Organizations are made of individual employees who are grouped using different criteria for the achievement of certain goals and objectives. Groups can be formed in terms of departments, related tasks or shared goals. Intergroup relations occur since the groups have different functions but, they all serve the interest of the same organization(Robbins, 2014). Therefore, this leads to two types of relations; namely, intergroup conflict and intergroup competition. The two are distinct terms with different meanings and firms are capitalizing on strategies that yield positive outcomes out of this relations.
Intergroup conflicts is the differences and disagreements that rises among groups in a given organization. According to Losh (2011),conflict is considered harmful to the effective working relations in a company. However, intergroup conflict is categorized into functional conflict and dysfunctional conflict. Functional conflict is regarded healthy when it occurs between two or more group. Example of intergroup conflict is a department fighting to have most of the company’s resources at the expense of jeopardizing the functionality of others
On the other hand, intergroup competition is of a positive perspective in organizations. It is where the various groups fight to outdo each other in terms of performance and input to the realization of the corporate goals. Intergroup competition is catalyzed by awarding best groups or departments, financial incentives, and acknowledgment for their effort(Losh, 2011). A good example of intergroup competition is departments competing to be named as the most accountable for resources assigned to them.
Management of organization needs to take advantage of conflicts and competition among groups by applying necessary strategies that will give positive outcomes. One of the strategies is ensuring efficient communication channels within the company to ensure equal access to information by all the groups(Robbins, 2014). Another strategy is providing a clear definition of role and responsibilities for each group to avoid a clash of roles. Equal resource allocation among the different groups is also an important strategy for limiting conflicts and enhancing positive competition between groups.
Losh, S. (2011). Group behavior in organizations. San Diego: Bridgepoint Education.
Robbins, S. (2014). Organizational Behavior(Group Dynamics in the Modern Corporate World). New York: Prentice Hall.