Managing conflict at work: a qualitative analysis of municipal sports officers views in Gauteng province, South Africa
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Conflict is an inevitable part of life and the importance of understanding and managing it is cardinal. The lack of understanding of conflict can affect various areas within an organisation, creating unstable and sometimes very vulnerable situations. Given the fact that conflict is perceived to be an inevitable occurrence in any organisation, it is logical to focus on the effective management thereof. Hence, the purpose of the study was to investigate conflict management from the viewpoint of municipal sports officers. Following a comprehensive literature study on conflict management, a qualitative research approach was adopted to collect data. Seven in-depth interviews were conducted with municipal sports officers at selected municipalities in the Gauteng province of South Africa. Content analysis was used to analyse the data. Emerging from the in-depth interviews were the following themes: negative consequences of conflict, benefits of effective management of conflict, training and support, sources of conflict and conflict management strategies. It was recommended that training in conflict management should be provided for all levels of employees on a regular basis so that they develop the necessary knowledge to solve different conflict situations. There should also be clear conflict resolution procedures to address conflict situations which employees should be aware of.