Perceptions of employees on the sources of conflict

Sources of conflict

Conflicts are inevitable. Of course, conflicts of a positive kind are essential for the efficiency of an organization. However, the outcome of a conflict depends on the source of conflict and its effective management by the members involved. It is most important that conflicts be clearly identified and their source acknowledged. Furthermore, they need to be handled and managed efficiently.

Some of the main sources of conflict are –

Perceptions and attitudes

No doubt, every individual holds different views to the different things around us. Our perceptions about events, things or people in the world differ based on our values, attitudes and beliefs. Hence, these differences among individuals lead to conflicts

Lack of resources

Most times, conflicts in the organization arise due to shared or limited resources. For example, the resources could be in terms of human resources, financial resources or equipment that causes conflicts.


Conflicts might arise due to unjust treatment or prejudice in rewarding or punishing employees.

Values and beliefs

When the organizational values and individual values do not unify or when there is a clash in values between individuals, conflicts are bound to arise.

Poor leadership

Employees who are dissatisfied due to poor leadership might find themselves in conflict situations. Undeniably, disagreements, misunderstanding and poor interpersonal relationships due to ineffective way of dealing with issues will eventually lead to conflicts.

Stress and tension

Employees going through stress and work pressures might be demotivated, lethargic or unproductive at work leading to conflicts at work.

Organizational / work culture

Sometimes the culture of the organization will lead to frequent conflicts among employees. Indeed, work overload, lack of trust, job insecurity, role conflicts or lack of transparency in organizations are some of the causes of conflicts.

Whatever might be the source of conflict, if conflicts are not managed effectively, they would lead to an organizational set back.

Therefore, sources of conflict need to be identified at an early stage and be dealt with in an appropriate manner. Identifying and managing the source of conflict would help in effective management of the organization.

Use this sample questionnaire to understand employees’ perceptions on the sources of conflict in an organization.

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