What Are the Sources of Conflict
1. What are the sources of conflict in this case? The source of conflict in this case is a disagreement about the way the business within the company is organized, changed by the emergence of new senior manager Mike Roth. Before the appearance of conflict situation the EPI (Educational Pension Investments) was conservative and adhered to steady and safe investments. With the coming of Mike the situation completely changed. Actually he undermined the whole image and philosophy of the company. Mike completely changed the investment policy, made it more aggressive, which resulted in higher ROI (return on investment).
However higher ROI entails higher risk. That’s the point where the old senior managers had a contradiction with the new one – Mike. Here we clearly see that Mike vs other senior managers have different values and attitudes towards how the company should present itself on the market. The collapse of these two standpoints makes a conflict. 2. What approaches to conflict management are used by the actors in this situation? How effective was each? There are five approaches to conflict: the forcing response, the accommodating approach, the avoiding response, the compromising response, the collaborating approach.
The main approach used by the actors is the forcing response or negotiation – where the two parties try to settle the situation themselves. In our case this approach didn’t help. The second approach was collaborative approach or mediation, where Dan Richardson – CEO acted as a mediator. Both sides came to him to discuss the problem and make a solution. The result of mediation doesn’t seem to be apparent as the talk between Mike and Dan was postponed to the evening. To say the truth we think that Dan will give a chance to Mike to try to reconsider his policy.
But it won’t work, as Mike is a person of great persistency and charisma. He will never agree for compromise. That’s the reason why he is a maverick. In our opinion this approach also was useless; the parties could not reach a compromise. We think that in such cases, mediation couldn’t help to solve problem. To solve such problems parties should meet face to face. The third conflict approach was the avoidance response when the talk between Mike and Dan was postponed to the evening. As we noted before maybe this approach will help to solve a conflict. 3.
Based on the behavioral guidelines for the collaborative approach, how could Dan have managed this conflict more effectively? First of all we want to identify that every company has its own corporate culture and unwritten rules. Every new hired employee is facing with problems and there will be for the first time misunderstandings of some employees. In MNC or TNC companies employees are facing with problem as “culture shock”. When employee was hired he will feel as honeymoon period then will be a disappointment period. After this period begins adaptation and at the end double culture employee.
We assume that Mike cannot fit into the unwritten rules of company. As we noted before, it’s normal for the first time. But if the conflict continues for a long time managers should to take action and that the Dan Richardson the CEO of EPI is trying to do in this case. But the result is not productive. In our opinion after the third approach – avoidance approach, maybe they can avoid this conflict. Gap in time or pause is sometimes necessary in such cases. Both sides can realize their mistakes. Mike may withdraw from his intention for some time. In any case, Mike should take a breather, if he wants to continue working in this company.
We agree that change is necessary but not in such a rapid temp. Perhaps collaborative approach will work if Dan will arrange a meeting and the two sides face to face will resolve this conflict. We advise Dan to define and solve the conflict step by step. First step –problem identification; second – source of conflict; third – Solution Generation; fourth step –implementation and apply the appropriate approach that we noted before. In this case we think it will be useful to use compromising approach. The compromising response is intermediate between assertiveness and cooperativeness.
A compromise is an attempt to obtain partial satisfaction for both parties, in the sense that both receive the proverbial “half loaf. ” To sum up our case conflict is a difficult and controversial topic. In most cultures, it has negative connotations because it runs counter to the notion that we should get along with people by being kind and friendly. Although many people intellectually understand the value of conflict, they feel uncomfortable when confronted by it. Their discomfort may result from a lack of understanding of the conflict process as well as from a lack of training in how to handle interpersonal confrontations effectively.