• Ivanka Mihaylova Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Republic of Bulgaria


workplace conflicts, effects of workplace conflicts


As an integral part of organizational life, conflicts have a considerable impact on the working environment, employees, and the organization. The impact of conflicts is usually associated with their dual nature – various negative outcomes arise from them, but at the same time they lead to some positive results. The negative effects of conflicts are easily noticed by everyone in the organization, while the positive effects are more difficult to recognize.

The purpose of the study is to examine the effects of conflicts in organizations. It aims to explore what are the outcomes of disagreements in the workplace, both positive and negative, from the perspective of employees. The data were collected by means of an online questionnaire in Google forms. The sample consisted of 708 full-time employees from different organizations in Bulgaria.

The study confirms the dual nature of conflicts. Workplace disagreements are not only destructive but can also bring some benefits to organizations. Employees clearly recognize the destructive effects of conflicts. The negative impact is most often associated with the departure of employees, personal insults or attacks and the escalation into cross-departmental conflicts. Some of the problems arising from conflicts are short-term, but others are more serious and last longer, suggesting the need for constructive conflict management. The results reveal that workplace disagreements in large enterprises are significantly more likely to lead to employees leaving the organization, employees being moved to other departments, and escalation into cross-departmental conflicts. Quitting of employees and moving employees are more likely to be observed in organizations in the capital city. Employees also acknowledge some aspects of the positive potential of workplace disagreements. Conflicts in organizations lead to some positive outcomes for the employees and the organization, such as finding a better solution to a problem or challenge, improved working relationships, the birth of a new idea or significant innovation and better understanding of others. Managers are more likely to see the positive potential of workplace disagreements, especially when it comes to finding a better solution to a problem or challenge and generating new ideas or innovations. The great percentage of respondents who do not see any positive outcomes suggests a lack of understanding of the constructive potential of workplace disagreements.

Given both the risk of various negative consequences and the possibility of positive outcomes that may result from conflicts, the implication for organizations is to implement effective conflict management strategies to limit or eliminate the negative effects of conflicts and to draw out benefits of them. Another challenge for organizations is to develop the ability of employees to deal constructively with conflicts. When employees acquire the right skills and are provided with adequate guidance, they can handle workplace disagreements with ease, generating positive outcomes from them.

The study provides original empirical evidence on the dual nature of conflicts in organizations of all sizes and different sectors and therefore it contributes to the research of the poorly studied area of the effects of organizational conflicts in Bulgaria.


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How to Cite

Mihaylova, I. (2021). UNDERSTANDING THE EFFECTS OF WORKPLACE CONFLICTS: AN EMPLOYEE PERSPECTIVE. KNOWLEDGE - International Journal , 49(1), 23–28. Retrieved from https://ikm.mk/ojs/index.php/kij/article/view/4616