Strategy and Planning Sample Assignment

Question

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Identify and research one company that demonstrates a unique demographic factor. For each demographic factor selected:

  1. identify the effect each factor has on management planning
  2. research best practices on dealing with organizational conflict for each factor and
  3. state how the organization has motivated and rewarded groups for each demographic factor.

Answer

Conflict Management

Conflict refers to the arising of resistance or friction or discord among the members of the group upon the actions or beliefs or decisions of the other members. A conflict generally arises in an organization between employees or managers upon the disagreement on the business decisions. These conflicts result in the mismanagement of the business.

Types of conflicts that take place in an organization are:

  1. Sensitivity: every person has a different sensitivity and emotional level to different types of situations. Sometimes a person reacts in a resisting way to a certain matter due to his sensitivity or the emotional connect with the matter. Thus the understanding of the different types of people with varying emotions is necessary while implementing any change in the organization.
  2. Differing Values: In an organization, people come from diverse backgrounds. Every person has different values, cultures, ethnic beliefs and practices. Thus it gets difficult to maintain harmony in the business if the diverse group is not handled efficiently. They can cause an imbalance in the working of the organization.
  3. Differing Personalities: Different people have different personalities varying in their background, their living style, taste, preferences. They demand different products and have different perceptions. The clashing of different ideas can be a serious problem in the working of the organization and the company’s workplace becomes harsh to the changes.
  4. Misunderstandings: There can be a misunderstanding between the people working together in a group on certain issues. This will create a mess at the work and might result in violence.
  5. Unfulfilled Expectations: When the company fails to meet the expectations of the employees in regard to compensation, rewards, working environment etc. and hence there is no alignment of the personal goals of the employees with the organizational goals; this can result in the resistance from the employees and they can even go on protests.
  6. Role Ambiguity: When the employees are not clear about their roles in the organization and the duties assigned overlap each other; this might result in the conflicts and hence might instigate fights.

Effects of Conflicts:

Negative Effects:

  1. The decrease in Productivity: Due to resistance among the employees, the employees do not work to their full potential. Conflict gives a huge blow to their morale and their productivity level declines which in turn reduces the overall production of the company.
  2. Employee Turnover: Employees do not like working in an organization which faces conflict or is not ready to address the goals or needs of the employees. Hence they tend to move out of the organization to seek employment somewhere else. This results in high employee turnover from the company and the company lose its skilled workforce.
  3. Customer Loss I.e. Decrease in Sales: Due to a decrease in productivity the firm becomes unable to meet the production goals on time and hence the customer orders fail. This results in the temporary or permanent loss of the consumer which results in the decline of sales.
  4. Violence at the workplace: The conflicts at the workplace might provoke the employees to an extent where they lose their control and engage in arguments or even start to fight. This can harm the working place environment.
  5. The threat to Group Survival: Sometimes the conflicts may hinder the group goals and the difference may persist among the individuals. This will create a rift between the members and thus the group survival will be endangered.

Positive Effects:

  1. Increase in Cohesion: The conflict brings together the people of differentiated opinions. The conflicts give the employees a chance to unite together and take advantage of the opportunity. It brings commitment and loyalty among the employees.
  2. Leadership: The organizational conflict generally gives a rise to the leadership in the business that comes up to solve the problem in the business and take the charge. The leaders are made of tough situations.
  3. Increase Productivity: Once the conflict is managed efficiently in the business, it gives rise to the motivation among the employees and as a result, it increases their productivity. They become more efficient and committed towards their work leading to enhancement in the total productivity.
  4. Inspire Creativity: Conflict Management generally requires creative solutions to the problems so that all the parties in the conflict can be benefitted. Thus it requires a certain level of creativity in the business.

How to overcome Organizational Conflict:

  1. Root Cause: To overcome Organizational conflict the foremost requirement is to adjudge the problem and the root cause for its occurrence. The identification of the problem and its root cause solves half of the problem.
  2. Resolution Participation: All the parties to the conflict should actively participate in the resolution participation i.e. negotiating the terms to arrive at a mutual decision. The active participation will help in bringing harmony into the business.
  3. Consideration of emotions of people: While taking decisions it must be taken care of that the emotions of the people are not hurt. Proper considerations should be given to people on the basis of their ethnicity, their backgrounds and their sensitivity to different situations.
  4. Adoption of effective communication: Generally, conflict management arises due to lack of the communication. The communication gap fosters the conflict management in the business all the more as the parties to the conflict are not able to communicate their grievances to each other. Thus an effective communication will help in overcoming the resistance in the business.

Case Study: Disney-Pixar and Miramax Films Conflict

Disney, Pixar and Miramax Films were in partnership for the film production business. Disney’s then CEO Michael Eisner had an abrasive and a stubborn personality. He had quite many public feuds with the Pixar and Miramax Film’s CEO, Steve Jobs. He criticized Steve Jobs publically. Hence the rivalry began and Steve Jobs threatened not to renew the agreement if Eisner continued to be the CEO. This resulted in the arising from the conflict between Eisner and higher authority. As a result, he was replaced by Robert Iger who had a much better approach to the conflict and calmly handled the negotiation and helped to retain the partnership thus allowing Disney to continue its expansion and achievement of the view.

Positive effects derived from the Conflict:

  1. The emergence of Leader: Disney got a new leader Robert Iger which led the company to new heights.
  2. Win-Win Resolution: The Company was finally able to arrive at a mutual decision where no party to the conflict was harmed. All the parties got benefitted.

Negative effects derived from the conflict:

  1. The decrease in the productivity: Michael Eisner’s decision led the company to a downfall and its productivity decreased and the customers were not happy with the services.
  2. Public Reputation: Michael Eisner’s behavior made the company look bad in the public. Hence Disney lost its public reputation and suffered a huge blow.

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