Ineffective Conflict Resolution

Examples 5, 6, and 7 illustrate Forcing methods of conflict resolution. A win-lose situation is set up, and usually the superior wins. The individual with the greater power triumphs (a personalized disagreement) rather than the one whose position is supported by the most factual evidence.

5. "In a previous job, 1 worked for a major management consulting group as a consultant. One assignment, lasting four months, was to use a simulation technique to evaluate the most preferable "»vestment decision using defined quantitative criteria. At the end of the job two alternatives were shown to be marginally better than the other. However, later sensitivity tests also showed that the analytical technique could not rate one to be substantially better than the other.

"Therefore, 1 wrote a 'technically honest' report ®sting that our analysis could not provide the one alternative. My manager, feeling that we were ""ed to recommend a 'one best' alternative, wanted to cover up the limitations of our methodology.

"We disagreed and 1 was overruled. The manager wrote a 'technically dishonest' version of the report and the revised report was sent to the client indicating the 'one best' alternative."

6. "Recently in my firm, management had sprung a secrecy agreement contract upon all of the technical people. No word of introduction or explanation was given. It was simply handed out and we were asked to sign it. Most of us found objection in several clauses in the agreement. However, management officials stated that the agreement would probably not stand up in a court of law. They further stated that it was something that was sent from corporate in the U.S. and was not their idea. The employees continued to show reluctance.*

"The vice-president called on everyone individually and stated that there would be no room for advancement for anyone who did not sign the contract. As a result everyone signed."

7. "1 was assigned a project by my boss to determine the optimum way, using predetermined times, to lay out an assembly line. It would have to provide optimum efficiency with the following variables: (a) different hourly production rates (e.g., 100/hr. Mon., 200/hr. Tues.) which would mean different numbers of operators on the line; (b) different models of the product (electric motors). The group was on group incentive.

"After much research and discussion, the system was installed utilizing the floating system of assembly (operators could move from station to station in order to keep out of the bottleneck operation). This system was working out well. However, at this time 1 was informed by my boss that he and the foreman of the area decided that they wished to use the 'paced' system of assembly. This would mean the conveyor belt would be run at set speeds and that the stripes would be printed on the belt indicating that one device would have to be placed on each mark and operators would not float.

"I was dead against this since I had considered it and rejected it in favor of the implemented method. I was, however, given the order to use their proposed system or else. There was no opportunity for discussion or justification of the method."

8. This example is a classic description of Withdrawal as a mode of conflict resolution. Clearly the problem is not resolved.

"On the successful completion of a project which involved considerable time and effort, I was praised and thanked for a job well done by my immediate su pervisor and his supervisor, the vice-president in charge of manufacturing. They promised me that on my next salary review I would receive a substantial increase.

'The next salary review came up and my immediate supervisor submitted an amount that he and I felt was a good increase. The amount I received was one-third of this figure. 1 felt insulted, cheated, and hurt that the company considered 1 was worth this token' amount.

"1 had a personal interview with the vice-president where 1 argued that 1 felt I should receive more. He agreed in sort of an offhanded way—he felt the whole salary schedule should be reviewed and that my area of responsibility should be increased. He said the company wants people to 'prove themselves' before they give them increases; and he suggested a salary review. 1 felt 1 had just done this in my last project—I felt I was being put off, but agreed to the salary review.

"One month passed and nothing happened. I became frustrated—I purposely slowed down the amount of work I turned out.

"Another month passed and still no action. 1 became disillusioned with the company and resolved at this point to look for another position. Several months later with still no action, I resigned and accepted another position."

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment