Research Paper Help on Management

Management

Introduction

            There are various theories that have been stated and portrayed in the movie. The movie Corp Case is about an organization that has a high level of people conflicts. The management has proposed for the implementation of a computer project, and a consultant had been invited to evaluate the change problems. This study will critically review the interpersonal skills and management of conflicts. The management will facilitate discussion of the organizational behaviors. This paper will further review the theories and link them with the events in the case study. Examples in the case study have been used to compare and contrast the chosen theories. Behaviors and non-verbal communication have been explained as in the case. The mentioned theories are discussed, with regard to whether they are effective or ineffective. These explanations are based on the observed events, incidents, and interactions. This paper concludes by giving better strategies to resolve conflicts for more effective outcomes. Political theory is used to find lasting solutions for the disputes within the top management and staff.

Literature Review

            Until recently, employers resolved conflicts through mediation and arbitration (Bowling & Beeher, 2006). Lately, employers have resorted to solve conflicts through integrated management systems. These approaches are more comprehensive and holistic. The approaches include the application of the conflict theories to solve prevailing disputes. A small difference within a group results to great doubt on the assumptions and a quest for the latest information over the subject; for instance, Barbara, the Sales Manager, is for the introduction of a new information system in the company system. John, the IT Manager, is apprehensive about the new transformation and calls for the withdrawal of the system without notifying the top management (Corp Case, Part1). Social Cognitive theory is applied in solving the differences between the two managers.

Political Theory

According to the political theory, political structure comprises of order and rationality. The purpose of any political authority is to facilitate the attainment of the objective of the organization. According to Robbins and Barnwell (1986), politics is the result of the team’s attempt within an organization to gather support for the success of the goals and policies of the organization; hence, politics is an exercise of authority. According to Bolman and Deal (2003), politics alters the process of decision-making; this leads to poor output in the team. Politics comes from personal desire to be in control of power within an organization.

In this case, Tom has an unquenchable thirst for promotion. This would facilitate higher authority. He fails to secure the position and hence fails to contribute positively to the new project. He emotionally reacts by negatively relating with his fellow managers. This affects the project adversely, as failure becomes the result. The management team comprises a political authority within any organization. The team, led by the chief executive officer, David Fox, has power to control and manipulate the staff. This is, however, absent in the case study as the top leader lacks the power to control the staff. There, his authority is positional but not felt. Harry cloud is the finance manager; he is seen to be very reasonable in his arguments. He, however, abuses his political control by missing at will major meetings. David fails to manage such corporate problem personalities, and is, hence, considered a weak leader.

Allies and Bedfellow theory

When bureaucracy is embraced as a means of attaining efficiency within an organization, negative side effects are felt (Block 1991). The bureaucratic cycle begins with the establishment of the patriarchal structure. This develops into self-interest and the use of manipulative schemes for the attainment of the schemes. This system eventually turns into an interdependent system where the team members fail to cooperate. There is need to develop positive political skills to become a superior manager. There are five types of stakeholders who in the political process: the allies, bedfellows, opponents, adversaries and fence sitters. The allies are the in strong agreement and support, the adversaries are those that oppose the leadership and the position, opponents slightly agree on the projects but are highly trusting the leadership, the bedfellows are fully supportive of the projects but have little trust on the leader. The fence sitters lie on both sides as they lack the clear indication of where they are.

Barbara is among the allies. Her support is great; she is in full agreement of the project and asks for support wherever she has a problem. Tom lies in the Bedfellows category. This is because he desired a promotion but failed and therefore he is partially committed to the project.

