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About Conflict Management

Learn how UC San Diego promotes a positive approach to resolving problems in the workplace through both informal and formal conflict management.

About conflict

When employees work together, they may have conflicting goals and workstyles. Because of this, conflict is a normal part of doing business. However, if you know how to handle conflict and how to interact with difficult people, you can turn this potentiallydestructive force into an opportunity for creativity and greater productivity.

Examples of situations that can cause conflict:

  • Absenteeism
  • Misunderstandings or lack of information
  • Changes in the workplace
  • Actions taken by a supervisor
  • Evaluation of work performance
  • Personal situations that affect work performance

Informal conflict management

In informal conflict management, supervisors or employees may initiate a problem-solving process aimed at settling differences fairly, at an early stage, in an open manner, without retaliation, and as close as possible to the source of conflict. Informal conflict management may include mediation as a problem-solving strategy.

Formal conflict management

When conflicts can’t be resolved through individual discussions, employees may initiate a formal complaint resolution process by filing a complaint or grievance. Steps in formal conflict management may include a fact-finding investigation, a hearing, or arbitration.

If you have questions, Employee Relations, (858) 534-4115, facilitates informal conflict management and assists in collaborative problem-solving.
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Notice: The information on this page summarizes provisions of university policies and/or collective bargaining agreements. Refer to the Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) and local implementing procedures or applicable collective bargaining agreement for full text of referenced information.