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Conflict in Organizations 

Thread Prompt: Choose 1 of the following prompts to complete your thread:

1. What seems to be the main source of conflict between supervisors, employees, and the HR department?

2. Do you believe that managers should be given more autonomy to make personnel decisions such as hiring, appraising, and compensating subordinates, or do you believe that managers should be given less autonomy to make such decisions? Explain and substantiate your reasoning.

3. Why would employers want to fire employees whose dependents are having serious health problems? What do you think would be the reaction of employees with healthy dependents who suspect this might be happening? Explain.

In a world that is quick to state discrimination has taken place, there is a new discrimination emerging (i.e., reverse discrimination). Is this form of discrimination really discrimination? What diversity practices would you put in place to prevent any kind of discrimination?

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Conflict in Organizations


Organizational Conflict

Replying to prompt #1: What seems to be the main source of conflict between supervisors, employees, and the HR Department?


            Workplace conflict is an inevitable phenomenon in organizational life (Riaz, 2020). In an organizational setup, there are many sources of conflicts that result in a misunderstanding between supervisors, employees, and the human resource department. These conflicts are not only caused by intrinsic individual characteristics but are also contributed by intergenerational differences, inter-departmental rivalries, poor leadership, and poor communication among other factors. In the work done by (Serrat, 2018), the author argues that intra-organizational conflicts are caused by complex adaptive systems, and are often difficult to be managed or resolved. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to discuss the major sources of conflict in an organization between supervisors, employees, and the human resource department.

Sources of conflict

            One major source of conflict in organizations is the intergenerational difference existing among employees of various ages. Depending on the age of an employee, they have different views of the world, values, and ethics in work which often cause conflicts between employees of young age and their supervisors who are often mature adults. Oliver (2020) asserts that there are fundamentally four generations in a workplace; traditionalists (born from 1945), baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), generation X category (individuals born between 1965 and 1980), and the Millennials who were born after 1980. These various groups are in constant conflict because of the unique cultural values they hold, and the approach of doing work.

            Poor leadership is yet another source of conflict between employees and their supervisors. When employees feel that their work is not appreciated and that they are being harassed or devalued, a conflict is likely to ensue between such employees and their supervisors (Oliver, 2020). In most cases, poor leadership manifesting in the form of harassment and devaluation can result in a significant exit of employees from the organization.

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Poor communication has contributed to numerous conflicts between employees, supervisors, and the human resource department. This results from the different interpretations of policies and regulations as applied in the organization. Policies that are poorly articulated by the human resource department can potentially result in confusion as employees and supervisors battle for authority. For example, the human resource department may formulate a policy directing supervisors to use their discretion in reprimanding employees, or on how to include employee subordination behavior in records. This authority can be abused by the superiors resulting in disagreements between employees and their supervisors.  As such, misinterpretation of policies, or implementation of ambiguous policies by the HR department can escalate the conflict between employees and their superiors.

            According to Omisore, (2017) interdepartmental competition and rivalry of employees from various departments is yet a major source of conflict. Inter-departmental rivalry occurs in an organization where employees from one department feel that their role is more important than that of others and that they are solely responsible for the success of the organization. In essence, inter-departmental rivalry occurs in an organization that employs individuals with diverse academic qualifications and those of different professional backgrounds. Other sources of intra-organizational conflicts include competition for shared resources, goal difference, authority relationships, and jurisdictional ambiguities (Omisore, 2017).

            In conclusion, conflicts are part of the organization and may be caused by generational differences, poor leadership, poor communication, and departmental rivalry among employees of different professional backgrounds and academic qualifications.  


Oliver, C. (2020). Sources of Conflicts between Employees, Supervisors, and the Human Resource Management in the Workplace. 1-7.

Omisore, B. O. (2017). Organizational Conflicts: Causes, Effects, and Remedies. International Journal of Academic Research in Economics and Management Sciences, 3(6), 118-137.

Riaz, M. K. (2020). Types, Sources, Costs & Consequences of Workplace Conflict(Link). ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT RESEARCH, 2(1), 600-611.

Serrat, O. (2018). Conflict in Organizations. Journal of Organizational Management, 3(1), 1-3.

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