MGT 420 Module #3 Case & SLP

Module 3 – Case

Power and Conflict

Case Assignment

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 Beauchamp’s managing director and other top leaders remaining in their positions and continuing their solid work. However, Nick’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 Beauchamp’s managing director Julian Mansfield due to Synergon’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:

  1. Do you think this conflict that Nick Cunningham faces is functional or dysfunctional? Explain your reasoning, and cite Sims (2002) or Luthans et al. (2015) in your answer.
  2. What is the source of this conflict? Use the terminology from the Pearson tutorial, Sims (2002), or Luthans et al. (2015) in your answer. For example, is this conflict a result of relationship/interpersonal issues? Or from tasks/roles? Other?
  3. Of the five styles of conflict management discussed in Shearouse (2011), which one do you think would be the best approach for Nick Cunningham to take?
  4. What other advice would you give Nick Cunningham based on the concepts discussed in Sims (2002) or Luthans et al. (2015)?

Assignment Expectations

  • Follow the assignment instructions closely and follow all steps listed in the instructions.
  • Stay focused on the precise assignment questions, don’t go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background materials.
  • Make sure to cite readings from the background materials page. Rely primarily on the required background readings as your sources of information.
  • Include both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper, including pages 13 and 14 on in-text citations.

Module 3 – SLP

Power and Conflict

For the Module 3 SLP you will be applying the concepts you learned in the background materials regarding conflict and negotiation to a situation from your own personal experiences. Carefully review the background materials regarding types of conflict, causes of conflict, negotiation stages, and conflict management styles. It is important to first understand these comments from the background readings before starting this assignment.

Once you have thoroughly reviewed the background materials, think of a situation in the workplace where a conflict erupted and management had to intervene and some type of negotiation was involved. Then write a three page paper addressing the following four questions, and make sure to cite at least one of the required background readings for each of your four answers :

  1. Was this conflict functional or dysfunctional?
  2. What was the cause of the conflict? Use the terms from the background materials in your answer—for example, was the conflict a result of interpersonal issues, a specific task involved, due to inter-organizational issues, etc.
  3. Of the five approaches to conflict management outlined in Shearouse (2011), which approach most closely describes the approach used by management to resolve this conflict?
  4. Did the negotiations involve integrative or distributive bargaining? What stages of negotiation did management go through, and did these stages match the four stages discussed in Sims (2002) or the five stages discussed in the Pearson interactive tutorial?

SLP Assignment Expectations

  • Follow the assignment instructions closely and follow all steps listed in the instructions.
  • Stay focused on the precise assignment questions, don’t go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background materials.
  • Make sure to cite readings from the background materials page. Rely primarily on the required background readings as your sources of information.
  • Include both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper, including pages 13 and 14 on in-text citations.

Required Material

Conflict and negotiation. (2014). Pearson Learning Solutions. New York, NY.

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 don’t have to read the whole chapter, just the second part on organizational conflict]

Sims, R. (2002). Chapter 10 Conflict and negotiation at work. Managing Organizational Behavior. Greenwood Press Westport, CT [eBook Academic Collection]

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]







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