Team Conflict: A Case Study - Empathia


workplace conflict case study

CONFLICT RESOLUTION: CASE STUDIES The following case studies match the scenarios in the online training. Review (watch or read) each scenario, and then answer the questions, below. Think about what you have learned and identify a conflict resolution technique . Oct 20,  · Conflict can manifest itself in a variety of forms and to varying degrees, but the causes often include differences between expectations, goals, values and personality styles. Team Conflict: A Case Study. Tags: communication conflict conflict management workplace team conflict style meetings. Related Posts. Conflict Management in the Workplace Case Study: Conflict management in the workplace is the activity aimed at the resolution of the conflicts which occur between employees or employees and their boss. Naturally, conflicts cause harm to the process of production, because they consume much time and efforts which could be spent on hbpdfs.gqer, the majority of conflicts in the workplace reduce.

Case Study on Conflict Management in the Workplace | Case Study Template

Conflict resolution practice has largely focused on conflict taking place in public, as if it was set on a theater stage with an audience watching the interactions unfold. In reality, conflict plays out behind the scenes, unobserved by the conflict analysts and system designers.

Kolb and Bartunek, editors of Hidden Conflict in Organizationsworkplace conflict case study, bring to light the dynamics of informal conflict resolution. In this context, informal conflict resolution is defined as resolution facilitated by organizational members through other means than the formal processes of grievances, investigations and litigation Kolb and Bartunek, These informal conflict resolvers make a significant impact upon organizations either by resolving the conflict or channeling it to a formal mechanism.

Informal conflict resolution often takes a nonrational approach Kolb and Bartunek,p. Kolb and Workplace conflict case study describe this approach as accenting "the unconscious or spontaneous aspects of disputing, ones that are driven by impulse and the feelings of participants and not simply their cognition"p.

Therefore, emotions are seen as a means of conflict management rather than a hindrance to conflict management Kolb and Bartunek, In essence, workplace conflict case study, Kolb and Bartunek are attempting to reclaim emotion as a valid expression in conflict resolution, and that expressing emotion does not necessarily imply a loss of reason. Furthermore, they imply that the formal methods of conflict resolution favor the rational over the emotional.

Retrieving the power and validity of emotion that was tossed along the wayside during the Age of Reason, is needed to gain a holistic picture of conflict dynamics. But it also needs a caveat; for intense emotion can cause reactivity that clouds the way to resolution. From a family systems perspective, "the problem that triggered the emotions is never addressed; emotions are merely generated and circuited and recircuited through the system Gilbert, workplace conflict case study, In the context of family systems theory, emotions are neither bad nor good.

What matters is the level of intensity of emotion and the duration in which it occurs. While the family systems approach may seem to conflict with Kolb and Bartunek's validation of emotion as a conflict resolution tool, the two ideas are workplace conflict case study complimentary.

The intense emotion, otherwise called anxiety, calls attention to the need for resolving a conflict that may not be expressed publicly. Once the cause of the anxiety is identified and emotions expressed, people can think more clearly and be better equipped to solve the problem. The following workplace conflict illustrates this continuum of emotion and its intersection workplace conflict case study cognitive reasoning.

It also highlights the important role an Ombudsman can play in uncovering and working through emotion, paving the way toward resolution. In a large publishing company in New York, a young woman, workplace conflict case study, Laura, was hired as a copy editor for one of the many journals produced by the company. Seven other employees worked on this team editing this Journal, including a senior editor named Tim.

Laura had worked there for about a month when she and her fellow co-workers went for happy-hour workplace conflict case study work. Everybody had a great time and had consumed a fair amount of alcohol. When everybody was leaving the bar to head home, Tim, who had been secretly attracted to Laura since she started work at the journal, hailed a cab and offered to share the ride with Laura.

Laura accepted the offer. Once she was inside the cab, Tim then suddenly made an aggressive sexual advance toward her. Horrified, Laura pushed him away and told him to get out of the cab. Mortified, Tim slinked out of the cab. The next day, Laura workplace conflict case study to work with some apprehension. How would she deal with Tim? Would the cab incident affect her job? Although Tim did not supervise her, would he workplace conflict case study to get her fired?

Tim immediately went to her office and apologized for his extremely inappropriate behavior in the cab. Relieved at his apology, Laura decided not to pursue the matter through any formal channels in the office, workplace conflict case study.

She figured that since Tim apologized, there was no need to dwell on the incident. After all, Laura was a new employee, still in the process of learning the office politics and proving herself as being a competent editor. She did not want to rock the boat or bring negative attention to herself. Everything would have been okay if Tim had stopped at just one sincerely expressed apology. However, whenever he found himself alone with Laura, Tim apologized again. And again. He said he was sorry about the incident at every opportunity he had for three months.

This constant apology was awkward and annoying to Laura. Ironically, by Tim apologizing continuously for his unwanted attention in the cab, workplace conflict case study, he was foisting another form of unwanted attention upon Laura. When he first started apologizing, Laura told him that "it was okay". After three months of many apologies, she reached a point where she asked him to stop apologizing, to no avail.

Frustrated, she confided in a few co-workers about her unusual dilemma. Consequently, these co-workers lost respect for Tim. Although the cab incident was not common knowledge in the office, Tim sensed that others knew about it by the way they interacted with him.

The incident became the office "elephant" that the workplace conflict case study "in the know" saw, but didn't explicitly acknowledge. Meanwhile, Laura was tired of hearing Tim apologize and her feelings of discomfort increased.

