Introduction to Conflict Resolution essay

ZK Printers is a small company in Philadelphia P. A that manufactures color ink jet printers for small business market. Jeffrey Sampson the founder of ZK is also the CEO of the company. The company employs about 85 people. 55% of these are shop floor attendants while 45% are office staff and sales people. The company has been supplying printers and maintenance services to a number of firms in Philadelphia for the last 5 years. in the same period the company has grown in leaps and bounds driving Jeffrey to hire Susan to manage the accounts of these firms.

She has done a superb job in the 3 years she’s been working here but lately the work has been overwhelming. Part II The Conflict Conflict occurs when two parties have incompatible ideas opinions or values (Aureli, F. & Frans B. M. de Waal. 2000) Philip is working under Susan’s supervision. Philip is a 26 year old graduate. He holds degree in marketing management and is a confident and poised individual. Within the second month Philip delivered a resignation letter to Jeffrey and explains that he did not wish to continue working.

After a bit of probing it became apparent that there was an ensuing conflict between him and Susan. Jeffrey scheduled a meeting with both of them. During the meeting Philip reported he felt that Susan had never been supportive and yet everytime a client had any complaint she always picked on him without ever providing any solution. Philip felt that this was unfair since he was still new in the job and was still learning. Susan on her part felt that Philip was not learning fast enough and since there was a lot of work, she did not have time to keep on telling him what to do.

Part III I choose Philip’s side. How it was managed The underlying sources of the conflict were substantive. Susan and Philip disagreed on a work related issue. Philip felt Susan should have been more supportive since he was new in the job and Susan felt Philip was taking too long to learn since there was too much work to be done. This brought frustration to both of them. The nature of the conflict however changed with Philip taking it personally and that was why he had decided to resign. Negative Effects The conflict had adverse consequences.

At one time Philip felt he could not seek Susan’s input in any decision he made, this increased his chances of making poor decisions, thus increasing the client’s complaints. Instead of having a relief due to the extra hand that Philip provided, Susan continued to be overburdened feeling that Philip was not good enough for the job. Their feelings reduced their effectiveness. Had it not been for the intervention of the CEO, there would have been loss of a good employee that Philip has proved to be since that time.

Besides, for the time that the conflict had ensued, Philip was not motivated to do his best and that culminated to his writing the resignation letter. Additionally the conflict wasted the Manager’s, Philip’s and Susan’s time. The management approach The one-man management of Jeffrey Sampson employed a bilateral approach where he summoned both parties involved and had them air their grievances and later come up with a solution. The solution saw Philip moved from account management to the marketing and sales department.

Jeffrey then moved one employee from the marketing and sales to take Philip’s position. Jeffrey Sampson considered this choice because he understood that any unilateral approach would not bear the best results. He knew he did not want to seem to favour one side over the other and as well he did not want to lose either of the parties in the conflict. That is why the bilateral approach was chosen. Part V As the principle representative of Philip’s side, my first step would have been to initiate dialogue between the two. I would have sought to point out that the issue was not personal.

I would also have sought to establish that the parties understood the common goal here. There are mutual benefits to be gained if only the two parties could work together in collaboration. Having done the groundwork I would have chosen to utilize the bilateral approach especially the collaborative approach. The consideration is that Philip and Susan would not be seeking to maximize personal benefits but reap from a cordial working relationship. I would seek to ensure that relations are retained between the two since this is the only way that conflicts can be of benefit.

My decision would have been that the two continue working together, bring each one of them to see their responsibility in the conflict and what they could have done better. For Susan she ought to have taken more time to properly orient Philip on the job as well as being there when Philip needs to make a sensitive decision. Philip has a responsibility of respecting Susan and going to her to seek help because she was more experienced. I would have ensured that they learn to work together in a good way.

Reference: Aureli, F. and Frans B. M. de Waal. 2000. Natural Conflict Resolution. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.