Conflicts in the organization

 There are various challenges in this organization. The information system is low and therefore needs a quick update. When this is taking place, the staff is unaware; it takes them by surprise. The management has not invested in communication skills training. Therefore, every sector, from the top management, is facing this challenge. Before the conflict exploded, it developed through various stages. Initially, there were discomforts; the staff felt that the management team did not inform them of the new changes that were taking place within the organization. Yet these changes demanded the entire presence and active contribution of the staff. When the store manager felt that the new system was not practical, he suspended the implementation without consulting the team or even the sales manager. After the initial meeting, the CEO promotes Barbara to lead the sales team whereas Tom, the customer manager, has been looking forward to getting a promotion. This creates another incidence for possible conflicts between the two managers. Misunderstanding arises when Barbara persuasively wins the proposal for the new project. Tom emotionally argues out against the project, citing it as expensive (Dreu & Weingart, 2003). This furthers his resentment over the new project. Tension grows as there is a rising financial crisis. The organization is maintaining their present systems at a higher price while installing this new system, which is equally expensive.

Types of Conflict within the organization

There are various types of conflict: the intrapersonal, the interpersonal, the organizational, and inter-organizational (Dreu et al, 2001). In this case, there are only two types of conflicts; the intrapersonal and the interpersonal. The intrapersonal is the conflict within an individual. Tom Blyth becomes inconsiderate of his job when his proposal fails to go through. Because of the pent-up emotions, he chooses to disapprove the new project of expanding information system within the organization. He goes on to argue with his emotions and negatively reacts when persuaded. He is angry and seems at a loss. As a manager, he was to offer other options; instead, he goes back to the failed proposal. This makes him a difficult personality to work with. When confronted with Barbara, he fails to communicate effectively and goes on to remind her of his desires for a promotion. John Franks has intrapersonal problems, caused by challenges in his private life. This affects his approach towards work. His physical looks depict a frustrated personality while his verbal communication confirms that he is full of negativity. The challenges are the main cause of negativity towards everything. This makes him to give a partial output in his field within the teamwork.

Various aspects cause the interpersonal conflicts. These are inclusive of personal and personality differences, financial consequences, leadership, and poor communication. Majority of the team members are uncomfortable with the new project. This is because of the financial strain that the company is undergoing now. Poor communication results in interpersonal disagreements. This is because some of the employees feel that they are left out in the decision making process. The junior staff comes to realize that there are changes within the system when they see the updates from the computer system. Others see the engineers and realize that a new project is coming up; this gives room for gossip and demoralization. The main cause of all these is the weakness of the CEO to manage his staff. Another instance of inter-personal conflicts is when Barbara goes to Tom to raise her concerns over the present systems, Tom requests her to postpone the conversation. However, Barbara demands for immediate answer, due to her egocentricity. The two ought to understand their reactions, stress levels, and schedules in order to overcome the conflict.

            According to Hebdon (2005), these are brought about by the conflicting personal decisions and actions in work. One employee may have personality problems which results to them not getting along with the rest of the team, for instance, John Franks and Tom Blyth have negative outlook and hence clash with the rest like Barbara. Barbara is egocentric. She cannot receive a negative feedback. The impact of conflict has been related to miscommunication, which comes from confusion within the workplace, delays, and heightened stress among the staff members, reduced teamwork, and creativity, interference with the flow of work, customer dissatisfaction, and gossip.

Resolution of conflicts in the workplace

Time and effort is required for resolution of these conflicts. The staff is still at the discomfort stage while the top management unknowingly hurt the feelings of the employees by segregating them in the whole process. The other managers are unknowingly communicating their resentment through the proposed new project. The CEO is not observant and hence, these conflicts keep on rising. Another cause for these conflicts is the present personal issues that employees like Job are facing. This raises the need for the management to be keen on the cause of personal resentment over job. The organization must also create a body to look into the welfare of its employees for enhancement output in the work place. For the sake of the desired output in teamwork, the management must see to it that conflicts are resolved as soon as they appear. The CEO needs to be observant and identify the signs of problems. They should also be in a position to deal with the prevailing conflicts as soon as they arise. These conflicts should be viewed as opportunities for improving the organization’s policies and operations. There is need for Barbara to cultivate a diplomatic, agreeable, and supportive character.

