Sample Essay on Conflict and Power

Conflict and Power


According to Coleman, Kugler, Mitchinson and Foster (2013, p. 1963), interdependency within the companies contributes significantly in causing workplace conflicts. The situation that occurred in my workplace was an interdependency-based conflict. It was as a result of employees relying on  other people’s co-operation, especially regarding input or output to accomplish their assigned roles. The paper aims to discuss conflict situation and resolution strategies proper to conflict solving.

Conflict Situation

In my situation, I was a member of a sales team in my company. I was inexperienced in data input. I had developed communication skills that were effective in making daily sales and meeting my targets. I was regularly late to input the total figures of monthly sales that I had made. The conflict arose since my lateness was also affecting the accountant’s performance. It was difficult for the accountant to prepare monthly reports on time for submission to the management team. As a result, the accountant and I had a conflict because of my failure to submit monthly reports on time which affected the monthly reports that were to be presented to the management. To resolve the conflict, the accountant and I had to communicate verbally on the roles and responsibilities assigned. The communication also involved the human resource manager as a mediator to ensure that individual employee would be held accountable for their tasks.

Communication Strategies Used During the Conflict

My colleague and I used both non-verbal and verbal communication strategies when solving the conflict. We discussed the conflict situation that resulted from interdependency at the workplace. We both kept our voices calm but used authorities when explaining our point of view. The accountant used active questioning when trying to understand the reasons that caused late inputting of the monthly sales data. In my part, I paid attention and responded effectively using calm and effective voice to clear the misunderstanding that resulted in the conflict.  We also used non-verbal strategies during the conflict resolution process. We maintained eye contacts, actively listened when we were not actively answering the questions and also used body languages like nodding to agree or disagree with the speaker.


Different powers arose in the conflict situation between the accountant and me at the workplace. According to Clegg (2013, p. 54), personal power in a conflict could include resource control, personal qualities, interpersonal linkages, and expertise. In our situation, I was showing personal qualities power. I had learned to have high quality work, and I used it to indicate that even if I failed in inputting monthly sales figures, I had personal qualities that indicated that I was not being irresponsible and neglecting my role at the workplace. The accountant was showing expertise power for having worked with the organization for a long period and had gained experience and expertise in the field of practice.

Nonverbal and Verbal Elements

Non-verbal elements in conflict resolution are useful since they help in understanding what is happening when the parties involved are not speaking. A node, wave of the hand, eye contact and body movements can be used when individuals want to explain their views. Misunderstanding of the non-verbal elements in communication could have affected the situation. As a result, careful consideration is necessary when using them to avoid being misunderstood by the other party. On the other hand, verbal strategies plays a significant role during the conflict resolution process since they offer the parties involved an opportunity to share their opinions. The way both parties used their voices could have affected the conflict resolution process. The fact is that the way one party uses the voice determines the response to be received from the other party.


in any working environment one might experience conflict situation. There is a need to understand mechanisms of conflict process and acquire strategies to resolve it. Both verbal and non-verbal communication is essential in the process of any communication and, particularly in conflict management. Differentiation of power and authorities as well as verbal and non-verbal clues had helped me and my counterparty to achieve agreement.


Clegg, S. (2013). The Theory of Power and Organization (RLE: Organizations). Routledge.

Coleman, P. T., Kugler, K. G., Mitchinson, A., & Foster, C. (2013). Navigating conflict and power at work: the effects of power and interdependence asymmetries on conflict in organizations. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 43(10), 1963-1983