The Role of Organizational Culture on Informal Conflict Management

Posted: 2 Jan 2012 Last revised: 4 Jan 2012

See all articles by Francesca Di Virgilio

Francesca Di Virgilio

Università degli Studi del Molise

Loredana Di Pietro

University of Molise

Date Written: January 2, 2012


Many researches and scholars would without hesitation justify the role of formal processes to manage the conflict in the workplace. The organizational culture and conflict management research in mainstream thinking has often neglected to examine the impact and implications of culture on informal conflict management in organizations.

This preliminary study examines the amount and types of conflict in organizations with the aim to investigate the relationship between organizational culture and the behavioural norms used to informally manage conflict by examining the results of a survey questionnaire given to 168 employees of a Public Administration.

The findings of this research show that there is a relationship between culture and behavioural norms. In this scenario, formal processes of conflict management become prescriptions and lose their relevance for understanding the challenges and the evolutions of conflict situations.

We demonstrate that the practice of conflict management is more problematic, especially bringing the topic of organizational culture into discussions with conflict theory literature.

Keywords: organizational culture, conflict management, behavioural norms, informal processes, public administration

JEL Classification: C93, D73, D74, M12

Suggested Citation

Di Virgilio, Francesca and Di Pietro, Loredana, The Role of Organizational Culture on Informal Conflict Management (January 2, 2012). Available at SSRN:

Francesca Di Virgilio

Università degli Studi del Molise ( email )

Via De Sanctis
Campobasso, Campobasso (CB) 86100

Loredana Di Pietro (Contact Author)

University of Molise ( email )

Via de Sanctis
86100 Campobasso
00390874404460 (Phone)
00390874418924 (Fax)

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