For this Case study, we will be looking at a fictional case of a manager caught between a rock and hard place. Nick Cunningham is a manager at Synergon, a high-powered company involved in purchasing poorly managed companies and then restructuring them to become more profitable. However, Synergon has now purchased Beauchamp, Becker, and Company, which is a well-managed and highly profitable company.
Nick is in an awkward position because he is in charge of managing this merger, but he also knows that the success of the merger is dependent on Beauchampâ€™s managing director and other top leaders remaining in their positions and continuing their solid work. However, Nickâ€™s bosses are not known for taking a conciliatory approach towards companies they purchase and usually force major changes on any company that they acquire. Predictably, Nick is faced with a threat of retirement by Beauchampâ€™s managing director Julian Mansfield due to Synergonâ€™s strict policies and approach.
Before beginning the Case Assignment, make sure you have thoroughly reviewed the tutorial and textbook readings from the background materials. Pay special attention to readings on causes of conflict, types of conflict, and conflict management styles. For this assignment you will need to apply concepts from the background materials to this fictional case.
Once you have finished reviewing the background materials, take a look at this following article and think about how the concepts from the background materials apply to this fictional case:
Cliffe, S. (1999). Can This Merger Be Saved? Harvard Business Review, 77(1), 28-44. [EbscoHost]
Then write a 4- to 5-page paper addressing the following questions:
Do you think this conflict that Nick Cunningham faces is functional or dysfunctional? Explain your reasoning, and cite Bauer and Erdogan (2011) or Luthans et al. (2015) in your answer.
What is the source of this conflict? Use the terminology from Bauer and Erdogan (2011), or Luthans et al. (2015) in your answer. For example, is this conflict a result of relationship/interpersonal issues? Or from tasks/roles? Other?
Of the five styles of conflict management discussed in Shearhouse (2011) or Bauer and Erdogan (2011) which one do you think would be the best approach for Nick Cunningham to take?
What other advice would you give Nick Cunningham based on the concepts discussed in any of the background readings?
Start off with two short videos from Professor Debow of the University of California, Irvine that will give you an overview of the main principles of conflict and negotiation:
Liddle, David. ( Â© 2017). Managing conflict: a practical guide to resolution in the workplace. [Books24x7 version]
Guttman, Howard M.. ( Â© 2015). Managing conflict in high performance teams. [Video File]. [Books24x7 version]
Now dig deeper into this topic with the following two book chapters. The following two readings are especially important for the Case Assignment so go through these chapters carefully:
Luthans, F., Luthans, K. W., & Luthans, B. C. (2015). Chapter 9: Stress and conflict. Organizational behavior: An evidence-based approach. Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Publishing, pp. 258-264. [EBSCO. Note: you donâ€™t have to read the whole chapter, just the second part on organizational conflict]
Bauer, T., & Erdogan, B. (2012). Chapter 10: Conflict and negotiations. Organizational Behavior. Lardbucket.org
Shearouse, S. H. (2011). Chapter 5: How we respond: Approaches to conflict. Conflict 101: A manager’s guide to resolving problems so everyone can get back to work. New York: AMACOM. [eBook Business Collection]