Managing Conflict Case Study
As managers, we need to embrace conflict and see that it can be positive for a team and for a company. However, understanding how to handle conflict is one key to successful communication and to overall success in the workplace.
Read Chapter 13
“Finding Confidence in Conflict”
Finding Confidence in Conflict | Kwame Christian | TEDxDayton (Links to an external site.)
After reading Chapter 13 and watching the video, answer the following prompts based on the scenario below– 400+ words.
Janna White sat in her office, perplexed. Two days previously, she had been given responsibility to lead a team on a project that would have a significant impact on the investment decision under consideration at PlexiWarm Corporation. The decision involved an expansion of the firm’s product lines to include high-density spray foam insulation (the firm currently produces rigid foam insulation panels). Janna had scheduled the first team meeting for this afternoon and was looking forward to working on such a significant project. She had just opened her e-mail to find a stream of confusing communications from two team members. Apparently, the two had been exchanging e-mail and text messages in such rapid succession that the replies had become very disjointed. The final messages had come about an hour earlier; both parties had basically concluded that they simply could not work together because of the poor communication of the other person!
Janna had the record only of the e-mail messages—the text messages had been sent between each person’s individual cell phones. Without a complete record of the communication, Janna did not have a clue about how to try to resolve the conflict. She e-mailed each person, asking whether they had kept a record of the “text thread.” She quickly got responses that neither had kept the stream of messages and that each now refused to work with the other.
- What could Janna have done in advance to try to prevent the conflict?
- Now that the conflict has occurred, and since this significant project still must be carried out, how should Janna manage the conflict?
- Looking ahead, what is the likely effect of the conflict on team productivity?