Managing Conflict

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Managing Conflict – Practical Application Exercise – Follow-up Notes

Case Incident #1 - James Whittington manager of internal auditing vs. Bill Wilson, manager of compensation

Conflict Type: Task Conflict
The main issue was about the content and goals of the work – James needs to get his work done - Bill perceives it as a personal affront to him and his staff – Bill, HR department, may also have underlying confidentiality priorities which relates to the work he performs

Functional / Dysfunctional Conflict:
On its face, the conflict appears to be dysfunctional because in the past, whenever James needed to conduct audits, Bill “tried to hold back information necessary” for James to get is work done. This time, when James tries to do his job Bill again tries to stop him. Though there are attempts to stop the audit, Bill has not been successful in doing so. The conflict level in this case is moderate, and can therefore be considered functional in that the proposed conflict response should lead to them meeting the goals of the org.

Conflict Handling Intension: Collaboration
In responding to Bill’s message, James could employ the conflict problem solving technique and request a face-to-face meeting with Bill. This way they can hopefully identify and resolve the problem through an open discussion, which will ideally lead to collaborating and satisfying the concerns of both parties.

Negotiation Tactic – Integrative Bargaining – win/win solution

Case Incident #2 - Irene Wilson is manager of corporate engineering vs. a Robert Miller, engineer

Conflict Type: Relationship (personal) Conflict
Robert gets into arguments with several engineers and argues with his manager.

Functional / Dysfunctional Conflict:
The conflict level in this case is high, and is dysfunctional.

Conflict Handling Intension: Competing
Irene (the employer) needs to satisfy her (the employer’s) own interest in getting Robert to stop the negative behavior. In...
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