Conflict at Work

Over the years, attitudes towards workers have changed considerably. After all, there was a time when workers had no rights at all and laboured in appalling conditions. Conditions have improved a lot, but conflict in the workplace is still common. And human resources managers nowadays need to be able to deal with it when necessary.

Q31 What is conflict in the workplace? Definitions vary, but I’m taking it to refer to a whole range of behaviours that the victim finds unacceptable, from minor, harmless arguments to at the opposite extreme – physical violence. Much of this is covered by the term bullying, by which I mean one or more people behaving abusively or aggressively against another who is in a weaker position. Although all behaviour like this is a form of conflict, not all conflict can be described in these terms.

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