TDM module 10 brad

Get a succinct overview of the 8

common causes of conflict in project management

Learning outcome 1: Identify the 8 common causes of conflict in project management.

Notes on the 8 common causes of conflict

Bell and Hart identified 8 common causes of conflict in the work place. Experiencing conflict is a very normal part of everyday life, be it at home, at work, at sport or even during leisure activities. If conflict is unavoidable then what becomes critical is how to identify it when it surfaces, how to identify where it comes from and most importantly how to work towards a mutually beneficial outcome. When finding oneself in a conflictual situation at work one should identify which of the 8 common causes of conflict is presenting itself.

They are conflict over: (1) resources; (2) styles; (3) perceptions; (4) goals; (5) pressures; (6) roles; (7) personal values; and (8) policies. These are further defined as such: (1) conflict over resources occur when more than one person needs access to similar limited resources. It is critical to hear all concerned parties out and seek to reach a compromise over available resources; (2) conflict over styles are often intergenerational, cultural or personality dependent. This can be overcome by training on these differences periodically in order to foster a sense of understanding, tolerance and appreciation for stylist differences; (3) conflict over perceptions occurs when people are unaware where the other person is coming from. By simply allowing uninterrupted time for each person to explain their point of view diffuses tension; (4) conflict over goals can be managed by leaders regularly reassessing team and individual goals; (5) conflict over pressures usually involve urgent tasks and so discussions should be held in advance to manage the rhythms and pressures of a team; (6) conflict over roles happens when individual roles and responsibilities are infringed upon, hence clear job descriptions are crucial; (7) conflict over values should be discussed prior to tasks being allocated so employees don’t find themselves forced to do something that conflicts with their values; (8) unpredictable policies can cause negativity within an entire company and so communicating changes clearly and in advance is key. 


Untitled multiple choice question

  • styles
  • roles
  • finances
  • goals
which of the following is NOT a common cause of conflict