            There are five major styles of solving conflicts (Lipsky & Avga, 2008). These vary in the levels of assertiveness and cooperation. These styles emphasize that people have varying resolution style. Thomas-Kilmann instrument (TKI) was therefore formulated to deal with the conflicts as they arise: They are the avoiding, accommodating, competitive, and compromising and the collaborative. The competitive style comprises of people who have a strong stand. These people operate from a point of authority and persuasive ability. This style is applied in emergency and during quick decision-making. The management team can apply for this style in unpopular decisions such as the incoming project. This style makes the subjects have the feeling of dissatisfaction and disappointed. Collaborative style meets the need of the subjects. The people who apply this style are highly assertive cooperative and regard everyone equally. This style is applicable in situations when various viewpoints are to be incorporated for the best solutions.

Compromising style partially satisfies everyone. This style can be incorporated when the expected cost of conflict is higher than the cost of lose. In this case, it is applicable when everyone is in a standstill over the new project and the expected high expenditure. People who practice avoiding style tend to avoid entirely any rising conflicts. This model is weak as victory is impractical and there are insignificant controversies. Accommodating approach aspires to offer solutions for others at the expense of personal desires. An accommodator is not assertive and therefore fails to get the best outcomes. This model is quite effective as various approaches are combined and change is welcomed whenever necessary. This theory solves the given situation while respecting the legitimate interests of people.

The interest-based relational theory (IBR) is concerned with individual differences as it facilitates movement of the people involved into other positions. There are however rules that must be followed when implementing this theory: There is need for good relationships among the subjects. Everyone is to be respectfully treated even under pressurizing situations. People and the problems are to be separated. Attention is to be paid as this approach encourages listening before talking. Facts are thereafter to be laid out while options are explored together. This model helps in keeping contentious topics productive and affirmative. This approach is however ineffective in this case as the outlaid rules could not be applied in the present situation.

Conclusion

This paper has discussed the various conflicts that are affecting the organization. Among the conflicts are the inter-personal, intra-personal and organizational conflicts. These conflicts have been propagated by a poor communication network within the organization, the CEO’s weakness of managing the staff, and personal problems that have minimized the staff output. There is need of the CEO to take charge of the staff by properly exercising his powers. The organization needs to invest in communication training. This training should be inclusive of every member of the organization. Political theory is effective for solving the prevailing conflicts within the organization.

References

Block, P. (1991). The Empowered Manager: Positive political Skills. (2nd ed). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Bolman, L. G. & Deal, T. E. (2003). Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership. (3rd Ed). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Bowling, N. A., & Beehr, T. A. (2006). Workplace harassment from the victim’s perspective: A theoretical model and meta-analysis: Journal of Applied Psychology. 91(5), 998-1012.

Corp Case: Part 2 > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wxde1aymyDI Part2

Corp Case: Part 3> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEw2pGOFO30 Part 3

Corp Case: Part 4> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95i0rgCDswc Part 4

Corp Case: Part1 > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wxde1aymyDIpart1

Dreu, C. K. W., & Weingart, L. R. (2003). Task versus relationship conflict, team performance, and team member satisfaction: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology. 88. 741-749.

Dreu, K. W. C., Evers, A., Beersma, B., Kluwer, S. E. & Nauta, A (2001). A Theory-based measure of Conflict Management Strategies in the Workplace: Journal of Organizational Behavior. 22(6): 645-668.

Hebdon, R. (2005). Toward a Theory of Workplace Conflict: The Case of U.S. Municipal Collective Bargaining: Advances in Industrial & Labor Relations. 14: 33 – 65

Lipsky, B. D. & Avgar, C. A (2008). Toward a Strategic Theory of Workplace Conflict Management: Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution. 143 https://litigation-essentials.lexisnexis.com/…/Ohio+St.+J.+on+Disp.+Resol

Liu, C., Spector, P. E., & Shi, L (2007). Cross-National Job Stress: A Quantitative and Qualitative Study: Journal of Organizational Behavior. 28(2), 209-239.

Sheard, G., Kakabadse, A. P. & Kakabadse, N. K (2011). Organizational Politics: reconciling Leadership’s rational-Emotional paradox: leadership & Orgazanition Development Journal. 32(1): 78-97