Managers can stimulate conflicts by manipulating facts. Ambiguous or threatening massages encourage conflict. Intelligently planted rumours through grapevine can also be used to stimulate conflicts.
(ii) Restructuring Organization:
Careful surfing in the organisation structure, i.e. departments, authority relations, duties, responsibilities, resources, etc., may also create organisatinal conflicts, leading to innovations.
(iii) Bringing in outsiders:
In organisations which have become stagnant, a conflict may be introduced by bringing in new people whose backgrounds, attitudes, values and managerial styles are significantly different. Their innovative ideas, divergent opinions, demonstration of new styles and techniques will shake up the organisation and break its status quo.
(iv) Promoting Competition:
Encouraging competition among people is also an excellent device for constructive conflicts. Introduction of productivity linked bonus schemes, incentive plans and prestigious awards may encourage competitive spirit among people and which may lead to better efficiency and performance.
2. Conflict Resolution Techniques:Conflicts which are likely to produce adverse effects on the organisation, must be resolved. Some useful strategies in this connection have been suggested below :
Both the parties may be persuaded by some influential persons to arrive at an amicable solution over a conflicting issue. Mediation is a good means for resolving inter-personal conflicts in the organisation. However, the mediator should be an independent, honest and intelligent person, who may initiate discussions and keep on parties talking and persuading for a mutual agreement.
(ii) Reduction in inter-dependence:
Mutual dependence and sharing of organisational resources create many occasions for disagreement and conflict.
As such, reduction in interdependence of individuals and groups may also reduce the chances of conflicts. Careful allocation of adequate physical and human resources to each department, standard rules and procedures, clear cut policies, objectivity in application of common resources and, such other measures, may reduce inter-dependency and subjectivity which become the cause of conflict. However, it is beyond imagination to think elimination of inter-dependency for obvious reasons.
(iii) Dominance through power:
Use of authority and power by the management to prevent or resolve a conflict between organisational people and groups is very widely used technique.
Quite often managers have to use their position and power to set the trouble makers right. Conflicting parties are told to maintain calm, composure and dignity while on the job. They are also asked to behave in a proper manner or suffer disciplinary action. Organisational authority, by and large, is accepted by the people as a part of their social culture. However, dominance approach seldom brings lasting peace.
This suppresses the conflicts and subsequently they arise in a more violent form.
(iv) Identifying common enemy:
In the words of Bouding, “A strong enemy is a great unifying force. In the face of a common threat and overriding common purpose of victory or survival the conflicting claims of the group fall into the back ground and are swallowed up into single measurable, overriding end of winning conflict.” This technique can serve the purpose only in emergencies.
(v) Rotation of work:
Rotation of the people within an organisation or department over different jobs helps in reducing conflicts.
It wides their vision and information. Role reversal (empathy) helps people in shaking up their narrow perspective, departmental loyalties and misunderstandings created by the organisational boundaries. People try to understand the problem from opposite party’s view point.
(vi) Grievance handling procedure:
Many intra-individual and inter personal conflicts may be resolved by establishing a well organised grievance procedure to identify and remove the grievances of the people. If the grievance is not removed at the lower level, the employee should be given an opportunity to approach and appeal to the higher authorities for red ressal of his grievance or conflict.