Some of the causes of conflict overlap. Conflict at work, conflict within close relationships and political conflict all carry similar features. Employers, according to James C. Melmad of the Oregon Mediation Center, increasingly consider investing time and money in conflict resolution. This is because of the escalating problems that unresolved conflict cause. When conflict is ignored, it does not go away. On the contrary, it tends to escalate, preoccupying those involved to the detriment of work goals.



family relationships image by Leticia Wilson from

Poor relationships and relationship breakdown are at the heart of many conflicts. According to, people tend to judge others by their behavior, but judge themselves by their intentions. According to this model, teaching employees to subdue their own story makes them listen to the other party in a more open way.


Conflict of interest, where two or more parties have differing goals, can cause problems. Sometimes a conflict of interest can occur between what an employee wants and the best interests of the firm.


People who have different values can find themselves at variance. Cultural and religious values differ, and this may inform how people behave. In extreme cases, different values can lead to violence and war.


The style of leadership in an organization can lead to conflict. Most obviously, a dictatorial style of leadership may lead to resentment and conflict in the workplace. However, a laissez-faire style of leadership can foster uncertainty, and this also can lead to conflict.


The term "personality clash" is often used to denote a situation in which two people just cannot seem to get along. This is a situation that can be difficult to resolve, though early intervention may help avoid things deteriorating into serious conflict.


It is common for employees or managers to have different styles of working, and this can actually lead to creativity and improve productivity. However, it can also lead to conflict.


People frequently have different ethical values. This is often a result of their family background, education, religious beliefs and life experience. People with different ethical values can find it difficult to avoid conflict.