Third Party Conflict Resolution

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Third Party Conflict Resolution
MGT/445 Organizational Negotiations
March 11, 2013

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Third Party Conflict Resolution

Conflict is an omnipresent facet of human existence present at every level of society. Differences in culture, norms, beliefs, wants, needs, and personality causes conflict. Throughout history people involved in conflict solicit assistance from a third party with the primary goal to negotiate a resolution. Team A is assigned to review a case involving two managers of a manufacturing company involved in a conflict. The following paragraphs provide an overview of the case and different third party interventions strategies. Team A included below the analysis of the case, a third party intervention strategy to resolve the conflict, the reason the strategy resolves the conflict, and an alternate strategy if the first strategy does not work.

Case Overview
The case involves a conflict with managers of a major producer of office furniture -Seatcor. Acting as the senior vice president of operations and chief operating officer, Team A must provide an appropriate solution to the conflict. Joe Gibbons is the vice president and general manager of Seatcor’s largest desk assembly plant. Joe has been with Seatcor for 38 years and is two years away from retirement. He worked his way up through the ranks to his present position and has managed successfully his division for five years with a marginally competent staff. Joe is a long-standing personal friend. There is a perception Joe has surrounded himself deliberately with minimally competent people possibly because he may have felt threatened by talented assistants.

            During lunch with Charles Stewart, assistant vice president and Joe’s second in command, it became clear there is a conflict between Charles and Joe. Joe’s potential replacement upon his retirement is Charles, who was hired last year. Joe was reluctant to hire

Charles.
Charles is 39, a tenacious, bright, and well-trained business school graduate. Charles is doing a good job in his new position. Joe is in the process of completing a five-year plan for his plant. This plan will serve as the basis for a proposal to management for several major plant reinvestment and reorganization decisions. According to Charles, Joe has not included Charles in the planning process. Joe excluding Charles is disturbing him. His distress may be influencing his work and relationship with Joe. Charles may have an ulterior motive for disclosing this information.

 Joe runs a good ship and has good judgment. Confronting Joe may upset him and appear to undermine his authority. Joe may have a good reason for excluding Charles. Joe felt threatened by a junior manager or he may not be aware of Charles’ distress regarding exclusion from the planning process. Some tension between Joe and Charles may exist even though they are not in a verbal dispute. From a business standpoint, the potential conflict between Joe and Charles is a very serious problem. Joe will retire in two years so it will be important to have a trained replacement in place well in advance. Charles probably will have to live with the results of any major decisions about the plant after Joe retires. In addition, it is essential Joe support Charles so he can grow properly into his present position and future job.

The goal is to resolve the potential conflict between Joe and Charles as well as benefit the company....
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