Conflict in the Workplace One of the Essay

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Conflict in the Workplace

One of the things that makes us human is our need and ability to form groups. We thrive in groups, merge into groups, and even the process of civilization and moving from hunter-gatherers to cities was part of group behavior. However, when groups form, any number of interesting psychological issues occur: behaviors change, organizational issues occur, bonds and alliances are formed and lost, and even individual leadership behaviors change (Johnson and Johnson, 2008). Whether it be individuals, small groups, or large groups -- sometimes behavioral issues arise that cause conflict. Breaking one or more of these rules, however, or disagreeing with them to the point where it becomes unbearable or makes the group ineffective then becomes "conflictual" (Corey, 2008, pp. 149-51). This conflict happens in most cultures and some time or another. We see it in animal behavior as internal aggression. In some human cultures, while the need for a win-win situation is important, cultural barriers prevent individuals from actually confronting one another in order to find the actual problem. Too, taken to the extreme, conflict may be seen as conflict between nations, or war. Because conflict is so culturally based, there are no exact methods for conflict resolution. Instead, much depends on the situation, chronology, participants, and psychology. In the Western nations, though, conflict resolution usually involves some type of communication process and problem solving. Oftentimes, within the workplace, conflict may arise because of misperceptions, misunderstandings, or simply a lack of appropriate and cogent communication.

Scenario: There are two players in this current scenario, a Human Resources Manager and an employee. The conflict focuses on an open position for a Factory Manager that was filled from the outside as opposed to an internal candidate.

HR Perspective - You have recently created a new position of factory manager, advertised the position and invited both internal and external applications. You received about one hundred applications and from these you short listed ten for interview. Only one of these was a current member of staff. You developed a set of ten selection criteria for the interview process and the interviews were conducted by yourself and the Operations Manager who will be the direct supervisor of the new employee.

You were extremely pleased with the quality of three of the candidates, any one of whom you would have happily employed. One of these three is a current staff member who has been working for the company for ten years and has a completely unblemished record in his job. he/she is very conscientious and efficient. Unfortunately he/she does not have the same level of communication skills or experience as the successful candidate. You and the Operations Manager agree that the best candidate is a man who has been managing a large factory producing for an export market for five years. He is a mechanical engineer who has completed a one year Post-graduate Diploma of Management.

You have been dreading the moment when you have to tell your current employee the bad news. You know that he/she has been aspiring to promotional positions for several years and he/she has been studying an online Business Administration degree in an attempt to prepare for management roles.

You decided that you had to meet the current employee face-to-face to break the news and you did this as respectfully and tactfully as possible by taking him / her out to lunch. The meeting did not go well. he/she reacted very angrily and stormed out of the restaurant saying "If you think this is the end of this, you are very much mistaken."

You have since received a letter from the employee demanding a review of the decision and threatening legal action under the Anti-Discrimination Act. The employee is convinced that the Operations Manager is racially prejudiced and never had any intention of employing an Islamic Australian.

Employee Perspective - I am an Islamic Australian who has been living in Brisbane since the age of five. I joined this company ten years ago as a process worker and I have been working as a section foreman for three years. I know the factory inside out and I have been the best contributor to the company's Total Quality Management program. I have been employee of the year for the last two years consecutively. I have gone into debt to study an online…[continue]

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