Workplace Conflict for College Students

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 547 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 8, 2024

Words: 547|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 8, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Functional Conflict
  2. Dysfunctional Conflict
  3. Causes of Conflict
  4. Conflict Management
  5. Conclusion

Conflict is an inevitable part of human interaction. In the workplace, it can be a source of tension between colleagues or departments. It can create discomfort, and stress, and reduce productivity. However, not all conflict is detrimental. Some conflicts can lead to growth, innovation, and positive changes. As a college student preparing to enter the workforce, it is important to understand the difference between functional and dysfunctional conflict, the causes of conflict, and how to manage conflict effectively.

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Functional Conflict

Functional conflict refers to healthy, constructive disagreement between individuals or groups. It promotes critical thinking and encourages diverse perspectives. In the workplace, functional conflict can foster collaboration, creativity, and innovation. Such conflicts can arise when there are differences in experience, perspectives, or ideas. Functional conflict is usually short-lived and does not create hostility or tension.

Dysfunctional Conflict

On the other hand, dysfunctional conflict is unhealthy, and destructive, and can lead to negative consequences. It arises when individuals or groups disagree but fail to resolve. In the workplace, dysfunctional conflict can result from poor communication, power struggles, competition, or personality clashes. Dysfunctional conflict can lead to stress, reduced productivity, absenteeism, high turnover rates, and even legal issues.

Causes of Conflict

Many factors can contribute to conflict in the workplace. These include personal differences, poor communication, role ambiguity, and limited resources. Personal differences can arise from different personalities, values, or s. Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, misinterpretations, or lack of clarity. Role ambiguity can make it challenging for employees to know their responsibilities or what is expected of them. Limited resources can lead to competition, which can result in conflicts.

Conflict Management

Conflict management is essential in the workplace to ensure the healthy resolution of conflict. Effective conflict management involves understanding the nature of the conflict, identifying the underlying cause(s), and developing strategies to address the issues. There are various conflict management techniques that can be used, depending on the nature of the conflict. These include accommodation, competition, collaboration, compromise, and avoidance.

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  • Accommodation involves accepting another person's point of view and minimizing one's own positions. It can be effective when the issue at hand is less important, and the relationship between the parties is vital.
  • Competition involves using power and influence to achieve one's goals at the expense of another. It can be effective when there is a high-stakes situation that requires a decisive and immediate resolution.
  • Collaboration involves working together to achieve a common goal that satisfies all parties. It can be effective when the issue at hand is complex and requires the input of all parties.
  • Compromise involves finding a middle ground that satisfies both parties. It can be effective when the issue at hand is moderately important and requires a quick resolution.
  • Avoidance involves avoiding the issue entirely, hoping that it will resolve itself over time. It can be effective when the issue at hand is not significant, but it can also lead to prolonged conflict.


Conflict is an inevitable part of human interaction, but it does not have to be detrimental. Functional conflict can lead to positive changes in the workplace, while dysfunctional conflict can lead to negative consequences. It is essential to understand the nature of the conflict, identify the underlying cause, and develop effective conflict management strategies. By developing conflict management skills, college students can become valuable assets in the workplace, promoting collaboration, creativity, and innovation.

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Cite this Essay

Workplace Conflict for College Students. (2024, March 07). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 13, 2024, from
“Workplace Conflict for College Students.” GradesFixer, 07 Mar. 2024,
Workplace Conflict for College Students. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 13 Jul. 2024].
Workplace Conflict for College Students [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 07 [cited 2024 Jul 13]. Available from:
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