual is coming from, we are able to get to the root of conflicts and prevent them from occurring. Moreover, understanding the level of conflict aids the people operations team in navigating the conflict.

Reasons Behind Conflict 

The article elucidates different reasons as to why conflicts arise. The main reasons highlighted in the study is a diversification in values, customs, attitudes, and personalities clashing based on not feeling aligned or trusting of the people they work with on a day to day basis. Another key variable to highlight is most upper level managers are focused on maximizing profits and limiting the amount of resources available to their employees for their own self development. This creates a tremendous amount of stress and pressure for employees and the environment they work in. When these tensions rise, there is a lack of productivity, innovation, and high turnover rates.  


Conflicts within workplaces are inevitable, but it is the leaders within the organization that are responsible for providing educational measures to put into place for employees to continue to thrive. If the organization is prepared to handle all levels of conflicts and have proper training incorporated, these severe consequences can be avoided. In outsourcing conflict resolution professionals to mitigate conflict, there is more of a chance of cohesion between groups and teams within the organization. 

What This Means

  • Workplace conflict should not be taken lightly, HR practices should constantly be evolving to ensure positive retention rates and productivity.
  • In having leadership involved with educational measures around emotional intelligence, there will be less conflicts within an organization
  • Creating standards from the get go in orientation trainings is key to have people aligned to the values of the organization

Final Takeaway

For consultants: In constantly educating ourselves, employees, and clients around emotional intelligence, we are able to deepen relationships across the organization 

For everyone: We should constantly be evolving and growing into better versions of ourselves to maximize productivity and prevent conflicts within the workplace. 



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Vanessa Chapman

Vanessa has a background in Business, Psychology, and Mediation. She is currently Director of Client Services for Peaceful Leaders Academy. Some of her hobbies include continuous learning, reading, writing, and participating in yoga retreats!