2 May 2015
According to LeBaron and Pillay conflicts are common occurrences in all forms organisations (13). Organisations such as families and business often find themselves in conflicts due to differences in opinion among individuals who form the organisations (LeBaron and Pillay, 15). To enable harmonious existence of individuals in an organisation, conflicts must be resolved and managed in time and adequately (LeBaron and Pillay, 15). LeBaron and Pillay observe that, failure to control conflict can lead to lack of coordination and decline in productivity in an organisation (15). Moorhead and Griffin note that, organisations are made of different people with different beliefs and expectations (3). Conflicts occur when one party feels the other is preventing them from pursuing their ambitions (Wilmot and Hocker 36). Conflicts in organisation are not necessarily bad; some conflicts are positive. Positive or constructive conflicts lead to generation of new ideas that can lead to the growth of an organisation. On the other hand, negative or disruptive conflicts can lead deviation from the company’s strategic objectives (Moorhead and Griffin, 390). Managers should understand how to stimulate constructive conflicts and how to manage disruptive conflicts (Moorhead and Griffin, 390). According to Moorhead and Griffin, lack of conflicts in an organisation can lead to lack of growth and development. On the other hand, excessive conflicts can be disruptive and harmful to coordination in the work place (Moorhead and Griffin, 391).
In order to manage people in an organisation, one need to understand what causes conflicts and how they can be resolved. It is more important to understand how to deal with conflicts where there are many cultural differences in an organisation. Leaders and teachers in ELS organisations need to learn how to manage intercultural differences in order to prevent occurrence of conflicts. Although cultural differences are not the main source of conflicts, often cultural differences form the ground on which differences are propagated in an organisation (Cheldelin, Druckman and Fast, 143).
Georgakopoulos and Guerrero observe that cultural differences influences how students perceive intructions in the classroom. In a survey that involved students from six countries of different cultures, Georgakopoulos and Guerrero note that there are differences along the cultures on how students percieve verbal and nonverbal intructions (11). Georgakopoulos and Guerrero observe that students from Australia and US consider nonverbal communication such as smiling and gesturing to be an efficient method of addressing them in class. On the other hand, Japanese and Taiwanese students preferred a composed approach in classrooms (Georgakopoulos and Guerrero 11). From the observations made by Georgakopoulos and Guerrero, one would therefore expect to encounter some conflicts in classrooms where there are students from Australia, US, Japan and Taiwan. To resolve such conflicts, the teacher need to understand the different cultures in the classrooms and adopt strategies that are friendly to all of them. Alternatively, the teacher can divide the classrooms into groups that enable them to address different cultures. According to Elbanna, Ali and Dayan conflict resolution measures adopted in an organisation influence the strategic decision made in the organisation (280). The influence strategic decision implies that conflict resolution can impact on the achievement of the company strategic objectives. Elbanna, Ali and Dayan observe that workers are happier and more productive in organisations with good conflict management measures. On the contrary, poor conflict resolutions lead to unsatisfied and unhappy workers.
Cheldelin, S, D Druckman and L A Fast. Conflict: From Analysis to Intervention. New York, NY: A&C Black Publishers, 2003.
Elbanna, S, A J Ali and M Dayan. “Conflict in strategic decision making: do the setting and environment matter?” International Journal of Conflict Management, 22(3) (2011): 278-299.
Georgakopoulos, A and L K Guerrero. “Student perceptions of teachers’ nonverbal and verbal communication: A comparison of best and worst professors across six cultures.” International Education Studies, 3(2) (2010): 3-16.
LeBaron, M and V Pillay. Conflict Across Cultures: A unique experience of bridging differences. Intercultural Press, 2006.
Moorhead, G and R Griffin. Organizational Behavior: Managing people and Organizations. Mason: Cengage Learning , 2012.
Wilmot, W W and J L Hocker. Interpersonal conflict. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001.