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Managing Intragroup Conflict 

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Managing is the way you handle or control the situation or people. Conflict is the argue between two or more people. In every enterprises or companies, there are usually a conflict between individual or groups. So when we talk about the managing conflict, it is how to solve a misunderstanding or the problem between the individuals. For the managing conflict, there are 3: managing conflict between individual and individual, individual in the group (intragroup), group and group (intergroup). But we choose the individual in the group (intragroup) to do the research.

No one can escape from conflict, we still have to face them; wherever you run from it, you will meet it. But it can have a positive or negative consequences according to the way that you consider about the conflict. Some researchers consider conflict as a good thing (Kjell Brynjulf Hjertø, 2006) and some not. Most of the time, when we came from different background (culture, religion, age, education, skills, etc.), they will be some misunderstanding. So we need to be open-minded or we go through the conflict. In that kind of conflict, one party can feel that its interests are being opposed by another party. According to our work, in any kind of conflict, we can find the pros and cons.

Conflict used to be an obstacle for the group functioning. Based on the relationship between group members, the task conflict can bring an affirmative or negative concern. According to Kjell Brynjulf Hjertø, 2006; Francisco J. Medina, Lourdes Munduate, Miguel A. Dorado, Inés Martínez, José M. Guerra, 2005 mentions that the task conflict brings a beneficial and new solution for tough problem to the team. Task conflict can bring a competition (Lili Bao) between group member, everyone wants to show their abilities and want to be the best one and it is the beneficial for the team work. But for Wit, Frank R.C. de, 2013, he said the task conflict is a waste of time and have a negative outcome. As for environment conflict (James A. Wall, Jr. and Ronda Roberts Callister, 1995) also thought the environment can influence the conflict. If the environment is not comfortable for the employee, it can cause a lot of problems like sick, stress and more. It will effect the production and some companies, they have the insurance, so the company lose more profit.

The environment conflict can lead to personal conflict. If the environment is not good and at the same time the employee has his own problem, he can bring the personal conflict to the group and cause intragroup conflict. A leader should know how to talk with employees without hurting them because they have different sensitivities. At the same time the solution for personal conflict can only come from the individual itself, because whether the individual choose to share to other group members for help or he keeps aside about his problems and concentrated to the work. Otherwise, it also impacts the relationship conflict in the group (Wit, Frank R.C. de, 2013). For the relationship conflict, the leader needs to be professional in his work. He can not take side with anyone even though he knows or like one member. This kind of conflict is more difficult to solve in company because it is not related to the work.

Generally, we can find a conflict in individual life or between individual. “When there is life, there is conflict; so it is part of life.” In every company, firm or organization, there is always a conflict because they need a people to work in it. When there is a people, it is always a conflict follow the people. Because every individual has their own idea and opinion about one things that they believe or their goal. The intragroup can be cause by the company environment; if the company does not have a good atmosphere, it can lead the employee to get stress easily and affect the production of the company and also in their department. It is called “environment conflict”. While they are working in the group or team, there will be an obstacle in their mind about the company’s rules or instructions. When they feel stress, they will cause (angry, nervous, etc.) the conflict in the group. In this kind of situation, it does not help the employee who also has his or her individual problem. As human being, they have their own “personal problem” that they can not share it with anyone.

So when they come to work with other people in the company, apart from their own problem, they have to face a different background knowledge people. Every individual has its own knowledge and idea about anything. For example, as the team is working in the project, they do not have a point of view according to their knowledge, experiences or skills. So everyone wants the team to choose their own idea. This kind of situation can cause frustration to those whose idea was not chosen. What we called “background differentiation conflict”. In a company, every department has its own task; and also in the group, everyone has their own duty or mission for the goals or objective of the team. During their discussion for their mission, it will lead some misunderstanding or dissimilar perspective situation. It can be also because of their task responsibility while the team leader provides them for what they should do in the project.

Therefore, it leads to “task conflict”. Assuming that, the team leader divides the task to the group member, base on their relationship, it means that he can arrange the easiest for his closest member. This kind of leader can always have a conflict in their team. Not only impact the group work but also the relationship between members. It makes the process of the work decrease and low production. It is what we called “relationship conflict”. As the relationship conflict occur, the “reward conflict” also follow. Because as the group achieving something from the company, and the team leader may take side with individual in the group and give to his or her more rewards than the other such as packages, bonus, benefit, etc. So when other group members know about it, there will be a reward conflict happen. This conflict always happen due to the leader is unfair to someone because everyone wants their leader to treat them equally, even for the reward that they put their effort to work.

Every conflict usually ends with good or bad at the end, this is what we called reality. But for companies, firms, or organizations that you worked in, you should know how to end the conflict in the best outcome. In every company, we find a different condition or environment. Now that, we think the company has a strict rule and make every employee feel bad to follow. In that case, the company needs to make the rule flexible for the employee. It affects a lot the employees when they have a good feeling while they are working. Whether the rule change a lot or little, the employees feel that the company is caring about them. We do not want to start our working day with blame, stress, and see the awful face of the top manager. The top manager has to be flexible with the employees. So that, they can work with all their strength and boost the production of the company. From that, the company can earn the trust from employees but also earn more profit.

During the change of the environment of the company, the feeling of individual also change. Even though they are having their own personal problem but when they come to work, they feel relax and cut off their stress. Then, it does not cause any conflict in their group. But for the challenge that the group may face is the differentiation between their background, knowledge, and experience. To solve this problem, the group need to understand each other well beside the working hours. Sharing the experience to each other sometimes can lead to new things or solutions without notice and also help when the team needs to solve their work problem more in the future, because they raised up or backed up their old memories. By that time, even if there is a conflict, it does not impact the relationship or the work team. Because they accept and respect other’s experiences or ideas.

However, they can help each other during their hard time (working) and help each other back (personal problem). As oneself is a leader in the group or team, you need to be fair to all group members. They are like your family; you can not try to cheat them. As long as you think they are your family, part of you, have the same background knowledge; whether you give them any work or project, hard or easy, they can work perfectly. Even though there are some obstacles in the work or group, they can still discuss and solve the problem together, without conflict. As they know each other well, the relationship and reward conflict will not be a problem any more, because they know each other deep down. The leader is close to everyone, and make the team better. If there is a challenge for the group, they will try their best effort to do it without hesitate.

In all, conflict is a hard to solve for those who did not seek for solution but easy for those who care about the situation. As long as they want to support each other, they will unearth the solution to every problem they face. As for intragroup, there are many members in the group, they have different appearance of working. Sharing with the team members to establish new ideas to the future or current problems. It can be a big advantage for the team and even the whole company. The company is the place where we bring our visions, abilities or knowledge but we also can get new skills or experiences. So think before you speak, don’t hurt anyone. As the quote from Dave Mason “There ain’t no good guys. There ain’t no bad guys. There’s only you and me. And we just disagree”.

During the process of establishing this research paper, there are some main areas which would help benefits to the next researcher who would like to bring the focus on the similar topics. Below are some points to follow:

  •  As for the environment, we only mention about the environment of the company like rule or regulation of the company, and also behavior of the manager. So we suggest to do more research about the environment between department.
  • The task conflict, we just raise a point about the differences of providing tasks, and we recommend to do more about the perception of the tasks and the goals.
  • What we did not see in conflict research is the reward conflict, we advise the next researcher to focus more on the reward differentiation. Most of the time coming from the discriminating leader.
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