Types and Phases of Conflict in the Workplace

Review this presentation for a short discussion of several types of organizational conflict and some of the factors that influence conflict in the workplace. This presentation also defines and explains the types of conflict you may see in your workplace.


  • Interaction of interdependent people who perceive incompatible goals, aims, and values and who see the other party as potentially interfering with the realization of these goals.
  • 3 "I's" of Conflict: Interaction, Interdependence, Incompatible goals
    • The reason conflict exists

Levels of Organizational Conflict

  • Intergroup Conflict: Aggregates of people within an organization (e.g. work teams, departments) as parties in the conflict
  • Interorganizational Conflict: A dispute between two or more organizations

Phases of Conflict

1) Latent conflict: the conditions are ripe for conflict because of the three "I's" (i.e. different personalities)

2) Perceived conflict: one or more of the parties believes that incompatibilities and interdependence exist

3) Felt conflict: parties begin to formulate strategies about how to deal with the conflict (i.e. should I go to my boss; talk to the other party; avoid)

4) Manifest conflict: strategies and goals are enacted in communication (i.e. filed a grievance with HR; confronted the opposing party)

5) Conflict aftermath: short- and long-term consequences - what did the conflict do to the relationship?

Factors Influencing Conflict

Personal Factors
  • Personality
  • Gender
  • Perceptions of self
  • Perceptions of other
  • The conflict
Relational Factors
  • Trust
  • Power
  • Relationship Salience
Cultural Factors
  • Face
  • Individualism-Collectivism
  • Direct – Indirect communication

Source: Saylor Academy, https://s3.amazonaws.com/saylordotorg-resources/wwwresources/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/BUS209-5.1.1-Types-and-Phases-of-Conflict-in-the-Workplace-FINAL.pptx
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Last modified: Tuesday, December 7, 2021, 3:19 PM