Functional Conflict and Dysfunctional Conflict Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  681 Words
Date:  2022-06-06

Conflict occurs when there are two or more parties having indifferences or disagreement. In every group of people working together, the rise of conflict is inevitable. On hearing the word conflict, a lot of people tend to assume and argue it from a negative point of view. All people have a perception that conflict is a malefactor and normally prevents the growth of any team. In as much as individuals have a negative perception towards it thus regard it as bad, on contrary conflict has positive occurrence in a team impacting change. Definitely, conflict can be described as circumstance that result to opposition of demand or ideas which leads to making a decision between me (Bennett, 1974). This implies that with lack of a conflict, there would be no opposition of demands and opinions where the decision making is easy and obvious. There are two types of conflicts in an organization setting; functional conflict and dysfunctional conflict.

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A functional conflict is a conflict that is positive and occurs in a people in a team working together. They are important for anchoring the goal and aims of the company thus hastening the growth as well as contributing to the growth of the company. A functional conflict plays the role of improvement the quality's decision, simulating incubation of ideas, creativity and promoting interest as well as inquisitive nature among the members of the group. Functional conflict enables every group member to acquire knowledge in regards to the harmonious' art and compromising efficiency (Constructing Conflict, n.d.). For example in a case of a group where individuals engage in a functional conflict, the results are generally very productive to the group.

A functional conflict needs individuals acknowledge as well respect every idea contributed by every member. It permits everyone to spill out their opinions without facing oppositions or interruption. Individuals participating in a functional conflict understand that all parties are party of the group and its decision (A System of Conflict Dynamics, n.d.). It is comprised of hearing the opinion of every person, as all are given the opportunity to give a worthy insight alongside suggestions in an attempt to solve a challenge at hand. This promotes the cooperation willingness among people. Additionally, for a functional conflict to be achieved every member in the work place should be given a variable degree of freedom of speech, expression and work. The members of the group at the workplace should not be forced to conquer to something they don't agree to be affected in case of an arising conflict. The main objective of the functional conflict is to find a solution to a challenge in an amicable manner.

On the other hand, dysfunctional conflict prevents and limits the performance of a group by threatening the interests of the individuals. Unlike functional conflict, this is a negative conflict as it may result to high tensions in the work place, increased turn over by employees, high level of mistrust and dissatisfaction and minimal cohesiveness and effectiveness in the group. Dysfunctional conflict results to a breakdown in communication and understanding therefore demotivates the employees the organization. It is normally fueled by the different employee's ego alongside their ambitions that are competing within an organization. It happens as the group members at the work place try to outdo each other proving to be better and more productive than their competitors who happen to be their work mates (Behfar & Thompson, 2007). Extensively, it may occur in different departments as they certain groups are not worth credit. Dysfunctional conflict contributes to the distraction of the goals, objective and vision of the organization, thus referred as negative by weakening the organization, consequently contributing to its downfall.


Bennett, W. (1974). Team building: Conflict and negotiation. Los Angeles: CREDR.

Behfar, K. J., & Thompson, L. L. (2007). Conflict in organizational groups: New directions in theory and practice. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.

A System of Conflict Dynamics. (n.d.). Understanding Conflict and Conflict Analysis, 135-153. doi:10.4135/9781446279366.n7

Constructing Conflict. (n.d.). Engaging Communication in Conflict: Systemic Practice Engaging Communication in Conflict: Systemic Practice, 3-24. doi:10.4135/9781452225654.n1

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