Common causes of disagreements at work include:
  • Unclear job roles
  • Insufficient training
  • Poor management
  • Poor communications
  • Poor work environment
  • Unfair treatment
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Lack of equal opportunities
ACAS identified the above factors in 'Managing Conflict at Work'.  Some of these issues can by the direct cause of the conflict, for instance discrimination and bullying may be the direct causes in themselves.  Sometimes however the causes of conflict may suddenly flare-up after remaining dormant for years.  Conflict can be sparked off by
  • the personalities involved
  • employees' changing needs and expectations
  • employees ignoring common values
  • unresolved problems from the past
  • increases in workload
Employers will often have strategies and procedures in place for attempting to prevent conflicts arising, managing conflict once it has arisen, and deciding when and how outside help, including the possible use of workplace mediators, will be sought.