BC 465: Negotiation and Conflict Management
Jones International University
March 30, 2010
This paper is an assessment of a conflict that took place between The Boeing Company and one of its unions, The International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers in 2008. Conflict Assessment Report
The Boeing Company is the world's top aerospace company and the biggest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft. The company designs and manufactures rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launching vehicles and advancing information and communication systems, and providing military and commercial airline support services (Boeing, 2010). Boeing has been a leader in the aerospace industry for over 100 years (Boeing, 2010). The business manufactures products such as the 737, 747, and 777 airplanes that are used in commercial airline travel. Boeing is a major service provider to commercial airlines, NASA, operates the Space Shuttle and International Space Station, and the United States government and its defense agencies.
Boeing is organized into two divisions. The first division is Boeing Commercial Airplanes, which is comprised of commercial jetliners that service the globe. Boeing Commercial Airplanes is approximately 75 percent of the world fleet currently in service (Boeing, 2010). The second division is Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. The division provides defense systems, space system products, and supports the United States government and several defense agencies.
Boeing is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The company employs over 157,000 people in the United States and in 70 countries (Boeing, 2010). Boeing has customers in more than 90 countries around the world (Boeing, 2010). Boeing’s mission statement is, “People working together as one global enterprise for aerospace leadership” (Boeing, 2010).
Nature of the conflict
On September 6, 2008, Boeing made headlines when approximately 27,000 of their employees in California, Kansas, Oregon, and Washington went on strike (Healy, 2008). Boeing was in negotiation with the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers (IAM) about pay, benefits, and job security. Scott Carson, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes issued this statement one day before the strike began, "Over the past two days, Boeing, the union and the federal mediator worked hard in pursuing good-faith explorations of options that could lead to an agreement. Unfortunately the differences were too great to close" (Healy, 2008).
The key stakeholders in this conflict were Boeing employees, their families, and the customers and suppliers affiliated with Boeing. Other stakeholders of Boeing include the company’s stockholders, investors, NASA, all branches of the military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines), the United States government to include departments such as the various intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security, and numerous organizations associated with Boeing’s overseas operations. Goal
My goal of this project is to analyze this conflict from the perspectives of The Boeing Company, the IAM, and the stakeholders. I commence this document by describing the conflict assessment strategy. I then analyze the structural, psychological, and interactional features of the conflict. Next I discuss the conflict management plan used by both sides. Finally, I conclude with ideas for how both sides could have handled the conflict differently.
Conflict Assessment Strategy
Because the author does not work for The Boeing Company, and the conflict took place in 2008, gathering information will primarily be conducted by researching articles on the Internet from various sources. The primary websites will be Boeing (www.boeing.com), and The International Association of Machinists (IAM)...