Conflict, Decision Making, and Organizational Design

Topics: Decision making, Edward de Bono, Six Thinking Hats Pages: 8 (2934 words) Published: July 25, 2013
Conflict, Decision Making, and Organizational Design
Karla Alvarez

Professor Danielle Camacho
BUS 520 – Leadership and Organizational Behavior
September 9, 2012
Conflict, Decision Making, and Organizational Design
The company that I work for is CareOne at Valley, a senior care company. We are a sub-acute rehabilitation and long-term care center. We have about 150 employees working in our 8 departments: nursing, rehabilitation, dietary, environmental, recreation, social services, marketing and administration. Our mission is to define excellence within the health care community. We treat residents, their families and each other with respect, dignity and compassion. We strive to lead the industry by delivering superior clinical outcomes and exceptional care in exceptional settings. Our vision to become New Jersey’s health care provider and employer of choice is supported by our ongoing commitment to achieving excellence, celebrating diversity, emphasizing education and promoting innovation (CareOne company website, n.d.). Although our mission is to treat each other with respect, workplace hostilities can erupt for various reasons under almost any circumstances. According to Lanier (n.d.), the term conflict refers to perceived incompatibilities resulting typically from some form of interference or opposition. Conflict management, then, is the employment of strategies to correct these perceived differences in a positive manner. Some of the conflicts that can erupt in my workplace are a result of uneven distribution of the workload, misunderstanding of information or communication breakdown, personality clashes, and misinterpretation of duties or policies. Excessive workload causes stress on the staff which can make them more aggressive or unwilling to work together. This creates conflict among the staff; some people might even take it personal and feel that a particular coworker has issues with them. A typical scenario at CareOne at Valley among the nursing staff is seeing them arguing with their supervisors about their work assignment, or about their coworkers taking too many breaks or being too slow. Misunderstanding of information or communication breakdown is another source of conflict in my workplace. People communicate in different ways. Some people require very little information to understand a subject, while others need more information and a clearer explanation in order to gather meaning. Faulty communication leads to misperceptions and misunderstandings that can lead to long-standing conflict (Lanier, n.d.). In addition, personality tensions are caused by differences in personality, attitudes, values, and beliefs. A personality conflict emerges when two people simply do not get along or do not view things similarly (Lanier, n.d.). 150 employees means 150 different personalities, and although most of us have been part of the team for a considerate amount of time making us feel more comfortable with each other, tensions still arise. Conflicts may also surface when employees disagree about who has the responsibility for tasks and resources. For example, two employees can begin disputing responsibility over performing a specific job duty. Managers and human resources professionals need to become proficient at workplace conflict negotiation to help maintain a professional atmosphere. According to Hellriegel and Slocum (2011), negotiation is a process in which two or more interdependent individuals or groups who perceive that they have both common and conflicting goals state and discuss proposals and preferences for specific terms of a possible agreement. The four core stages of negotiation include (1) assessing the situation, (2) establishing the process, (3) negotiating the agreement, and (4) implementing the agreement. Two major negotiating strategies are distributive which focuses on win-lose outcomes, and integrative which focuses on win-win outcomes. In CareOne at Valley we always try to get a...

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