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Organization and Managerial Behavior

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Organization and Managerial Behavior

Chapter 13 Case study

#1 Functional conflict supports the company's goal, is supportive, and improves the performance to achieve the goal. This kind of conflict involves people who are interested in solving a problem and are willing to listen to one another to fulfill the common interest of achieving company's goal. Dysfunctional conflicts consist of disagreements that hinder the company's performance. This kind of conflict includes people who are not willing to work together to solve the problem and are mostly focused on personal benefits rather than the company's goal. There is a lack of functional conflict and more dysfunctional conflict in this case. Whitney continuously ignored the suggestion of streamlining the business plan and decision making process from her friend. She was more focused on discovery-driven planning and was being careless since her husband and she were the providers of working capital. The conflict between Whitney and the partners was also dysfunctional. The conflict was not to improve the company's performance but was more focused on obtaining decision making power. Both the parties (Whitney and partners) were conflicting on the decision making power regarding the critical issues such as strategic direction, budget, hiring, cover art, and print run. The conflict was not for hiring the best employee, planning for efficient budget but was for obtaining the decision making power to make such decision.

#2 Some of the antecedents of conflict that I think is obvious in this case are: Incompatible personalities or value system, unclear job boundaries, inadequate communication, unclear policies, standards, or rule, and unsolved conflict. I think these antecedents are obvious in this case because of the reason below.

Unclear policies, standards, or rule: Whitney agrees that she not only failed to chart the path to profitability but also failed to put in place the process that would help to make tough decisions. The conflict between Whitney and the partners are more of obtaining the decision making power which is basically the outcome of unclear policies and undefined rules.

Incompatible personalities or value system: Whitney's and her friend's personality seems to be incompatible and their values are different. Her friend's focus is on articulating the business plan with decision making process being the top priority whereas Whitney focuses on the importance of discovery-driven planning.

Unclear job boundaries: Whitney agrees that they failed to hammer out exactly how they would operate. She along with her partners are unclear about their rights and limitations in the decision making process resulting the situation of conflict.

Inadequate communication: I think there was insufficient communication between Whitney and other parties involved in this case. Rather than repeatedly requesting Whitney to articulate the business plan, Whitney's friend should have communicated with her about the importance of the business plan, it's impact in the decision making process, and it's role to make effective decision. Similarly, Whitney and her partner should have communicated about their role and responsibility. Their role and the limitation should have been clearly defined by better communication rather than getting involved in dysfunctional conflict.

Unsolved conflict: In this case the unsolved conflict between the partners is one big reason for the failure of the business. When conflict is allowed to continue without resolution, the focus on core business is replaced by a negative concentration which has a negative impact in the business.

#3 Intergroup conflict is an expression of tensions between the goals or concerns of one party and those of another. Under this circumstance, groups take aggressive actions toward one another to control some outcome important to each group. Since the main reason for conflict in this case is due to lack of proper communication, Whitney could have conducted team building and cross functional teamwork, and encourage personal friendship and good working relationship across departments to improve the communication in an organization. Team building helps a work group develop into an organized unit. The team members not only share expectations for achieving group tasks, but also trust and support one another and respect individual differences. The cross function team is the group that will have members with different functional experiences and abilities, and who will likely come from different departments within the organization. When people from different departments work closely with responsibilities, they help in connecting organization goals and the team goals. Encouraging personal friendship and good working relation across departments will enhance communication and helps to improve inadequate communication. When there is better communication between the departments, the issues can be resolved without getting into dysfunctional conflict.

#4 Integrating and compromising style of conflict handling would have



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