In an organization-regardless of whether private or public-conflict is not only inevitable but also omnipresent. In light of this, an important managerial function is to recognize, detect, understand and handle or resolve various forms of conflict in such a way that would promote positive organizational outcomes and minimize the chances of negative organizational effects. Therefore, organizations in all sizes have conflict management systems in place to proactively manage internal and external conflict.
Organizations leaders need to evaluate organizational culture and to determine what conflict management process works (Burr, 2016). Management design dispute resolution systems such as grievance resolution, mediation, arbitration, ombudsman and peer review panels in such a way that it meets the internal dynamics within the organization. A system should be implemented and communicated to the employees effectively (Burr, 2016; Roche & Teague, 2012). A badly managed system could possibly be worse than no system at all. Moreover, consistent and continuous communication will help drive the new processes and create an environment in which the workforce feels comfortable in resolving disputes. In a nutshell, designing and communicating organizational conflict management systems determines if a conflict management system will work or fail.
In the context of public-sector sport organizations which are characterized by bureaucracy and top-down hierarchical structure of command, conflict exists with varying degrees of intensity since conflict management involves a great deal of interests, benefits and resources (Mostahfezian, 2017). Failure of a sport organization can possibly be due to insufficient conflict management skill. On the contrary, its success is contributable to proportionate conflict resolution.
Scholars in management, organizational behavior and behavioral psychology are interested in explaining conflict in terms of its positive and destructive attributes (Isaksen & Ekvall, 2010; White & Kim, 2017). Conflict management as a managerial function important to organizational performance has been covered in the public administration literature (Rainey, 2014). However, in the broad management and organizational behavior field, there is not much literature discussing this topic.
In the light of the fact that management in Thai public-sector sport organizations understands different strategies and techniques for managing conflict, this study seeks to understand whether the way conflict is managed in those organizations affects employee job satisfaction and organizational performance as perceived by their employees. Intrinsically, the relationship between employees' perceptions of their organization's management of conflict and job satisfaction and overall organizational performance is the focus of the study.
Nowadays, conflict is inevitable in organizations owing to their work complexity and interdependent nature (De Wit, Greer & Jehn, 2012). Conflict occurs in organizations on various subjects and in various forms (Carpenter & Kennedy, 2001; Darawong, 2017) and efforts aimed at preventing or suppressing conflict do not work most of the time (Coggburn, Battaglio & Bradbury, 2004). Rahim (2011) observes that a substantial amount of organizational resources are wasted in the process of eliminating or suppressing conflict. The occurrence of conflict in the workplace is not as problematic as how the conflict is managed in such a way as to avoid its destructive potential. In other words, conflict by itself may not pose as much of a problem as the way in which people in an organization deal with it.
The term conflict has acquired a variety of definitions over the years, but most researchers agree that it is best defined as an interactive process "... manifested in incompatibility, disagreement or dissonance within or between social entities ..." (Rahim, 2011). Conflict has been described as a "core tension" that naturally occurs wherever there are interdependencies and constraints (e.g., structures, systems, norms, obligations) on behavior (Isaksen & Ekvall, 2010). This concept is investigated in many research studies in various disciplines, including public administration, management, communications, sociology, organizational behavior, psychology and political science (De Dreu & Gelfand, 2008; Rahim, 2011). De Dreu (2008) associated task-related conflicts with the way the team is doing its job, about the pros and cons of certain task-approaches and relation-related conflicts such as those with people, including their values and humor.
Conflict is investigated in two broad streams-a conflict typology framework and an information-processing perspective (De Dreu & Beersma, 2005). The conflict typology framework assesses the effects of different types of conflict (task and relation) on organizational outcomes. Findings consistently show relation-related conflict to be negatively related to performance and organizational outcomes, while task-related conflict's effects are inconsistent-they are positive in some instances and negative in others (De Dreu & Weingart, 2003; Heine & Kerk, 2017). Some evidence exists, too, that task-related conflict is curvilinear related to performance, where little-to-no task-related conflict impedes performance, moderate levels increase performance and high levels decrease performance (De Dreu, 2006).
The information-processing perspective proposes that conflict management and organizational performance have a curvilinear relation, taking the form of an inverted U (De Dreu & Beersma, 2005; Rahim, 2011). This perspective focuses less on the type of conflict and more on the consequences of conflict. Conflict at a low level facilitates thinking more creatively and freely and performing more productively. In contrast, when conflict is intense, employees tend to experience stress and tension with colleagues, to lose focus and miss out on problem-solving ideas (De Dreu & Beersma, 2005; De Dreu &...