Was this a project situation involving partnering between the executive committee and the project group, chartering of the welding robot project, or change? if so, which one(s)?
2. Why did the Metal Fabrication Division management not seek out the robotic technology even though it offered significant cost advantages and was a "free good"?
3. Was there anything unusual about the justification for introducing robot technology in this case? Why? Was there any implicit reason for the introduction?
4. Does an in-house demonstration site seem to be the best way to market a product/process? What do you expect might have gone wrong? What other alternatives are there? What are the implications of choosing another alternative?
5. At what stage of the project life cycle did the major conflicts arise? Were the sources of the conflicts one of the higher-intensity categories depicted in Figure 6-1? Which one(s)?
6. Burke (see |5| or the Classic Reading for this chapter) categorizes the methods for resolving conflict into five categories: withdrawing, smoothing, compromising, forcing, and confrontation-problem solving. Which one(s) was used in this situation?
7. What assumption(s) did the firm make when they promised that only "new work" would go to the robot? What are the firm's responsibilities to the welders?
8. Would the four points of "principled negotiation" have helped in this situation? If so, which ones and why?
9. Why did management choose to use a development team that was relatively inexperienced with robotics?
This classic article describes a number of methods for negotiating and handling conflicts. The author identifies effective and ineffective methods ranging from withdrawal to forcing. Each method is then illustrated with a number of examples. Finally, the most effective method, confrontation-problem solving, is described in terms of its many characteristics.
The management of conflict in creative and useful ways, rather than its containment or abolition, has been proposed by many writers. Various strategies for dealing with conflict at different levels and for managing disagreements have also been proposed. Most of these methods have not been experimentally evaluated. Given the central and inevitable role of conflict in human affairs, a high priority of importance is to be placed on learning the most effective way to resolve it.
Was this article helpful?
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.