Leadership, Power, Conflict

Leadership, Power, Conflict


The role of effective leadership is of utmost importance because poor leadership styles may result in organizational dysfunctions, decreased productivity of the staff, failure to interact and cooperate with employees, and may influence employees’ morale in a negative way. Moreover, leadership styles have a tremendous effect on how organizational goals and missions are set and achieved. The current essay aims to explain why various poor leadership styles may cause serious problems for a company and be a great threat to its further development. Moreover, much emphasis will be placed on the main types of conflict at workplace, the points employees should know about identifying different types of conflict and effective methods of its resolution.

Why Leadership Styles May Cause Problems

Ineffective leadership styles may result in devastating organizational consequences, especially in failure to resolve disagreements, inability to confront poor and ineffective performance, insufficient balance, failure of leaders to coach employees and motivate them to pursue organizational goals and missions, and many others (Kellerman, 2013). Moreover, since all leaderships styles are characterized by positive features and considerable drawbacks, all of them may create significant challenges for a company. For example, an authoritarian leadership style that is typical of bossy, bullying, and aggressive managers leads to decreased motivation of employees, alienation of the workforce from work, failure to communicate, low integrity, inappropriate work environment, poor professional values and work ethics, employee dissatisfaction, low morality, and failure to bond a common organizational mission because of leadership aggression, unpredictable business performance, and many others (Kellerman, 2013). Moreover, passive leaders who are apathetic, unassertive, indifferent, and have lack of motivation may lead to serious problems within the company. For example, they may cause poor intellectual stimulation, decreased financial performance, absence of commitment among employees, failure to meet organizational goals, raise in conflicts and many others (Sohmen, 2013). Therefore, ineffective democratic and transformational leadership styles result in lack of consensus and cooperation among employees, poor team cohesion, limite amounts of resources, etc., and, consequently, employees often misinterpret the mission of an organization and misunderstand its main objectives (Sohmen, 2013). Thus, leadership within every company should be effective, responsible, inspiring, competent, intelligent, and visionary. In general, the most common challenges caused by ineffective leadership any business may face are associated with failure to adapt to flexible business environment, poor motivation and dissatisfaction among employees, inability of leaders to inspire and encourage the workers to pursue organizational missions, unethical behavior of employees, lack of trust and commitment, and uncertainty that puts at risk the future of the company.

Types of Conflict

Conflicts at workplace are inevitable because of the numerous factors, such as personality clashes, accumulation of stress, very heavy workloads, clash of cultures and values, ineffective management, poor selection of employees and pairing of teams, harassment and aggression, discrimination, lack of openness and sincerity, differences in leadership styles, and many others (Omisore & Abiodun, 2014). Even though the term “conflict” is very ambiguous, versatile, and complex, its main reasons are associated with tension at workplace caused by clash of personalities, values, interests, or other interdependent factors (Omisore & Abiodun, 2014). However, despite the fact that conflict is often described in a negative context, it often leads to positive outcomes because it serves as an effective tool of pushing businesses forward. In addition, conflict should be viewed as a powerful force promoting progress and innovation (Omisore & Abiodun, 2014).

The researchers differentiate several main types of conflict: relationship, task, and  process conflicts (Omisore & Abiodun, 2014). Relationship conflict is usually caused by a variety of interpersonal incompatibilities, which include personality clashes, negative individual emotions, different worldviews, leadership behaviors, and many other factors (Omisore & Abiodun, 2014). Task conflict arises when there are disagreements among employees and leadership about the nature of task, organizational missions, and allocation of available resources. Moreover, task conflicts often focus on differences in viewpoints, estimations, and iddeas. However, unlike relationship conflict, task conflict may lead to numerous positive outcomes, such as brilliant and effective ideas, innovation, and high quality of service delivery (Omisore & Abiodun, 2014). Finally, process conflicts are directly linked to disagreements among leadership and employees about how a certain task or mission should be accomplished. The most threatening effects of process conflicts are low morale, ineffective communication among employees, lack of collaboration, decreased productivity, and, finally, poor team performance that puts at risk organizational excellence and reputation (Omisore & Abiodun, 2014).

What Employees Should Know about Identifying Different Types of Conflict and Methods of Its Resolution

Employees should have skills and experiences that would allow them to identify different types of conflicts in order to know how to manage them (McConnon & McConnon, 2008). In other words, employees should understand and objectively assess relationship, task, and, finally, process conflicts because each type of conflicts requires different skills to manage it. For instance, in order to resolve interpersonal conflicts, an employee should treat another person with respect, attentively listen to the estimations and viewpoints of other people, and clearly state personal needs and feelings to reach a compromise (McConnon & McConnon, 2008). On the other hand, task conflicts require accurate identification of the problem, brainstorming of possible solutions, selection of the best ones that are approved by both parties, detailed planning, and, finally, objective evaluation of possible outcomes (McConnon & McConnon, 2008).


Thus, the role of responsible and strategic leadership is fundamental because experienced, enthusiastic, and influential leaders provide effective solutions to challenging situations and resolve conflicts in the most efficient manner. Even though conflicting situations at workplace are inevitable because of clash of interests and characters, development of trust and mutual understanding are crucial steps in effective management of disagreements at workplace. Every employee should be aware of different types of conflicts in order to prevent its devastating consequences that put at risk organizational growth and development.

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