12 Annual IUA HR Conference Conflict at Work

12th Annual IUA HR Conference
Conflict at Work – The Role of HR in creating a
Conflict Positive Organisation.
Ray Flaherty
Who are HR?
Who are HR?
“They wait in the long grass to get you.”
Head of an Investment Bank
“They are great for bringing you solutions to problems
you don't have.” MD of a New Business Unit
“You could trust them when they were called
Personnel” Comment made during panel discussion at ESRC Conference on
Workplace Conflict in London Sept 2013
Conflict at Work
“Interpersonal conflict is a pervasive, inevitable and
normal part of our lives. Academics and practitioners
have contributed substantial research and literature to
help us understand the causes of interpersonal conflict
and its impact on us, those around us and in the
organisations within which we work.
However, many of us do not grasp the dynamic of
conflict or our role within it.
Cinnie Noble – “Conflict Management Coaching”
What is Conflict?
• “Any situation in which interdependent people have
apparently incompatible interests, goals, principles
or feelings” Craig E Runde and Tim A Flanagan (2007)
• “A condition between two interdependent people in
which one or both feel angry with the other and
perceives the other as being at fault” Daniel Dana (2005)
• “A perceived divergence of interest or a belief that
the parties current aspirations cannot be achieved
simultaneously” Jeffrey Rubin, Dean G Pruitt and Sung Hee Kim (1986)
What is Conflict?
• Simply the sound made by cracks in the
system; regardless of whether the system is
personal, relational, familial, organisational,
social, economic or political.” Kenneth Cloke (2006)
• “When “tricky” people operate in your workplace
or organisation !!” Ray Flaherty
Main Components of Conflict
1. At least one person perceives there is something
amiss with the other person(s).
2. At least one person experiences negative emotions
that prevail indefinitely about a specific interaction
with another person(s)
3. Incompatibilities exist about how one person views
another’s perspectives, actions, words or ways of
Creating a Conflict-Positive Culture
Value diversity
and confront difference
Take stock to
success and
learn from
Empower employees to feel
confident, competent and
Seek mutual
benefits and
unite behind
Conflict Competency Culture
• Dealing with the issues
• Use of official procedures
• Participative and Proactive Approach
• Monitoring Individual/Team Relationship
• Acting as a Role Model
• Integrity
What Conflict Positive
Organisations Do
• Have strong policies on conduct and behaviour in the
workplace and communicate these.
• Develop clear operating procedures.
• Have clear role descriptions.
• Create good open communication systems –
encourage feedback and learn from it.
• Provide training in conflict resolution skills for key line
• Tackle conflict/disputes as soon as it/they arise
When Conflict Occurs!!
it as your responsibility to see
that conflict is addressed by ensuring
a solution is found and/or a
sustainable resolution is achieved!!!”
Suggested Approaches
• Don't Ignore it – it wont go away!!
• Deal with Conflict Early and Local.
• Listen to understand what’s going on.
• Seek an alternative to the traditional methods of
resolving conflicts/disputes.
From “In” to “Non”
Consider changing the initial stage in your procedures
“Informal” to
Where to invest your resources
• Formal
• Non-formal
Some Good Advice
• First, explore and understand.
• Rummage around in the nonformal for a while.
• Don't be paralysed by fear of “it
going legal” or of the “tricky
• Be competent and confident in
your ability, knowledge, skills and
• If you’re not – seek help!!
Who We Are
• A leading top 10 firm of
accountants and business
advisors in Ireland
• 10 Partners
• Specialist led,
• Staff of approx. 100
• Offices in Dublin, Birr and
• Baker Tilly Mooney Moore
member firm in Belfast
Global Reach – Baker Tilly
• Network: 8th Largest Globally
(US: 5th UK: 7th)
• Firms: 156
• Offices: 672
• Countries: 131
• Staff: 26,000
• Fee Income: US$3.3bn
The Team
Catherine Corcoran
Pauric Marray
HR Consultant
Gerry Rooney
Laura Barton
HR Consultant
Ray Flaherty
Ronan Murray
HR Executive
Ray McGee
Special Advisor
Ciara Keating
HR Consultant
Thank You
[email protected]
091 591 833