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A Case Study of Job Promotion Conflict in the Workplace

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Ryan Bowden

on 3 December 2014

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Transcript of A Case Study of Job Promotion Conflict in the Workplace

A Case Study of Job Promotion Conflict in the Workplace
Business Conflict Management
How Conflict Arises
Three Main Sources
Handling Conflict
How one handles conflict tells much about them both as a person and a worker
Case Study Background
Tyler, the President of Marketing Operations, is retiring in the upcoming months and has been given clearance to choose the replacement for his position
Conflict a good thing?
- Can be a key component for success in a business
Conflict a Bad thing?
+ Teamwork is the best remedy for
Handling Conflict cont'd...
When conflict is handled correctly, productive outcomes can be reached using key terms learned throughout this semester.
Our Case Study
Improvized our own case study on conflict management inside a sports management firm, Blue Chip Management, based in Virginia
By: Ryan Bowden, Brad Moore, Tyler Mullins, Cameron Vanover
- Conflict:
Defined as a struggle between
two or more interdependent parties who have incompatible goals, scarce rewards, and interference from the other party in achieving thier goals.
- Conflict can be both good and/or bad
When parties involved are interdependent, they are willing to bow their necks to achieve success
In this situation, being selfish means you care about your goals
- Can be very detrimental to a business' success
Becomes a problem when one does not understand the importance of teamwork.
+ Workplace would be dull without disagreement and conflict
Short-term and long-term negative effects
Misunderstanding of situation
Failure/Lack of communication
Differences in values and/or goals
+ Validate both your and others' accounts of the situation to ensure mutual understanding
+ Clear, effective communication is a must
+ Important for everyone to have a common goal in a business setting
*Recognizing and managing conflict are huge stepping stones to being successful within an organization.
Opposing parties need to be considerate of the opposite sides' perspectives
After taking into consideration the other goals involved, it is vital to work towards a collaborative goal that will create the best outcome for each party involved
Many workers will try their best to avoid conflict at all costs due to the stress and anxiety associated with conflict
The focus of any conflict should be to resolve the situation in a positive and productive manner
The conflict that arises in our case study is one that deals with a job promotion that more than one employee is hoping to obtain
We will discuss the basis and cause of the conflict, how to handle the situation, and evaluate the decision that gets reached
He has narrowed his choices down to three possible candidates he feels would best take over his position
1) Brad, the VP of Marketing Operations, been with company 15 years and under Tyler for 10 years.
2) Ryan, the VP of Communications and Sales Manager, been with company 23 years, has most experience
3) Cameron, Top performer in sales, Ryan's Assistant Sales Manager, been with company for only 4 years, but has worked his way up the ladder rather impressively
Case Study Background cont'd..
The job opening is considered one of the best possible jobs inside their careers which also includes an attractive raise
Outside the workplace, Brad, Ryan, and Cameron are close friends and after receiving word that they are the finalists for the job promotion, tensions rise both within and outside the workplace
They also find out that the decision will not be announced until a few weeks later, which causes that tension to rise that much more.
Case Study Background cont'd..
Due to the positions they hold, Ryan and Cameron work together every day, but are
Outside of work, the three close friends have not talked nearly as much since the promotion announcements and is causing negative effects in their home lives.
With the three of them failing to communicate, they won't know how they each perceive the situation, thus building on the already present stress and anxiety
Case Study: Decision Time
having a tough time communicating because they both feel they are deserving of the promotion
Tyler ultimately chooses Brad due to his experience under him as VP
This puts even more responsibility in Brad's hands
Brad decides to promote Ryan to his former position as VP, and promotes Cameron to Ryan's former positions to increase their responsibilities respectfully
Case Study: Decision's Effect
The decision surely sends shockwaves throughout the company, starting with Ryan and Cameron
Ryan is extremely upset with the decision, and with him being a very verbally aggressive person, he starts to cause some conflict with his work demeanor
Cameron, who is also highly upset, decides he cannot work under Brad, quits the job, and cuts off the friendship they had.
In an effort to resolve this conflict, Brad calls multiple meetings hoping to improve the communication within the business, however, this backfires tremendously
Case Study: Decision's Effect cont'd..
Ryan's work demeanor continues to spiral out of control and is constantly verbally aggressive in meetings, targeting Brad in certain comments, which only makes things worse by making the rest of the group uncomfortable
This leaves Brad clueless as what to do simply because he has not done anything wrong. He was awarded a job promotion and has not done anything to provoke Ryan or Cameron to act the way they have
Case Study: Analysis
The main problem with this situation is the conflict that has been created by the promotion that Brad got over Ryan and Cameron and the negative impact it has had on both their work life and personal life
With conflict comes stress and anxiety, which needed to be handled better by Ryan and Cameron
Another problem that arose from this situation is they let their work lives interfere with their personal lives.
Anything dealing with your personal life should be left out of the workplace
Case Study: Conflict Resolution
The most important goal is to solve this conflict and allow the workplace to get back to functioning normally
A way to do this is to combine the three competing goals into one greater goal for the better of the company
Other goals include returning their social lives back to normal, getting Ryan to control his aggressiveness, and taking measures to ensure this doesn't happen in the future
Case Study: Conflict Resolution cont'd..
Setting these goals helped to find a successful plan that will alleviate all of this tension
We feel these goals need to be met in order to get everything to run as smoothly as it previously did
Case Study: Assessment
In our assessment, we all agree that Brad has not done anything to merit the way the others feel about him
Ryan and Brad need to have a one-on-one to get everything out in the open
Once they do so, the stress and anxiety will find their way out of the situation.
We know Ryan doesn't like the outcome, but he has to man up and accept the fact that Brad got the job
Case Study: Assessment cont'd..
We also feel that Ryan owes an apology to his coworkers for his outbursts
This will ease the tension throughout the workplace
We feel that rewarding Ryan, although he may not be deserving, will boost his morale and help even out the bumps in the road
These rewards are aimed to restore effectiveness
Case Study: Assessment cont'd..
Now that things are settled with Brad and Ryan, it would be best to reach out to Cameron now
They were all friends before and still would be if this never took place
Although Cameron decided to leave the company, they all agree to never let their work life interfere with personal relationships
Case Study: Assessment cont'd..
Better communication is the best outlying solution to this situation.
If these three had just talked it out from the beginning, this would not have even been a case study
It is never okay to dispute with coworkers or shun away conflict in hopes that it will just disappear
That is how bigger conflicts are created
Case Study: Discussion
For this study, we didn't base our outcomes on theories and principles as much as we used different conflict styles and tactics to help us navigate through this problem
We wanted to move from competing and avoiding conflict management styles to the collaborating style
Case Study: Discussion cont'd..
Within the collaborating style, it puts emphasis on problem solving, qualifying support, and integration, which are all three very important in the work environment
The conflict grid shows us as that there is not only flexibility in the various styles in the workplace, but also in the real world.
Case Study: Conclusion
We didn't really apply any theories or principles to this case because we decided to use key terms and the conflict grid for our case study
The biggest thing we learned is that in anything that anyone does, communication will always be key
In one's work life or home life, everything revolves around communication, and the better one can communicate with the people around them, the smoother things are going to go
Case Study: Conclusion cont'd..
We all agree that if this situation were to happen to us, we would be ready to tackle it from the get go and not let it escalate in negative manner
Another important lesson we took from this is to not let what happens at work effect your life outside of work
We all feel that we will better be able to handle anxiety, stress, and tension dealing with these situations using the key terms we've previously mentioned
Verbal aggression is a touchy subject and it was nice to learn how to control and avoid it in the work place
We now better know how to identify causes of conflicts and effective ways to resolve such conflicts
Key Terms
- Giving up some goals to obtain something in return
Communication Competence
- The strenghts and weaknesses you possess in any conflict situation
Conflict Escalation
- Heightened tensions in conflict situations due to poor communication or misunderstandings
- A planned and structured process of communication in which two or more people with different goals exchange communication to produce a mutually desirable outcome
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