Conflict is an inevitable part of our workday life as different values and points of view can create tension among peers. Conflict is defined as the disagreement among two or more individuals, groups, or organizations. This disagreement may be relatively superficial or very strong (Ventrice, 2000) . It may be short-lived or exist for months or even years, and it may be work-related or personal.
In the Chinese society, traditional culture makes the people trying to avoid conflicts habitually. Furthermore, most Chinese enterprises do not encourage conflicts in the organization. Keeping peace is the only solution. As a result, it is easier to hide our anger than to address the problem directly. It is easier to dismiss the anger in others with, "They'll get over it sooner or later." The Chinese people are used to avoid or ignore the problem because they do not want to "stir up trouble" (Chen, 2001).
However, when we, the Chinese people, hide our anger, we tend to relive frustrating situations over and over in our heads, and see ourselves as victims (Wu, 2001). When we see ourselves as victims, we begin to look for ways to retaliate. "She didn't cover for me when I was out sick. She had better hope she doesn't get sick right before a crucial deadline!" Thus, when we ignore the small frustrations our coworkers have with us, those frustrations grow.
Hence, unspoken conflict destroys camaraderie, and cooperation, damages trust, and impairs work teams. It creates an uncomfortable workplace (Hart, 2000). Ironically, by avoiding confrontation, we create greater discord. As a manager, what you have to do is not to avoid conflict, but valid management conflict, make use of the different opinion of the conflict exhumation, stir up more creativities.
What Causes Workplace Conflict?
Conflict may manifest itself...