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MBA 6000- Week 6 Discussion: Functional and Dysfunctional Conflict

Aug 29, 2023

Week 6 Discussion

Distinguish between functional and dysfunctional conflict, and provide examples. Why do individuals avoid conflict? While at times you may be tempted to avoid conflict, what can happen if it is not addressed? What may be wise to try instead?

Week 6 Discussion: Functional and Dysfunctional Conflict

Conflict is of different types. There a major differences between functional and dysfunctional conflict and some of them are stated below-

Firstly, Functional conflict is when people have opposing goals that can be resolved without conflict, and Dysfunctional conflict, by contrast, is a type of conflict in which people can’t work together to achieve their common goals, often due to a lack of resolution of differences.

Secondly, functional conflict can be termed as recognized or intended and may have a positive effect on society and the organization (Van Eldik et al. 2020, p.5). In the case of dysfunction, conflicts are those conflicts that are unintended and unrecognized and hurt the organization.

Thirdly functional conflict means that some things can be worked out effectively whereas in a dysfunctional conflict, it does not work out effectively and efficiently as well.

Fourthly it can be said that Functional conflict enhances organizational interests while dysfunctional conflict is counterproductive. Three desired conflict outcomes are agreement, stronger relationships, and learning.

Fifthly A functional conflict example would be an organization that divides its employees into teams and offers incentives to the team that can come up with the best innovative idea for a new product. This strategy promotes friendly competition and encourages all employees to share their ideas. An example of a dysfunctional conflict would be an organization that makes false promises to its employees to increase productivity. Another example of dysfunctional conflict would be a manager within a company who makes verbal threats toward employees to meet their agenda.

Avoiding conflict is one of the usual things that the individual should do. Conflict is one of the reasons why the productivity in the organization gets affected and sometimes leads to economic as well as financial loss as well.  There are various reasons that the individual avoids conflict and some of them are stated below-

Positive environment– One of the major reasons that the individual tries to avoid conflict is that due to the conflict, the environment is full of negativity and it affects the work as well. So, to avoid such a situation in the organization the individuals make sure that they should avoid conflict so that they can peacefully work in the organization. With a good environment in the organization the more effectively the individual can perform the work without any issue. So, to reduce such things it is good to avoid conflict.

More productivity– With less conflict in the organization more productivity in the organization can take place. If there is no conflict then all the people will be busy with their work and will not try to target the other person. With that, the work can be done promptly and more effectively as well If the conflict is avoided then a good relationship can be maintained with the other employees in the organization which helps to work together without any problem (Braem et al. 2019, p.770). If the work is performed properly then it helps to get the work done in less time and helps to reduce the mental stress that takes place due to the conflict.

There have been instances when we tend to avoid conflict because of these reasons but things do not always turn out the way we want them to turn out and we end up in a conflict that may result in something bad and unexpected. The issue may occur because the other person tempted the person therefore, I feel that it is better to sit and talk it out like professionals instead of avoiding it because that won’t help in the long run. A constructive discussion regarding the conflict may help resolve it. According to me, the wise try is to communicate and understand this issue that is taking place in the work of the organization to solve the issue (Dignath et al. 2020, p.195). If proper communication is done then it will help to know the things which led to the rise of the conflict and by knowing the actual reason, we can able to resolve it as well. If the conflict is properly addressed then the conflict will not arise another time and the situation can be handled properly as well. Accordingly, it can be said that proper communication is the way to solve the issue that takes place.


van Eldik, W. M., de Haan, A. D., Parry, L. Q., Davies, P. T., Luijk, M. P., Arends, L. R., & Prinzie, P. (2020). The interparental relationship: Meta-analytic associations with children’s maladjustment and responses to interparental conflict. Psychological Bulletin146(7), 553.

 (Van Eldik et al. 2020, p.5)

Braem, S., Bugg, J. M., Schmidt, J. R., Crump, M. J., Weissman, D. H., Notebaert, W., & Egner, T. (2019). Measuring adaptive control in conflict tasks. Trends in Cognitive Sciences23(9), 769-783.

Dignath, D., Eder, A. B., Steinhauser, M., & Kiesel, A. (2020). Conflict monitoring and the affective-signaling hypothesis—An integrative review. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review27(2), 193-216. 

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