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Problem of the Team Working Process Malfunction

Problems

One of the problems presented in the case study is the malfunction of teamworking process that was working accurately back in the day. The problem did not come out of the blue, though, but the reasons are unclear. In perspective, the tensions among workers may lead to decreased performance. It is also important to mention here that interpersonal relations of the parties involved in the conflict may indirectly influence those individuals who have nothing to do with it. Another problem is reduced performance of one of the employees who was showcasing a stable output before that. Here, the reasons are also unclear, but one of the predictable outcomes is burnout. Obviously, this employee will not be able to maintain the level of prior performance due to the fact that he is (most probably) concerned with another issue that has nothing to do with the job.

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Causes of Conflicts

When it comes to the conflict between the workers who were seen as friends before, there may be several potential explanations. The first is merely envy that can be supported by the promotion or a salary increase of one of the parties. Nonetheless, this scenario is very unlikely. The second explanation may be the growing level of anxiousness and tiredness that can ultimately lead to burnout. Therefore, these employees are exposed to a stressful situation, but they are not sure how to deal with it. This is why they ultimately let their emotions out through a physical fight. When we speak of the individual who leaves work late and arrives early, the only explanation that comes to mind is the presence of certain personal problems that have to be addressed at a higher level. One of the indirect reasons why the person’s performance dropped is the decline in interpersonal relationships of his colleagues.

How Could the Conflicts Have Been Avoided?

In case of the issue with the physical fight at the bar, one of the ways to mitigate the conflict would be to have these employees discuss their issues with a counsellor. First of all, this will be useful in terms of analysing the situation and pointing out the key events that led to the decline in the relationships of these employees. Second, it will be necessary to introduce a different type of reward. The manager should have discussed the issues that transpired within the working environment at the same time when the first indicators of conflict appeared. The same applies to the situation in which Bob is involved. If the managers found the time to address Bob’s anxiousness and late-night stays, they would be able to predict the outcomes of this personal conflict or at least come up with a short-term strategy to reduce the level of stress and get Bob’s performance level back at the top level.

Solution

Time Management

In terms of time management, the supervisor will have to observe the actors that are involved in the conflict and make notes if necessary. This is rather important for the solution because it will help the manager to identify any trends that are inherent in the conflict or at least recognise the direction in which the conflict is going 1. When the underlying causes of the reviewed conflicts are identified, it will be necessary to schedule several follow-up sessions intended to mitigate the remaining anxieties and negotiate 2. The ultimate solution will have to be beneficial to everyone, not just one of the parties.

Stress Management

Not surprisingly, stress management can also be a helpful asset when finding a solution to the conflicts described above. The manager will have to help the parties involved in the conflict by ensuring that they remain relaxed throughout the whole time they spend time around each other. Even in tense situations, these individuals will have to stay focused because it is one of the core objectives of stress management in conflict resolution 3. The problem here consists in the fact that the parties will become emotionally overwhelmed if they do not learn to be in control of the situation. Nonetheless, it is critical to remember that everyone reacts differently to the same sensory catalysts, so the manager has to make an informed decision when applying a stress management approach to conflict resolution.

Business Etiquette

While being a professional mitigator, the manager will have to address the issue of conflicts courteously and all-inclusively. All the decisions that are made by the manager (at any given level) should comply with the organisational code of conduct and ethical principles of all parties involved in the conflict. For instance, it may be reasonable to help Sam and John by conducting a survey so as to find out more about their outlooks and then have a discussion with both of them at the same time within a friendly environment 4. In Bob’s case, the manager will have to be watchful so as not to trigger depression symptoms.

Reference List

Roche, W., Teague, P., and A. Colvin, The Oxford Handbook of Managing Conflict in Organizations, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013.

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Footnotes

1 W. Roche, P. Teague, and A. Colvin, The Oxford Handbook of Managing Conflict in Organizations, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013, p. 29.

2 Ibid., p. 43.

3 Ibid., p. 48.

4 Ibid., p. 61.

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