Derailment and Conflict in an Organization

Executive Summary From the case of Thomas Green we found that there are some serious problems within the organization. The 2 main issues that we thought it was important for us to discuss are derailment of Thomas Green and also the conflicts with regards to the difference in personalities and power struggles within Dynamic Display. We found that the problem stemmed from Green himself for his inability to adapt to his new role and also the way McDonald had handle the promotion. These 2 issues generated conflicts between Davis and Green and also drove the conflicts from being C-type into A-type.

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In our conclusion we believe that there are several ways to help stop Green from derailment and also resolve the conflicts that are present in the case. We would list out the actions that should be implemented to resolve the problems to prevent similar situations from happening again. The solutions include training, mentorship and also driving the conflicts back to being C-type by focusing on the company’s objectives rather than personal issues. The 2 problems we have identified are derailment and conflict. Green’s Derailment: Derailment is a common problem in an organization.

A capable employee is promoted to new roles without enough training and improper understanding of the new functions and demands; often the impact of the derailment is detrimental to organizations. In Green’s position, he was supposed to identify trends, evaluate new business opportunities, establish sales goals and then develop general market and specific client strategies. When he failed to accomplish his new tasks, it had a negative impacted on the diversification and the growth of Dynamic Display. There were numerous reasons contributing to the derailment of Green but an incomplete HR system was the key factor for the failure.

During Green’s promotion process, the sole decision maker was McDonald, whom knew that Green might not have the right skills for the post, but still, because of her friendship with Green, she still took the risk to promote him. The mismatch of Green and the competence required in his new roles generated conflicts between Green and Davis. Green was overconfidence and over reliance in his expertise, which was being a sells. This caused him to focus all his time and efforts mainly in the airline industry, that he previously had good results, and lost sight f the fact that the hotel and car rental industry is “virtually untapped”. By unable to adapt to his new boss’s expectations and work cultures, he was not able to fully realize the demand of his new role of being a supervisor. Due to the social connection with McDonald, he was overdependence on a single advocate and mentor. As a result of derailment, distrust between management and subordinates was created and it leaded to a political and power struggle that prevented Green to act as a team member of the department.

In an environment which the management distrust its subordinates and vice versa, it is difficult to foster growth for both parties as well as for the company. The incomplete HR system for evaluating performance did not help to provide a clear team and organizational vision to its employee, thus creating this lose-lose situation that has no benefit to any party. Conflict: Green, Davis and McDonald 1. Green believed Davis’ budget was too optimistic 2. Difference in roles definition and working style between Davis and Green 3. Conflict in the value of information and work processes . Power struggle between McDonald and Davis on choosing the person to fill in the Senior Market Specialist position Initially the conflict started as a C-type conflict over work styles and values between Green and Davis. For example Green believed in selling ideas and strategies to clients, making conversations to market specialists and persuading clients through emotional attachment, while Davis preferred detailed documentation such as data and supporting information. There were also C-type conflicts over work processes such as Green’s failure to update Davis on his work.

Subsequently C-type conflict turned to A-type that involved personal tensions, such as Green suspected that the negative comments directed to him from Davis was solely because of how he questioned Davis’s budget. The consequence of the conflict was to alienate Green from Davis and his group by seeking other managers to agree with him. Thus, he fell to the “confirming evidence” trap and could not objectively assess Davis’s criticisms. Due to this conflict, Green was demotivated and lost his enthusiasm for work.

Recommendations: Derailment and Conflict 1. Implement HR systems that will in the future give managers standardized methods to evaluate a candidate for whichever role that they will hire for. 2. Make it mandatory for new managers to go through training and familiarization process in order for them to clearly understand their new role and responsibilities. 3. Drive A-type conflicts back to C-type between Davis and Green, since the problem stemmed from McDonald not transparent to the hiring of Green; and Davis not transparent to his budget forecast.

A 3 party meeting in an open discussion led by McDonald can be arranged, with a clear agenda that Davis should use rational persuasion to explain to Green the bases of 10% growth forecast (expanding market share through hotel and car rental sector), and solicit directions that Davis wants to lead his team. Such a transparent meeting would enhance coming year’s forecast and C-type conflict, which should motivate Green to conform with the plan. 4.

Have a mentorship program using consultation influence tactics that a more experienced Senior Market Specialists shows to any new specialist on norm expectations and responsibility embedded in the post. 5. At the final stage, McDonald should exert more influence by stating company’s goals and strategies and thus arouse the enthusiasm for value for the company (inspirational appeal) and also remind both parties of friendship and loyalty to company (personal appeal) so as to motivate agreement.

She can also give more guidance on her expectations on market (rational persuasion) to avoid further conflict. 6. If all else fails, Green should be given an option to return to his original post, but the risk is Green may be further demotivated. An alternative is creating a post leveraging Green’s strength as a sales with a promise to train him as a future specialist.

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