“To Know the Score” - A Critical Analysis on the Shift of Workplace Culture Created by the Pandemic and Its Influence on Conflict Management and Employee Morale in Corporates in South India


  • A.C. Merlin Varsha Department of Psychology, Stella Maris College, India
  • S. Ramya Department of Psychology, Stella Maris College, India




The pandemic has made organisations abandon the fundamental working premises and has drastically altered the work culture affecting significant shifts in the workplace and subsequently influencing a redesigning of the organisational culture, conflict resolutions and management. The paper explores and critically examines the work conditions viewed from within the context of the global pandemic and discusses the relationship between the employees’ morale and the conflict crisis in manufacturing companies in South India with specific elaborations on the meaning of conflict management, workers’ morale, causes and effects of the shift in the workplace and conflict resolution. With specific reference to corporate organisations in Chennai and Bengaluru, the study analyses through a qualitative methodology how organisations get ravaged by one form of conflict or the other ranging from intrapersonal and group conflict, intra-organisational cultural conflict, constructive or functional conflict, dysfunctional or destructive conflicts. The survey indicated that conflicts occur in organisations as a result of incompatible goals, different values and beliefs, inconsistent evaluation, communication problems, negative power politics, authority, lack of leadership style, scarcity of common resources and organisational demands. It was also found that if conflicts are not appropriately and promptly managed, it can lead to truncated or reduced workers’ morale. The discussion leads to findings which indicate that the workplace as we know it is forever changed by the lockdowns owing to the pandemic. Management and leadership of organisations should begin to take steps to consider redesigning the workplace to readdress the working conditions with innovation and aim to develop better co-relationship between organisations and employees within the virtual platform.  What are the ways in which employees’ morale can be positively uplifted during an organisational conflict on a virtual working mode? How do innovative digital operations improve the standard of an organisation? What may be the conflict resolutions that can bring about a positive shift in the workplace for the future owing to the phenomenal disruption caused by the Pandemic?  These and other related questions will be raised and addressed in the course of the discussion. The study was initially intended for working employees as the target readership. The scope of this research may further be extended and can prove to be beneficial for further research on Human Resource and Management Studies.

Keywords: Workplace Culture, Conflict Management, Employee Morale, Pandemic