The cost of workplace conflict at company A and company B’s shared premises
Combrink, Jan Hendrik
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Conflict does not only take an emotional toll on employees in a company but also affects companies in a financial way. The study was conducted on two companies (Company A and Company B) sharing the same business premises with the purpose of determining the effect of conflict between the two companies on their bottom line profit. The study followed a twofold approach to determine the causes and cost of conflict within each of the companies, as well as between the companies. In determining the causes of conflict and by quantifying the effects of conflict, a guideline is provided to the executives of the two companies as to what aspects need to be addressed in order to lessen the cost of conflict between the companies. Current literature was reviewed to determine the known causes of conflict, the effects of unmanaged conflict, as well as existing conflict management strategies. A cross-sectional quantitative research design was followed making use of a questionnaire survey and primary source documents. These results were then applied to a cost model that consists of aspects taken from the John Ford & Associates cost of conflict model (2007) and the Dana measure of financial cost of organisational conflict model (2001) to determine the cost of conflict between the two companies. Several causes for conflict between the two companies were identified of which the sharing of resources proves to be the major cause of conflict between the two companies. The biggest cost of conflict for both companies is loss in productivity due to lowered motivation. It was also determined that Company B is affected more by internal conflict than by conflict between the two companies. The study clearly indicates that the conflict within, and between the two companies are of such a nature that it would be detrimental to both companies if no intervention were to take place. Based on the findings and the literature, suggestions are made to the executives of the two companies on ways to intervene and to manage the existing conflict between the companies.
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