Conflict arises when there is disagreement between two or more individuals or groups and each individual or group tries to gain acceptance of its views or objectives over the other one. Conflict is undesirable and it should be avoided and resolved as soon as possible.
Personal conflict is more emotional in nature and reflects feelings, anger, distrust, fear, resentment, and clash in personality, antagonism, tension etc.
The organisational conflict on the other hand involves disagreement on such factors as allocation of resources, organisational policies and procedures, nature of assignments and distribution of rewards.
Possibly the most serious problem to most of the people is inter-personal conflict as it deeply affects the person’s psychological being.
We feel concerned when we have a need to protect our self-image and self-esteem from damage by others. When they threaten it, we get emotionally upset.
The management experts are of the view that an environment of goodwill and trust should be developed in order to avoid conflict.
Proper organisational structures, authority relationship and good human relations can help in preventing conflict. Counselling facilitates in resolving the conflict by reducing emotional blockages.
Stress is a condition of strain that has a direct bearing on emotions, through processes and physical conditions of a person. When it is excessive, it can threaten one’s ability to cope with the environment.
People who are stressed may become nervous and develop chronic worry. They are easily provoked to anger and are unable to relax. Stress also leads to physical disorders, because the internal body system changes to try to cope with stress. The causes of stress can be classified under two heads:
(a) On-the-job stress
(b) Off-the-job stress.
(a) On-the-job Stress:
The job itself may pose as the basic cause of stress. Employees may not be able to cope with the demands of the job or the requirements of the job may be unclear to them.
On such occasions the employees may feel that they have a work overload, pressures they cannot cope with tension, anxiety and insecurity. All these feelings cause stress.
(b) Off-the-job Stress:
Off the job stress also affects the functioning of the employee. Causes of stress off-the job are numerous. Some of them are-financial problems, death in the family, marital problems, problems with children and so on.
Stress is not necessarily undesirable. Eustress or mild stress, in fact, tends to stimulate performance in most persons. It is beneficial as it encourages going ahead against hindrances. Excessive amount of stress leads to distress. It is harmful in nature.
Ability to tolerate stress is not same in all the people. People differ in their tolerance to stress.
Some people can tolerate much greater stress than others. Stress is thus, one of the most important aspects of the employees, which needs to be kept at a level low enough to tolerate without developing disorders.
Frustration is another major cause of stress. When an employee is repeatedly interfered with or hindered in such a way that prevents him from achieving a desired goal, it results in frustration.
There are various kinds of reactions to frustration – aggression, apathy, withdrawal, regression, physical disorders, substitute objectives, negativism, fantasy etc.