Conflict Theory

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Conflict theory refers to a model that was introduced by Karl Marx. In this theory, Marx stated that the society would never be at peace due to the inadequate resources that are available (Marx, 2000). The limited resources cause competition in the community due to struggle for ownership. It’s common to find that the distribution of these resources in the community is not even where the wealthiest individuals have more resources than others (Coser, 2010). Power is responsible for maintaining order in the society since the moment an individual acquires resources, he or she is respected by other members of the community (Marx, 2000). Marx also states that the moment a person acquires wealth, he or she tries to gain more and ends up widening the gap between the poor (Marx, 2000).

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The basic concept of conflict theory by Karl Marx is that the theory is responsible for some occasions in the human history (Coser, 2010). Due to the desire to dominate regarding resource ownership, different wars have been experienced in the world. Different communities have also been able to evolve as a result of the same desire (Marx, 2000). The great industrial revolution was driven by the will to gain more resources, and these are some of the arguments that Karl Marx used to support his theory (Lopreato & Hazelrigg, 2005). Discrimination has been experienced on different occasions as a result of conflict theory. This concept has occurred as a result of greed to have more wealth in various communities. Domestic violence is another concept that has been introduced by the same model according to Karl Marx (Lopreato & Hazelrigg, 2005).

Conflict theory can also be experienced in work environments (Marx, 2000). Workers endure conflicts in their places of work due to several reasons (Marx, 2000). Different firms also tend to compete with one another in an attempt to own, for example, more consumers (Coser, 2010).  An example of a situation where this theory can be experienced is where an employee works for two companies. Such companies may be competitors in the market where they deal with the same consumers. In this case, the employee may have the desire to earn more income and as a result, gain more wealth. However, conflict theory dictates that such an employee should be fired since it’s not allowed by such companies. Such an employee may disclose secrets of one company to the other, and this is the reason why he or she may end up being fired. Such an employee can change because the case can result in negative publicity between the two firms as a result of the employee’s actions (Marx, 2000).

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NASW Code of Ethics dictates that all workers should support the fight against injustices in organizations and encourage healthy competition among different firms (Coser, 2010). In the example provided, working for two companies without their knowledge is an example of injustice that such an employee should be willing to fight (Marx, 2000). The other code of ethics that the employee should be determined to fight states that workers should be loyal to their employers. Working for different companies shows a lack of loyalty for either firm and it’s an act that the employee should be determined to fight (Marx, 2000).

Conflict theory is a model that can be applied in different social issues at workplaces (Marx, 2000). Boards of directors can use this approach to avoid future conflicts among themselves concerning various matters such as ownership of resources. If a member of the board goes against an agreement, he or she may be fired from the board (Coser, 2010). This theory would, therefore, be effective in different population such employees, organizations, and public sectors. Conflict of theory is a model that has been used to maintain peace among firms who compete against each other.

In the example provided, the initial phase of assessing the client would be determining whether the employee is indeed employed in two firms. The intentions of such an employee are then outlined so as to determine whether they are positive intentions or not. The most obvious reasons for an employee working in more than one firm is for him or her to earn more income. However, all employees are required to provide their services to one company unless such a company’s protocol states otherwise. Therefore, any worker would have no excuse for working in more than one organization. The case becomes worse if both firms are similar in that they target the same consumers.

The behavior that I would target to change in this employee is that of committing himself to two firms. Such an employee can be urged to work for one business only. The most appropriate strategy that I would use in this case is to inform the employee the consequences that he would face from either company in case they become aware of his secret (Marx, 2000). By realizing the truth that his actions can result in conflict among the firms, such an employee can end up quitting one company. Once either of the firms realizes the activities of the employee, it would be necessary to get rid of the worker by making him resign or firing him (Marx, 2000).

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Through this theory, research methods and topics are informed in that the approach acts as a basis for carrying out an investigation (Lopreato & Hazelrigg, 2005). Conflict theory is responsible for some occurrences, and when carrying out research, the question of whether this model played a part in an outcome is always considered (Lopreato & Hazelrigg, 2005). The model makes research methods easier to conduct since through it, one can seasily come up with results of research concerned with resource ownership.

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  1. Coser, L. A. (2010). Social conflict and the theory of social change. The British Journal of Sociology, 8(3), 197-207.
  2. Lopreato, J., & Hazelrigg, L. E. (2005). Class, Conflict, and Mobility: Theories and studies of class structure. Chandler House Press.
  3. Marx, K. (2000). Karl Marx: selected writings. Oxford University Press.
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