Identify and review three major sources of interpersonal and intergroup conflict.

What will be an ideal response?


Three major sources of interpersonal and intergroup conflict are differentiation, task relationships, and scarcity of resources.

Differentiation in an organization occurs when people and tasks are grouped or split up into functions and divisions to produce goods and services. The splitting of the organization into functions or divisions produces conflict because it emphasizes the differences in functional orientations and status inconsistencies.

Task relationships generate conflict between people and groups because organizational tasks are interrelated, and they affect one another. Overlapping authority, task interdependence, and incompatible evaluation systems may stimulate conflict among functions and divisions.

Competition for scarce resources produces conflict. Conflict over the allocation of capital occurs among divisions and between divisions and corporate headquarters. Budget fights can be fierce when resources are scarce. Other organizational groups also have an interest in the way a company allocates scarce resources. Shareholders care about the size of the dividends. Employees want to maximize their salaries and benefits. Managers in competition for scarce resources may fight over whom should get the biggest pay raise.