Conflict in Organizations: The Role of Routine
20 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2011
Date Written: November 19, 2010
The goal of this paper is to apply the insights of contemporary research on routine to the area of conflict and conflict management. This is a conceptual paper. It does not provide any new data or evidence, but aims at drawing the ‘big picture’ of the phenomenon, therefore outlining the structure of the relation between routine, conflict and conflict management, as well as clarifying logical relations and implications. The findings are two-fold: Firstly we specify four different types of conflict sources that are either rooted in existing organizational routines or in the specific difficulties connected with changing these routines. In particular we address the repetitive character of routine, disagreement over the ‘validity’ of existing routines, disagreement concerning the definition of new objectives, and resistance to change. Secondly, we point to the inherent tendency to routinize conflict management strategies and the benefits and risks that are connected with that. This paper adds value to the field of conflict management by considering the role of routine in organizational conflict and conflict management. So far these literature streams have only been coexisting mostly in parallel and this paper attempts to bring them together and offer a structured analysis of the relationship between their key concepts. The main contribution of this paper is to increase conceptual rigor, particularly with respect to the analysis of the causes and the structure of conflicts.
Keywords: Conflict, Routine, Organization, Conflict Management
JEL Classification: D74
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation