Case study – hrm conflict and negotiation

CASESTUDY-ConflictandNegotiationHW.docx


CASE STUDY – STOP STEALING MY STAFF

George and Ralph Tahashi are brothers that manage two different departments for the family business named Tahashi Technologies. Ralph is the newly appointed head of Technological development and is having transitional issues and conflict with his brother George. George is the manager of Product engineering. Ralph’s problem is that George is taking staff from his department and moving them into his own without prior approval rather than sourcing them from elsewhere. On the other hand, George feels that he is doing the right thing by taking staff from Ralph’s over staffed department.

Ralph does not agree that his department is overstaffed but believes they will have adequate work in the near future based on projections. He feels that George is interfering with his duties while George is sure that Ralph would do well with a leaner workforce.

The situation is compounded by the fact that most of the people who work under Ralph are asking to be transferred because they feel underutilized, mainly because there are many of them and there is little work to be done. Personnel in his unit are dissatisfied with being there out of boredom, insecurity and feel as if their talents are not being utilized or developed which is demotivating on the job. Furthermore there is the perception that an oversupply of workers exists which is anticipated may lead to staff cuts which is fueling the insecurity which is not being addressed by Ralph. These employee concerns are making it easier for George to ‘poach’ them and have them shift departments.

The brothers have very different personalities and it shows in how they conduct day-to-day business at work. George is very assertive and ambitious, with great interpersonal skills. He is very confident in his abilities as a manager and sees Ralph as being incompetent. Ralph on the other hand comes out as a reserved, private person, who does not work well with big teams of people and finds it difficult to relate to others. Rather than sit and talk about the differences between them and try to find solutions that can for both of them, the brothers directly confronted each other in front of their director. They exchanged accusations and countered accusations without offering any meaningful opinion on how they might come to an agreeable solution. It should be noted however that prior to this confrontation, Ralph had been buried deep in his work, and he did not seem perturbed or bothered by George’s poaching activities that had been going on for some time. It is clear however that they did affect him though he chose to ignore the effect.

John, a company Director, has to help resolve the conflict between the two managers after they bitterly confront each other in his presence. Apart from George and Ralph’s viewpoints the Director also has to consider the opinion of staff member Henry who was recently replaced by Ralph. Henry’s opinion about the conflict is important since he is the Lab manager who was recently replaced by Ralph. Henry had the same problems with George that Ralph is currently experiencing, but he was able to take care of them without directly confronting George.

QUESTIONS
:

a. Fully explain any THREE (3) issues from the case that are a source of conflict for the parties involved.
(9 marks)

b. Using examples, name and illustrate TWO (2) conflict management styles that are evident in the case and comment on the degree to which they were effective or not.
(8 marks)

c. Justify what would have been the best conflict management style that could have been used to deal with the problem between Ralph and George.
(3 marks)

d. Identify and explain any 2 (two) issues/problems negotiators face which could negatively affect a negotiation and how they can be overcome?
(6 marks)

e. Discuss two (2) effective listening skills that negotiators use in conflict resolution.
(4 marks)







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