There are various obstacles that the manager of a multi-national project has to occasionally deal with. In this specific case, the problem relates to the inefficient communication process. Despite advanced English language skills, the members of the project team cannot develop an effective way of exchanging information due to different schedules depending on their location. Although there is a communication plan, co-workers still use email only, which obstructs the effectiveness of the workflow. Hence, it is necessary to choose and employ certain measures, which improve the situation and will not be considered excessive.
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Several conflict management styles are known and widely used. These are confrontation, compromise, smoothing, forcing, withdrawal, and collaborating (Schwalbe, 2015, p. 248). It is clear that each case requires an individual approach. There is not a universal method of solving problems. Therefore, a thorough analysis should be conducted in order to find the optimal way. The model made up of modes for dealing with conflicts described by Schwalbe (2015) illustrates different approaches to solving interface problems. According to this model, smoothing, also known as an accommodating mode, is appropriate to avoid disagreements and focus on common ground. Withdrawing should be employed when the issue is trivial. In such cases cooperating is placed in the background, and neither assistance nor prevention occurs. Collaborating works well for complicated situations. When both parties of the conflict share common goals, they work together to achieve satisfying outcomes. Forcing implies working on your own, and unwillingness to cooperate. Hence, each member tries to implement individual intentions, which might turn into a competition. Compromising is applied to find a third solution, that partly satisfies both sides. Confrontation helps to work together despite disagreements. According to Harms (2017), confrontation also leads to motivating and challenging each other, which eventually brings positive results.
The presented case has specific features, that require applying collaborating and confrontation methods. There is no question that the complexity and scale of the problem are obvious reasons to use the mentioned methods. The remaining ways are not going to be successful. Issues like this demand intense cooperation, which engages each element of the complex system. In order to do that it is necessary to design a schedule with the opportunity for the personnel to choose the most comfortable shifts. However, those members who have to work at an inconvenient time should be provided with additional benefits.
The next step is the obligation of the communication plan. All personnel should undergo a specially developed training program, which includes a detailed explanation of the working principles and sufficient time to practice. After completing this program, they have to be obligated to communicate under the new system. In addition, it is very important to establish a scheme based on penalties and bonuses, which should stimulate the company members to use the communication plan as a prominent instrument designed to facilitate the workflow.
The assessment of the effectiveness of this innovation is a crucial point, which should not be neglected. There are some simple indicators that demonstrate the efficiency of the working process. Statistics showing the productivity, the response rate, the penalty rate and other indicators should be carefully and constantly monitored. After being examined, the collected data will clearly illustrate the necessity of applied measures and will help to direct further development of the company.
Harms, J. D. (2017). Exploring the connection between interpersonal needs and conflict resolution styles. Culminating Projects in Psychology. 9.
Schwalbe, K. (2015). An introduction to project management (5th ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Schwalbe Publishing.
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