Solving Conflicts


Conflicts are inevitable between different departments in an organization. They arise as a result of poor communication of management policies and decisions, inadequate resources and job or role clashes. Conflicts deter productivity and affect levels of confidence of the departments and individuals involved. If handled effectively, conflicts may help in rising and tackling problems assist to sort out matters and motivate workers and departments to identify and benefit from their diverse roles.  

Issues to considerer when resolving the conflict

When resolving conflicts between the operations and sales departments, managers of these departments are supposed to discuss the causes of the conflicts, learn the facts and settle them through applying regulations, policies and rules. Managers are also supposed to minimize conflicts between the two departments and review job descriptions, build a connection between these departments.

Maintaining reports on issues affecting the production  and sales departments and how their work interrelate , their accomplishments  and ensuring individuals employees are appropriately trained  are important   issues that managers should consider.  Majority of departments within an organization compete over performance and authority and in order to prevent these differences, managers of different departments should ensure transparency in uniformity in distribution of resources, and allocation of work time (Daft, 2009).

Compromise during conflict resolution

Compromise cannot be obtained when the conflicting departments are very hostile. Compromise entails the conflicting parties to find a remedy that is likely to partly satisfy each party. Every party is supposed to give up something. Compromise entails cooperation and negotiation and if conflicting parties are so hostile they will not be able to accomplish this. When both departments decide to actively resolve a conflict, it creates a collaboration that is beneficial to the organization and resolution via compromise creates a more favourable atmosphere for settling disagreements in future (Thomas, 1977).

Structuring the conflict resolution meeting

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The meeting should include managers of operations and sales departments, individual departmental members and other departmental managers who will interview every team member from respective teams and carefully listen to issues that bring about conflicts. Each department will be required to a diagnostic plan of its working style and this may act as a foundation for a healthy discussion for the departments to improve on the entire working formula.

Rahim (2010) argues that departmental managers should engage in solving the conflict and sponsor the ides contributed by team members to help in improving collective performance. Shifting form complaints to experimenting for improvement of duties and roles of respective departments is an important value that departmental managers should endorse. They should also reward teams for collective wins and change performance bonus metrics or performance evaluation to make sure that rewards are awarded in accordance to demonstrable efforts and improvements.  

Tactics to be used to create a win- win outcome

Collaboration tactics should be used to ensure a win- win outcome. Collaboration ensures an integrative solution is reached for issues that can't be compromised and thus a consensus decision is made. Collaboration ensures that needs of the parties involved are met and no party is at the losing end and they effectively cooperate and acknowledge that every party is important. This tactic bring together a wide range of viewpoints of the departments to achieve the best remedy for conflicting tasks and   timelines (Worley, & Cummings, 2009) .

Conflict resolution strategy to be used

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NORMS strategy should be used in resolving the conflict between the two departments.  According to Gabbaro, (2004) this strategy helps managers to be objective when tackling a conflict in work environment. N- Not biased; O- Observable, implying that a situation is visible  or experience by workers; R- Reliable, two or more individuals agree on what happened; M- Measurable, conflict parameters may be measured and distinguished; S- Specifics aren't subjective, but non confrontational and objective.  This strategy promotes an atmosphere that welcomes diverse ideas and assists conflicting teams with an appropriate focus of resolving the conflict.


Conflict resolution is an important issue in organizations. Managers of the operations and sales departments are supposed to understand the root causes of conflicts between the departments and come up with an appropriate conflict resolution strategy that will make sure that the needs of both departments are met.

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