Konflikdinamika binne 'n staalmaatskappy te Potchefstroom / Leonora Hoffman
- Publisher: North-West University
Conflict | Management | Conflict theories | Conflict handling | Conflict management | Conflict types | Functional and dysfunctional (constructive and destructive) conflict | Line and staff conflict | Steel organization
South African organizations experienced more conflict in the past ten years because
of all the changes in the management of labour relations. Employees at lower, middle
and upper management levels within organizations are not well informed about the
different types of conflict, the functionality and dysfunctionality of conflict, how
conflict takes place within the different job-levels and how to manage and resolve it.
Dysfunctional conflict can be destructive and it can affect the productivity of the
Because of the lack of knowledge regarding conflict within the steel organization and
the necessity for it to be handled correctly, it was decided to seize the opportunity to
contribute to the existing knowledge of conflict.
Objectives of the study
The major objectives of this study are as follows:
To determine how literature conceptualizes conflict dynamics by examining
theory, industrial sociology, organizational behaviour and general
To determine the following aspects by means of an empirical study:
- What the main reasons are for conflict within the steel organization.
- How the handling of conflict differs among the middle and lower
job levels within the organization.
Research study and methodology
The research study is divided into a theoretical and an empirical framework. Chapters 2,
3 and 4 outline the theoretical basis. Various aspects of conflict and handling or
managing it are discussed in detail. The study employs the conflict theories of Ralph
Dahrendorf and Karl Marx as points of departure, as found in chapter 2, in an attempt to
provide a framework for the problem statement and to attempt the attainment of the set of
objectives. This chapter discusses conflict and analyzes it as a social interaction
characterized by force, strife and animosity. It also offers and analysis of Dahrendorf s
and Marx's theories to determine their suitability to the study.
Chapter 3 discusses conflict within a business context with reference to functional and
dysfunctional conflict. different approaches to conflict. types of conflict, different
reactions to conflict as well as its different stages. Chapter 4 addresses the course,
handling and management of conflict by analyzing the conflict process while it keeps the
theories of Marx and Dahrendorf in mind.
Chapter 5 analyzes and describes the data and results found by means of empirical
research according to specific statistical methods. The empirical study was conducted
among the employees of a steel company. A standardised questionnaire and personal
interviews were used.
Chapter 6 consists of analysed information about the assembled data. The major findings
of the study support the set of research objectives and prove all of them. Major findings
include the following:
Cooperation, discipline and communication are problem areas within the
A large number of employees show dissatisfaction about the nature and
extent of their work.
Some of the employees misuse their authority and this is a major cause of
A total of 95% of the population show that they would like further training in
the dynamics of conflict management.
Half of the population show that they are unaware of any policies and
procedures of conflict management in the steel company.
In conclusion as found in chapter 6 the study makes a number of recommendations
centring on the training of employees to handle conflict and policy-making about
conflict-handling and management.
Thesis (M.A. (Industrial Sociology))--North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, 2006.