So when another editor position opened up in another journal division of the company, she applied for the job and was transferred to the other journal. In her new position, workplace conflict case study, she didn't have Tim bothering her anymore. But she was unhappy with her new job. The journal material was very boring. She didn't work as well with her co-workers as she did in the previous journal excepting Tim, workplace conflict case study. She realized that she really enjoyed her old job.

She began to regret her decision to avoid the conflict with Tim by moving to the new job. In an effort to seek advice as to how to solve her problem, Laura decided to consult with the company ombudsman. The initial cause of the conflict, the sexual advance in the cab, occurred in a private enclosed setting.

Sexual overtures are inherently private, workplace conflict case study, but the consequences were played out in the public context of the office. And, as Bartunek at al, workplace conflict case study. Informal, private conflict handling is generally manifested through nonrational expression, such as gossip, strong emotion, and passive-aggressive behavior Bartunek et al. As seen in the conflict between Laura and Tim, in the privacy of their instances of being alone together, "nonrational discourse dominates" and "members find ways to express their disagreements with each other" ; consequently, "these means have workplace conflict case study - though hidden - impacts on the course of public conflict" Bartunek et.

Tim's apologies became a non-rational expression conveyed privately to Laura. In kind, Laura responded through informal, workplace conflict case study, private means. And the private interactions had a detrimental impact upon the office environment.

In fact, the primary reason Laura came to the Ombudsman for advice was that the conflict was private, and she wanted to share her problem in confidence. The Ombudsman's role is well suited to informal conflict handling. Unlike formal complaint resolution process, the Ombudsman maintains confidentiality of the problem unless given express permission to do otherwise. Hence, the Ombudsman can exercise more informal dispute resolution options, such as listening, providing and receiving information, reframing issues and developing options, role-playing and shuttle diplomacy Rowe, M.

In doing so, an Ombudsman can be a calming influence that enables people to think through their problem. Particularly with situations where people feel harassed, the Ombudsman can offer more options than the formal grievance process.

Consequently, these people need employers "to provide many different access people and different options open to the choice of complainants, including the option of learning on a confidential basis how to deal directly with harassers" p.

The issue of power in the case of Laura and Tim is a large underlying factor, which has influenced the turn of events. Laura certainly felt powerless. Tim's aggressive sexuality displayed in the cab, as well as his underlying assumption that his sexual advance would be welcomed by Laura, reveals the inequities placed upon women in our male-dominated society. A woman in Western society is sexualized as an object; whereas, a man is rarely treated in such a way Connell, Hence, Laura was confronted with Tim's narcissistic assumption that she would be happy to receive his attentions, along with the male ideology of claiming women as objects of desire.

This power imbalance was then carried into the sexual politics of the workplace. Connell states that "power may be a balance of advantage or an inequality of resources in a workplace, a household, or a larger institution"p. While Laura certainly felt indignant at Tim's behavior, workplace conflict case study main concern the next day was preserving her reputation and keeping her job.

Laura was worried about maintaining a neutralized sexuality in the office environment, fearing a reputation of being sexually "easy". Such a label would effectively overshadow any power that she could assert through knowledge or skill. Consequently, workplace conflict case study, Laura chose not to risk placing herself in a position to be unfairly labeled by the office power structure workplace conflict case study though Tim's offensive and boorish behavior invaded her sense of security and confidence.

She resisted reporting Tim's inappropriate behavior because she didn't want to be perceived as complicitous. In analyzing this scenario, Laura and Tim are subtly negotiating for power. Following the cab incident, Laura and Tim were implicitly negotiating for maintaining their own credibility in the workplace.

Laura and Tim's interactions imply a testing of what each of them value. Both value their reputation in the office. Otherwise, Tim wouldn't feel compelled to apologize in an effort to "check" on Laura's feelings about him to gauge her inclination to blab about him in the office. If Laura wasn't concerned about her reputation and standing within the office, she may have told the director about the cab incident.

Both are testing the waters of their workplace conflict case study standing. Both wanted others to view them with respect. The predominant value claimer is Tim. Not only did he try to "claim" Laura in the cab, but through his repeated apologies, claimed the value of a non-anxious work environment and Laura's peace of mind.

His apologies were a form of the power of persistence, which caused Laura to question his motives. Furthermore, Tim's persistent apologies impinged upon Laura's personal boundary and made her feel that he was asking for more than forgiveness. Tim's apologies could be seen as a way to manipulate Laura into not informing the director or other co-workers about the cab incident.


Informal Conflict Resolution:A Workplace Case Study


workplace conflict case study


Jun 05,  · Conflict Management in the Workplace Case Study: Conflict management in the workplace is the activity aimed at the resolution of the conflicts which occur between employees or employees and their boss. Naturally, conflicts cause harm to the process of production, because they consume much time and efforts which could be spent on work. Conflict Management in the Workplace Case Study: Conflict management in the workplace is the activity aimed at the resolution of the conflicts which occur between employees or employees and their boss. Naturally, conflicts cause harm to the process of production, because they consume much time and efforts which could be spent on hbpdfs.gqer, the majority of conflicts in the workplace reduce. Managing Conflict in Workplace: A Case Study in the UAE Organizations Chapter (PDF Available) · May with 10, Reads DOI: /chAuthor: Badreya Al Jenaibi.