Leadership Approach to Conflicts at the Workplace

Defining the Problem Paper – 100 Points In the Defining the Problem Paper, you will identify and define your research problem using the questions from Step 1 of the Problem Solving Process chart.  The paper should demonstrate your ability to select and clearly state a solvable problem related to your previous coursework, and to locate, evaluate, synthesize, incorporate, and cite appropriate scholarly research to support your answers. The assignment should be approximately five double‐spaced pages (excluding the title and reference pages) written in Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri 12‐point font and one‐inch margins.  You should use the template provided in course content and include appropriate in‐ text citations and reference page for all sources used to support your answers.    1. Title Page An APA formatted title page including assignment title, your name, class, date, and page numbers. 2. Identify the Problem In 1‐2 paragraphs, clearly explain the researchable problem to be solved and why solving the problem is important. 3. Define the problem Using the questions from Step One of the Problem Solving Process chart, analyze the problem.  Your analysis must be supported by evidence from scholarly (peer‐reviewed) sources published in the last 10 years.   Sources must be appropriately credited using APA in‐text citations.  Information from your references should be incorporated into your own writing – you should not simply list quotes or summaries from another author’s work. Use headings to divide the paper into sections for each of the problem definition sections:   history, causes, effects, symptoms, stakeholders, and desired result.

Introduction to the Problem

Conflict management in workplaces is critical, but the concept lacks the best strategies that leaders can employ. Disputes in the workplace are a common occurrence and can either be positive or cause adverse effects depending on the approach that they attract. The failure to appropriately resolve a conflicting matter can be detrimental to the productivity of an organization. Unresolved conflict may result to high employee turnover, dysfunctional teams, employee dissatisfaction. Lazarus (2014) discusses that poor conflict management can cause physical and psychological harm, emotional stress, and hostility.

Leaders have the role of ensuring that their followers understand the best way to interact with other employees and voice their issues (Saeed, Almas, Anis-ul-Haq, & Niazi, 2014). The approach that a leader employs to tackle conflicts is crucial to generating positive outcomes. A leader must proactively address both the emotional and the rational issues in a conflict. Workplace conflicts are diverse; thus, a single leadership approach cannot be deployed across all conflicts. The method that a leader uses to address conflict affects the outcome of the resolution process.


Attempts to manage and resolve conflicts emerged from the post-World War II society (Lipsky & Avgar, 2010). The attempts focused on conflict management in the political climate. Conflict resolution has, however diverged its application from the power based conflict theory. The rise of the factory system created a conducive environment for growth in significance of organizational conflict. Capitalist ideologies of the time focused more on economic positioning of labor, with less focus on social wellbeing of employees. A conflict of interest emerged between factory owners and workers on issues like rights and freedom, wages and allowances.

An important development in the history of organizational conflict is the transitioning from a subjective form of labor to the kind that employee oriented labor structuring. However, the development did not take place under minimal challenges. With the steady influx of migrants, organizing and managing employee became a major problem. Migrants introduced traditional ways of life that did not match up with organizational cultures in the factory system. Factory owners opted to use of subcontractors (who had family ties with employees) to manage the workers. To improve employee output, workers were paid upon individual task completion, serving as a form of incentive.

Culture based conflicts were not exclusive in the factory system. More than that, the hierarchical form of management assumed entities led to disagreements. To resolve this, owners of companies assumed a managerial form of leadership. The primary objective of managerial ideologies was to foster effectiveness in the organization through authority and obedience approaches. Deployment of managerial approach is not a sure way to develop performance in the workplace. The existing gap called for control strategies.  

Causes             The absence of the best approaches to effectively deal with dissent in the workplace arises from various issues. The association of conflict with only negative outcomes is one such issue…

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