Conflict Identification and Resolution

The communication between two or more people can hardly exist without any conflicts and misunderstandings. This can be caused by the individual characteristics as well as by a great number of the outer influences and circumstances. In case of the conflicts appear at the workplace, the accompanying managerial solutions are crucial. While the minor conflicts can be solved on the individual level, the more serious ones need to be identified and solved in time in order to reduce their negative impact on the atmosphere of the entire organization. While the discrepancy in human ideas, ideals, education, mentality and beliefs shapes their behaviors, the role of the managers of all levels and in any organization is to ensure the communication on all levels and effective solvation of the possible conflicts through the dialogues. The current paper is aimed to analyze the conflict between McDonald’s workers and emphasize communication as the basic way to ensure the proper emotional atmosphere at work and team building as the way to influence the relations between the employees and tackle the appearing conflicts effectively.

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The modern society is quite complex and culturally diverse. Hence, bringing people of the diverse backgrounds together is often quite difficult. In fact, in many cases, the unmet expectations or biases cause a number of misunderstandings. Therefore, team environment needs to be created and constantly supported. Failure to do so leads to the workplace bullying, the depressions or sick leaves of the workers, unfriendly attitude towards customers or many other undesirable issues that cause problems not only in a team, but undesirable consequences for the entire company such as the ineffective work and bad reputation of the company. A good example of the negative consequences of the conflicts is the misunderstanding on the workplace in McDonald’s. While the workers are mostly of young age, they commonly are of different ethnic background and education. However, the conflict of interest that deserves attention occurred between the two females of 21-year old because of the refusal of one of them to help and relieve the co-worker for one day.

In particular, the worker A had to leave for a weekend with a boyfriend, but failed to do that because co-worker B refused to help. At the same time, the previous experiences showed that the worker A was always eager to help. However, when she asked for a favor, the co-worker did not help her. As a result, the worker A has set some other team members against the worker B, which led the atmosphere in the team quite unfavorable. The manager has noticed the conflict after a long period of time and with regard to the complaints of the majority has analyzed the situation, the worker’s work and finally put the question of firing on general discussion. The workers became divided into two groups: those, who defended the worker B and those, who supported her. Due to this event, the harmonious relations between the personnel members were violated. However, the manager has put efforts to make the two sides negotiate and discuss the problem. The first step was making the worker A and B explain their positions. Further, the ideas of the entire group were considered. Finally, the atmosphere was fixed and based on the beliefs of the team, the manager has set the rules about relieving the co-workers. In particular, the values of the employees were considered in order to ensure basic mutual understanding in the team. Consequently, the conflict was effectively solved.

According to Muscalu, the major sources of the conflicts in the organization can be resource crisis, moods of people, hostility, cognitive states, and behavioral states. Therefore, the sources of the above-mentioned conflict included misunderstanding of each other’s values, the inspiration of one worker and depressed mood of the second one and resource crisis characterize by inability of the worker A to ask another co-worker to help due to some peculiarities in schedules. The conflict of the individual interests has appeared as far as one person considered the free weekend as a crucial event and another worker neglected the needs of the other one and viewed the event as something less important than just having rest at the weekend. Hence, it is also important to remember about the dualism of the human nature, which means the simultaneous desire to be a part of a team, but still remain more focused on the personal interest in this case. Moreover, the difference in nature of two co-workers, one of which was eager to help each time and the second – more selfish has also contributed to the conflict. Finally, insufficient regulation of the relations and lack of the proper communication in the organization has caused the conflict extension. As a result, the interpersonal horizontal conflict has grown into the intergroup one remaining not highly intense and not always directly expressed, but growing into the chronic one. According to Weingart et al., the conflict can be defined as low-direct and leaving room for the necessity to clarify the deeper underlying reasons for the negative reactions. Moreover, it can be viewed as ambiguous due to the fact that the behavior of the two parties was primarily justified by different values.

With regard to the steps of the conflict resolution that were applied by the manager, one can see that the consequence was quite logical even though a bit delayed. Baack defined that the role of the manager as a mediator is crucial and the current example supports this idea. At first, the identification of the parties involved took place. Secondly, the issues that caused the conflict were identifies (difference in values and lack of desire to understand the needs of the co-worker). Thirdly, the position of the parties was identified in dialogue and using the observation of the other team members. After that, the bargaining zone was found through negotiations. Finally, the decision was made and the policies aimed at the workers unification were found.

The conflict outcomes are mostly positive. In this case, the conflict has triggered innovation for the managerial view of the team unification; it has increased the internal cohesion and brought the hidden agendas related to the diverse values of the workers to the surface. The lack of the unified approach to the conflict management is a common reason for the chronic conflicts appearance. Therefore, the task of the manager is to choose the unified and effective approach that would organize the workers and make them consider the problems of one another. The possible conflicts should be the concern of the entire team. Therefore, it is necessary to make the manager aware of the problem in time. For instance, taking actions the same day the conflict has occurred would obviously exclude the further division of the  Anyway, it is the clash of the individuals due to the divergence of their desires and interests. Therefore, it could be another option for the manger to work on the methods that would ensure that the workers value the interests of one another. The corporate responsibility and teambuilding must crate the background for making people provide the common good for the team not just for personal interests. With implementation of the proper motivation of the employees to contribute to the welfare of one another could be created by using the peculiar bonuses for kindness, for instance of the most respected worker in the team. In such a way, the conflicts caused by the clash of values would decrease if people will become interested in the problems of one another.

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To sum it up, the conflict that was discussed above can be considered as a negative issue due to the temporary negative atmosphere in the team. However, it has also become the way to bring positive outcomes on all levels. In particular, the effective, even though a bit delayed mediation of the manager has contributed to the better understanding of the existing problems. Moreover, negotiation and communication has helped the worker to understand one another better. Finally, the same conflict and its resolution has contributed to implementation of the new policies that help to unify the team and make the work of the organization more effective.