Reference no: EM131139901
Scenario 1 Joe has been working a lot of hours lately. Not only does he need a break, but he also worries that his studies are suffering. Midterm exams are coming up, and Joe has a research paper due. There never seems to be enough time to study on the weekends, particularly since he works on Saturdays. And it is tiring to come home at night after a long day of work or after night classes. With June pregnant and working full time, Joe worries about not being at home to help with household duties. He feels he has not been as involved as he needs to be in looking after their daughter, Betsy. Adding to his frustrations, there have been problems at the customer service desk. Not only is he dealing with difficult employees like Tina Tumultuous, but the team leader position for the customer service desk is still vacant. At the same time that he is advertising to fill the position and conducting interviews, he is working two jobs—his own and the vacant position. Jim Talent has been after him to fill the position. Jim has also been talking to all the managers about improving customer service. The level of service has suffered in recent months, which translates into reduced revenues. Usually patient, Jim has been pushing lately to turn things around. He does not dictate the precise hours his assistant managers must work, but the expectation is that, for now, they will put in extra time. Although Jim has honored Joe’s need to leave work early on various days to attend class, Joe is sensing growing impatience. Now does not seem like the time to ask Jim for a reduction in work hours—say, from sixty-five hours to fifty—at least for the next month so he can catch up on studies and deal with his family situation. But he must nonetheless ask. Scenario 2 Joe and Kim Khan have worked out their differences—sort of (see Case in Chapter 9). While Kim no longer takes pot shots at Joe for his lack of experience, Kim and Joe have clearly different perspectives on how to perform their jobs, serve customers, and treat employees. Jim Talent continues to encourage Joe to work with Kim to address their relationship issues. This will be particularly important because Joe and Kim will need to present a united front in an upcoming negotiation they’ll be having with representatives from Do or Dye Tools (see Case in Chapter 12). Among the recent issues that have created concerns are the following: 1. Store policy regarding returns. The standard store policy is a 30-day “no questions asked” policy. After 30 days, store policy is generally to give store credit. Kim routinely promises customers who purchase tools full money-back guarantees, regardless of how much time has passed. Customers then refer to Kim’s representations when they come to the customer service desk that Joe manages, making claims for money back for tools returned beyond 30 days. Kim thinks that Joe and his team do not understand the need to work around company policy at times in the interest of “putting the customer first.” Joe and Kim must come to agreement on what “putting the customer first” and honoring store policy mean, and whether these two concepts are compatible or mutually exclusive. 2. Philosophical disagreement over “handshake” deals. Kim tends to make informal handshake deals with vendors. Kim did this with Do or Dye Tool’s former representative, Axel Rod, regarding the sale of its Super-Deluxe 15-90 Power-Matic Reversible Drill/Screwdriver set and accompanying package sets of drill bits and screwdriver heads (see Case in Chapter 12). This deal has angered Vic Vendor, Do or Dye’s current representative, and could result in Do or Dye severing its business relationship with More Power. Although Kim may have rational reasons for doing this, Joe believes that such actions reflect poor business practice. Before meeting with Do or Dye, Joe and Kim must agree on how they will represent More Power and the level of formality or informality that is appropriate when negotiating. 3. Treatment of employees. Kim’s actions create a “spillover” effect on Joe’s customer service desk team because they must manage the customer service issues that Kim’s actions generate. When Kim’s actions appear to run contrary to store service policy, some of Joe’s employees have attempted to address any misunderstandings with Kim directly. Kim’s response has been gruff, dismissive, and defensive. Kim makes clear that these actions will continue in the interest of serving customers without apology for the impacts on Joe’s team. Kim clearly has little tolerance for what appear to be arbitrary procedures that interfere with good customer service. Joe’s employees complain about Kim’s gruff manner and express concerns about being caught between a rock and a hard place: They will either get in trouble for running afoul of store policy by honoring Kim’s representations to customers or incur the wrath of Khan and customers by holding customers to store policy despite Kim’s representations to the contrary. Joe and Kim must come to agreement about how to work with Joe’s employees, how to avoid situations that put employees in this bind, and how to serve customers in a consistent manner. Question: 1. Define the major conflict issue. 2. Identify the conflict resolution components. 3. Remember: Often, the issues, emotions, and relationships are directly described in the case, whereas the source of the conflict is not. 4. If necessary, indicate how organizational factors affect the conflict resolution process.