Conflict & Stress Management

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1.0 INTRODUCTION

Stress and conflict are two major issues any organisation faces. They are inevitable in all facets of life, be individual or organisational. If not handled well they can be a hindrance for the company performance. Conflict and stress both varies according to the organisation and its culture. But both need to be managed well to avoid unnecessary problems.

Conflict is a perception. Surveys show that employees spend as much as 42% of their time engaging in or attempting to resolve conflicts and 20% of managers’ time is taken up by conflict related issues (Gupta, Boyd, Kuzmits, 2011). This valuable time can be utilised in making the organisation a more efficient and an effective one. Organisations which fail to address conflict have the risk of losing their competitive advantage. Conflict can be viewed in many ways and there are different management styles which can deal with conflict. The leadership of the organisation must be involved in dealing with conflict as they would have to negotiate and bargain in order to overcome conflict.

Stress is a major concern with today’s working people. This is because the world is developing in a faster pace which requires constant adaptation. Stress not only affects ones work-life balance, but also their personal life which creates chaos for individuals. According to some estimation, humankind losses 100 million workdays every year due to the aftermath of stress (Treven & Potocan, 2005). Work stress needs to be managed well so it can actually improve the well being of the individuals as well as the organisation.

Both of these factors will be viewed in the context of Nippon Lanka and will be analysed thoroughly on how they overcome these issues to maintain a healthy relationship with employees. Improvements and recommendations for the current methods will also be discussed.

2.0 OVERVIEW

Nippon Lanka Pvt Ltd (NPLK) is a joint venture (JV) between the Nippon PLC Japan (NPJ) and Silicone Coatings Pvt Ltd (SC) Sri Lanka where the NPJ brought over 60% of Silicone's shares. This joint venture is advantageous to both parties where NPJ is able to use this as an entry method and SC as an opportunity to be a part of a global industry.

Formation of this JV took almost a year where Nippon Lanka studied SC and the relevant industry as whole to get an idea of the present market conditions. It was found that there was no better time to enter the Sri Lankan market due to the post war era development. Therefore SC was considered due to their strong presence in the market.

Today after about three months from successfully forming the JV the company is going through a transition period. There aren’t any major changes to positions in the hierarchy but there are role changes and employees are finding it difficult to adapt to their new roles. Example: - The Managing Director (MD) of the company who was the owner of the company still is the MD how ever to day the person is a salaried employee. - The General Manager who was reporting directly to MD today has to report to the Board of directors where MD is just one out of the five directors.

When examining the company culture towards conflict, the company culture and the value system which has been there for 35 years from the date of the establishment is now being changed. SC was established in 1979, as a small scale manufacture and a distributer of paint related ancillaries. By the time Nippon approached SC it had grown into the largest local player in the market where it was second only to the global giant Akzonobal by a 3% margin.

It is evident that SC has been a one man show up to the time of the JV, the full value system and the operational procedures were laid down by the founder himself and not most of the managers found it enticing to be part of. Therefore the HR turnover was such that on average about six key resources left the company. In this back ground let’s see how the conflict and stress...
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