10 Causes/Reasons of Conflict In The Organization (Explained)

Causes of Conflict in an Organization

Conflict is an unavoidable aspect of the organization. Interpersonal conflicts occur between individuals in the organization. The major causes of conflict in an organization are as follows:

  • Misunderstanding
  • Personal Differences
  • Information Deficiency
  • Goal Differences
  • Lack of Role Clarification
  • Threat To Status
  • Lack of Trust
  • Scarce Resources
  • Organizational Changes
  • Poor Communication


Misunderstanding is one of the major causes of conflict in organization. When employees do not understand their tasks, roles, and responsibilities conflict arises. Due to this, they may not complete their tasks as the manager expected from them. It may be due to poor communication from manager to employees.

Personal Differences

Personal differences are the fundamental causes of interpersonal conflict in the organization. The differences occur in the individual due to various reasons such as family background, values, attitudes, traditions, culture, education, and socialization process. Personality differences create conflict among people. It affects on emotions of individuals.

Information Deficiency

Communication breakdown is one of the reasons for conflict. The lack of close communication and the transformation of rigid information create misunderstandings among people. It creates the problem of distrust and conflict.

Therefore, it is essential to communicate the right information at the right time to the related persons.

Goal Differences

The goal is the basis for organizational performance. All activities of the individuals concentrate on achieving predetermined goals. Therefore, if individuals in the same group initiate different goals it may cause conflict among group members. They can not do work effectively.

Lack of Role Clarification

People in a company perform various roles that are interrelated to one another. The absence of role exposition among people generates conflict. It can create role conflict.

For example, role conflict between production and marketing managers. Thus, it is necessary to make a proper division of work and delegation of authority on the basis of responsibility.

Threat To Status

Status is the social rank that an individual obtains in the organization. It is based on knowledge and position. When any threat generates to an individual in his status it may create conflict.

The main responsibility of top management is to maintain balance among subordinates working together for common goals.

Lack of Trust

Lack of trust is also one of the causes of conflict in the organization. All individuals working in a group must have mutual trust to achieve common goals.

They need to do activities on the basis of mutual cooperation and support. A lack of mutual trust among group members creates conflict. It generates barriers to achieving goals.

Related: What is Coordination?

Scarce Resources

The common reason for the conflict is scarce resources. When organizational resources become limited it increases the wants of individuals in a group. Limited resources generate conflict as scarcity motivates people to compete with others to achieve objectives.

For this management needs to take necessary steps so that individuals in the group can mobilize resources on the basis of their skills and experiences.

Poor Communication

Communication is the means of exchanging guidance, instructions, and suggestions between the members of the organization.

The poor communication system in the organization creates the problem of exact transformation of information among the group members, which leads to conflict among them. Thus, there must be a two-way communication system in order to make proper communication.

Organizational Changes

Changes in organizational structure, division of work, authority, responsibility, etc. are essential to cope with environmental changes. Such changes can change the job liability, status, position, and authority of the people in the group.

It can change the formal relationship and job responsibility of group members. This also may be one of the reasons for conflict among group members of the organization.

Next Read: How To Manage Conflict in an Organization: 13 Ways For It

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