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Study on conflict culture shows enormous potential for Austrian companies.

A study conducted by PROCONSENS.AT examines the different perceptions of conflicts in companies between managers and employees and asks how conflicts are dealt with. It provides insight into the types of conflict prevalent in companies and looks for reasons why these have not yet been resolved. The effects of unresolved conflicts on company success are also examined. In some cases, we find very surprising differences in perception between managers and employees.

2/3 of the employees surveyed want an open conflict culture
2/3 of the employees surveyed want an open conflict culture.

The study was designed by PRONCOSENS.AT and carried out between March 4, 2024 and April 20, 2024. The aim was to gain an insight into how conflicts are handled in Austrian companies, especially since there was no current knowledge on this topic at the time. In addition, the world of work has experienced numerous disruptive events and thus massive changes in the last few years. These have literally turned the operational framework on its head and thus had a major impact on organizational cooperation.


The most important findings at a glance

  • Managers and employees differ in their definition of the term conflict. Limitations on the options for action of individuals (e.g. bullying) are only taken into account to a small extent by both groups.

  • Managers perceive more conflicts than employees.

  • Conflicts are mostly seen as an opportunity , but some managers see them as obstacles to their own task fulfillment.

  • The reasons for a lack of conflict culture are mainly seen in personal communication problems .

  • Unresolved conflicts have far-reaching effects , especially on the working atmosphere.

  • Conflicts have enormous potential to optimize the profitability of companies and organizations.


Employees evaluate conflict culture much more critically.

The group of managers rated the degree of openness to dealing with conflicts within the company with a net promoter score (NPS) of -36. This can be understood as follows: In only 13% of companies, an open exchange is already taking place here (promoters). Half of the managers surveyed see massive deficits here (detractors), while the rest of the respondents expressed ambivalent views on the issue.

Perceived openness to conflict management in companies.
Perceived openness to conflict management in companies.

Employees are more critical of this. With a value of -58, the NPS is significantly more negative than that of managers. Only 8% of respondents see a satisfactory handling of conflicts, the proportion of detractors is significantly higher at 66%.

Both subgroups see an urgent need for action here. r

Whitepaper provides insight into all details

For all experts interested in the study, we have produced a white paper, which is available here .


We were amazed at the willingness of those surveyed to admit that the topic of a positive conflict culture is underdeveloped and that they themselves are part of this situation. In many places, deficits in conflict management skills are not only identified, but also openly acknowledged. PROCONSENS.AT has therefore decided to offer additional services based on this. We are providing two new service packages for companies that want to take a closer look at the topic of conflict culture in their own organization.

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