Types of Operational Conflicts

Operational Conflicts
Operational Conflicts

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Operational Conflicts

With the current globalization of the business environments, it is common for one to find themselves managing a company in a country away from theirs. Therefore, one has to get used to the culture in the country because it dictates the way the people of the environment do things. Usually, many aspects of culture among different people differ greatly, leading to environments that encourage operational conflicts. Therefore unless the manager understands the cultural diversity of different places, the operational conflicts may hinder the accomplishment of goals of the organization. There are several operational conflicts that the paper will examine.

One of the types of operational conflicts is time. While members of one culture may value time saving and the use of deadlines, individuals from another country may view time otherwise. An example of such differences in the view of the importance of time is between the America and the Arabic cultures. While Americans put deadlines and value keeping their time, the Arabs may see deadlines as disrespectful, and the word “bukra” is used to mean tomorrow (Al-Kandari & Gaither, 2011).

Change is another aspect that may result in conflicts in international organizations. While some cultures are skeptical about changes, others openly embrace change (Rinne, Steel, & Fairweather, 2012). Therefore, a person from a culture that is less skeptical about changes in the environment of work or even strategy may encounter a lot of hardship in another country. For instance, according to Hofstede’s cultural model, Russians a have higher degree of uncertainty avoidance index and therefore they may not like changes.

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Individualism may also result to operational conflicts in international organizations. The Hofstede’s cultural dimension model presupposes that some cultures are more individualistic and prefer that people’s achievements are attributed to individual employees rather than organizations (Rinne et al., 2012). In such cultures, people who believe more in teamwork may run into conflicts while trying to work with colleagues.

In summary, people from different cultures hold different beliefs and therefore operate differently. Hence, working in multicultural environments or foreign countries may present the challenge of many conflicts unless as a manager, one understands the local culture. The sources of conflict, among others, may include time, changes and the degree of individualism.


Al-Kandari, A., & Gaither, T. K. (2011). Arabs, the west and public relations: A critical/cultural study of Arab cultural values. Public Relations Review, 37(3), 266–273. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2011.04.002

Rinne, T., Steel, G. D., & Fairweather, J. (2012). Hofstede and Shane Revisited: The Role of Power Distance and Individualism in National-Level Innovation Success. Cross-Cultural Research, 46(2), 91–108. http://doi.org/10.1177/1069397111423898

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