You are a group of top managers who have been charged with resolving an escalating conflict between

| September 10, 2016


1. Learning Application


You are a group of top managers who have been charged with resolving an escalating conflict between manufacturing and sales managers in a large company that manufactures office furniture. The company’s furniture can be customized to the needs of individual customers, and it is crucial that a sale provides manufacturing with accurate information about each customer’s specification requirements. Over the last few months, however, manufacturing has been complaining that sales provides this information too late for it to make the most efficient use of its resources, that sales is increasingly making errors in describing each customer’s special needs, and that sales demands unreasonably quick turnaround for its customers. For its part, sales is complaining about sloppy workmanship in the final product, which has led to an increased level of customer complaints, about increasing delays in delivery of furniture, and about manufacturing’ s unwillingness to respond flexibly to unexpected last-minute customer requests. Problems are increasing, and in the last meeting between senior manufacturing and sales managers harsh words were spoken during a bitter exchange of charges and countercharges.

1. Using the concepts learned in this chapter; analyze the nature of the conflict between manufacturing and sales. Try to identify the sources of conflict and ascertain how far the conflict has gone.

2. Devise a detailed action plan for resolving the conflict. Pay particular attention to the need to create a good conflict aftermath. In devising your plan, be sure to analyze (a) the obstacles to resolving the conflict, (b) the appropriate conflict management techniques to use, and (c) ways to design a new control and reward system to help eliminate such conflict in the future.

2. Discussion Question

Navy pilots use special terms to aid communication among themselves and with the crew of the aircraft carrier. A pilot who is told to “make it dirty” is being instructed to lower the wheels and the flaps of his or her aircraft before landing. “Call the ball” is another part of this special language that tells the pilot to line up the aircraft using a series of lights called the ball. The carrier crew will also tell the pilot “bolter, bolter, bolter” if a hook on the aircraft fails to catch any of the wires on the carrier deck designed to stop the plane. In this way, the pilot knows to accelerate, climb, and come back and try again. Answer these questions.

What is another term for specialized language or terminology?
Why is it used?
Does it help or hurt communication?
Would it be beneficial if individuals in your respective organizations used terms such as “make it dirty”, “call the ball,” or “bolter” when speaking? Why or why not?
What are some specialized languages used in your respective organization?
3. In The News

Read the daily paper or recent publication of a current events magazine, find an article of interest to you that can be applied to the principles and theories related to Communication Flows and Information Technology in Organizational Behavior.

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