Discussion 2″Conflict Management Style

Discussion 2 “Conflict Management Style” Please respond to the following: •Use the Internet to locate and review this year’s Fortune 500 list. Select a company from the Fortune 500 list. Research the company’s business culture using the company’s Website or periodicals such as Fortune magazine or The Wall Street Journal. Be prepared to discuss. •Go to SlideShare’s Website, located at http://www.slideshare.net/lorievela/teamwork-conflict-management-survey, and take the “Conflict Management Style Survey” to determine your conflict management style. Be prepared to discuss. •When Allan Mulally, a former Boeing executive, was appointed CEO of Ford Motor Company, many wondered if an “airplane guy” could run a car company. Ford has reported record earnings since Mulally’s arrival and Fortune magazine named him Executive of the Year in 2010. Use the Internet to research Mulally’s actions at Ford that resulted in him being awarded this title. Be prepared to discuss. .. •From the second e-Activity, examine the results of the survey. Determine whether you agree or disagree. Support your position with an example. •From the third e-Activity, examine the actions that Mulally engaged in that resulted in Ford becoming a more successful company. Examine how these actions relate to functional and dysfunctional conflict scenarios in the related vignette in Chapter 10. ALAN MULALLY NEGOTIATES A NEW FUTURE FOR FORD When Alan Mulally, a former Boeing executive, was appointed CEO of Ford Motor Company, many wondered if an “airplane guy” could run a car company. William Ford Jr. said, “Alan was the right choice and it gets more right every day.” Ford has reported record earnings, and Fortune magazine named Mulally executive of the year in 2010. Not too long ago, however, the picture wasn’t so bright. With the bankruptcies of both Chrysler and General Motors, Ford was fighting for its life. But Mulally was determined to transform the company for the futur In addition to many changes to modernize plants and streamline operations, he tackled problems dealing with functional chimneys, a lack of open communication and hidden conflict among the various parts of Ford. William Ford says the firm had a culture that “loved to meet.” Managers would get together to discuss the message they wanted to communicate to the top executives: all agreement and no conflict, even as all went their separate ways. Mulally changed that with a focus on transparency, data-based decision making, and cooperation between divisions. When some of the senior executives balked and tried to complain to Ford, he refused to listen and reinforced Mulally’s authority to run the firm his way. When executives were reluctant to resolve conflicts among themselves, Mulally remained tough: “They can either work together or they can come see me.” He hasn’t shied away from the United Auto Workers Union either. He negotiated new agreements that brought labor costs down to be more competitive with foreign rivals. As one consultant noted: “The speed with which Mulally has transformed Ford into a more nimble and healthy operation has been one of the more impressive jobs I’ve seen…. without Mulally’s impact Ford might well have gone out of business.” What’s the Lesson Here? How comfortable are you with conflict? Can you tolerate heated discussions around you, and can you recognize the difference between productive and nonproductive conflict? Would you be able to stand firm when others disagree with you (e.g., try to protect the status quo) or would you question your judgment? Information and quotes from David Kiley, “Ford’s Savior?” BusinessWeek (March 16, 2009), pp. 31-34; and, Alex TaylorIII, “Fixing up Ford,” Fortune (May 14, 2009). Effective negotiation occurs when substance issues are resolved and working relationships are maintained or even improved. Three criteria for effective negotiation are: • Quality—The negotiation results in a “quality” agreement that is wise and satisfactory to all sides. • Harmony—The negotiation is “harmonious” and fosters rather than inhibits good interpersonal relations. • Efficiency—The negotiation is “efficient” and no more time consuming or costly than absolutely necessary. Ethical Aspects of Negotiation Managers and others involved in negotiations should strive for high ethical standards of conduct, but this goal can get sidetracked by an overemphasis on self-interests. The motivation to behave ethically in negotiations can be put to the test by each party’s desire to “get more” than the other from the negotiation and/or by a belief that there are insufficient resources to satisfy all parties.22 After the heat of negotiations dies down, the parties may try to rationalize or explain away questionable ethics as unavoidable, harmless, or justified. Such after-the-fact rationalizations can have long-run negative consequences, such as not being able to achieve one’s wishes again the next time. At the very least the unethical party may be the target of revenge tactics by those who were disadvantaged. Once some people have behaved unethically in one situation, furthermore, they may become entrapped by such behavior and more likely to display it again in the future.23 Organizational Settings for Negotiation Managers and team leaders should be prepared to participate in at least four major action settings for negotiations. In two-party negotiation the manager negotiates directly with one other person. In a group negotiation the manager is part of a team or group whose members are negotiating to arrive at a common decision. In an intergroup negotiation the manager is part of a group that is negotiating with another group to arrive at a decision regarding a problem or situation affecting both. And in a constituency negotiation each party represents a broader constituency—for example, representatives of management and labor negotiating a collective bargaining agreement.

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