Why do Work Conflicts Occur? Reasons of Conflict in the Workplace

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Gandhi Heryanto
Management Consultant, Indonesia

Why do Work Conflicts Occur? Reasons of Conflict in the Workplace

Ben Dattner in his article "Most Work Conflicts Aren't Due to Personality", HBR Blog, May 20, 2014, argues that the real underlying cause of conflict in the workplace is the SITUATION ITSELF, rather than the PEOPLE INVOLVED, as people are inclined to think.
Humans tend to attribute conflicts to other people's personality (e.g., style typologies concept like Myer-Briggs) rather than to situations because that is more complicated. Dattner argues that the real reasons for conflict are a lot harder to raise (and resolve) because they are likely to be complex, nuanced, and politically sensitive.
For example people's interests may truly be opposed; roles and levels of authority may not be correctly defined and delineated.
Do you agree with Dattner (and me) that conflicts in the workplace are mostly due to the situations of the workplace itself rather than to the personality of people involved?


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