The key difference between intergroup and intragroup conflict is that intergroup conflict refers to a dispute between two or more groups, whereas intragroup conflict refers to a dispute between members of one group.
Conflicts occur in different scenarios between individuals and group of people. Basically, this is due to opposing ideas and actions of different units, creating an antagonistic state. However, conflict is an unavoidable part of life. In a working environment, conflicts influence our actions and decisions in one way or another.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is an Intergroup Conflict
3. What is an Intragroup Conflict
4. Similarities Between Intergroup and Intragroup Conflict
5. Side by Side Comparison – Intergroup vs Intragroup Conflict in Tabular Form
What is an Intergroup Conflict?
Intergroup conflict refers to a disagreement between two or more groups. Different groups of people interrelate to operate a business and to accomplish organizational objective and goals. Thus, this interrelation can lead to conflicts between groups of people. For instance, the sales team of a company may have a dispute with the technical team about a new product launch.
Some conflicts are known as functional conflicts, and these are considered as favourable situations for company performance as they lead to company growth while identifying weaknesses. In contrast, dysfunctional conflict is a hostile or argumentative interaction between groups, which disrupts the organization performance or hinders accomplishment of goals or objectives.
There are several reasons for interpersonal conflicts. The main reason is the nature of the group itself. Other reasons can be considered as work interdependence, objective variances, differences in attitudes and the increased demand for specialists. Intergroup conflict causes changes to happen, both within the groups involved in a conflict and between them. Within the groups, members will understand the differences between each other in an effort to unite against the other side. Moreover, the group members can become more efficient and effective at their tasks, and they can become more loyal and adhere to group norms. However, problems might occur when the group loses focus of the organization’s goals and becomes closed off from other groups.
What is an Intragroup Conflict?
Intragroup conflict refers to a disagreement between members of a group who shares common targets, interests or other identifying features. Intragroup conflicts may occur in workplaces, and this can be considered as small-scale. When conflicts occur within a specific population group, it is large scale conflicts. Furthermore, intragroup conflict is a valuable input for company performance, and it can not be considered as a problem all the time. Intragroup conflicts are most common in workplaces that separate employees into specific teams or departments. Members of an R&D group debating about the best way to launch a new product would be an intragroup conflict.
There are two types of intragroup conflicts. One is relationship conflict, and the other is task conflict. In a relationship-based conflict, people interact with interpersonal relationships instead of the tasks they are assigned. For instance, one member communicates in a professional manner while another team member prefers aggressive communication for the same marketing approach. When it comes to task conflict, it is basically the disagreements for the execution of work deliverables.
What are the Similarities Between Intergroup and Intragroup Conflict?
- Conflicts are favourable according to the latest HR principals. Both Intergroup and intragroup conflicts may lead to the company performance by identifying lapses in the system.
- Moreover, the causes for conflicts can be similar – the differences of personalities, attainment of objectives and miscommunication.
What is the Difference Between Intergroup and Intragroup Conflict?
The key difference between intergroup and intragroup conflict is that intergroup conflict is among two or more groups, while intragroup conflict is within a group. Intragroup conflicts are more like verbal disagreements within a group, whereas intergroup conflicts are both verbal and non-verbal disagreements. Moreover, intragroup conflicts are manageable in most cases whereas intergroup conflicts are not easy to manage all the time.
Below infographic gives more insight into the difference between intergroup and intragroup conflict.
Summary – Intergroup vs Intragroup Conflict
Conflicts are inevitable in day to day life, and they are considered as a favourable factor for organizational performance. There are two types of conflicts within an organization, they are the intergroup and intragroup conflicts. However, the key difference between intergroup and intragroup conflict is that intergroup conflict refers to disputes between two or more groups whereas intragroup conflicts refer to disputes between members of one group.
1. Brookes, Peyton. “Benefits of Collaboration and Teamwork.” Bizfluent, 11 Feb. 2019, Available here.
2. “Intergroup Conflict in the Workplace.” Mediate.com – Find Mediators – World’s Leading Mediation Information Site, Available here.
1. “4468547” (CC0) via Max Pixel