Jan 12, 2018 in Research

HRM Competencies

Human resource management (HRM) is a field focused on dealing with human resources within the organization. Organizations must always be prepared to deal with any kinds of conflicts as they are inevitable occurrences which may affect collaboration and harmonious working among employees and departments. Notably, the human resource department is always charged with the responsibility of promoting harmonious working between different departments and employees in the entire organization. The conflict between Tania and John is serious and action needs to be taken urgently to ensure that there is proper flow of work at the National University Finance Division.

The head of the Finance Department must organize a meeting between the two individuals and ensure that the problem is solved fully and they two work together in the performance of the goals of the organization. The leader of the Finance Division must employ significant human resource management skills in trying to solve the conflict between Tania and John. Effective adherence to human resource skills and principles would help in finding a lasting solution to the conflict and the two would work with a high level of collaboration and harmony.

This paper explicates various matters relating to human resource management utilizing the conflict between John and Tania.

Discussion

The conflict at the National University Finance Division is an interpersonal conflict involving Tania and John. John is not happy with the promotion of Tania to a higher position and holds that the promotion was awarded to Tania because of the high level of favours that women get at the Finance Division. This conflict emanates from the fact that Tania acquired a promotion to a higher rank while John’s applications for a promotion have not been considered hence frustrating him.

Cox’s Interactional Model of Cultural Diversity (IMCD) plays a vital role in the assessment of this type of conflict.  (Brewster, et al. (2011, p. 26) confirms that the model asserts that people from different cultural backgrounds would have different views concerning different matters in the organization. Again, people from the majority group would have different views to those expressed by people from the minority group. In this case, John comes from the majority group of male and does not appreciate the fact that Tania’s promotion could have been due to her hard work and merit. He feels that the promotion emanated solely from the favour for women at the Finance Department. This is indicative of the differing views held by these individuals and is in line with the Interaction Model of Cultural Diversity that explains differences in opinions among individuals (Clark, et al. 2000). Therefore, the conflict between John and Tania is an interpersonal conflict emanating from differing views concerning the promotion of Tania.

John and Tania are the key players in the conflict. The conflict emerges from the promotion of Tania to a senior position at the Finance Division 5 years ago. John has tried making similar applications but has not been successful in landing the promotion hence leading him to make a conclusion that women are more favoured at the Finance Department. He does not appreciate the work of Tania anymore and tries to taint her image at any given opportunity.  John goes ahead to taint Tania’s work as ineffective and not helpful to the progress of the company. Notably, John is responsible for the collection of raw data that is used in the preparation of reports that the Finance Division requires for its progress and effective performance of different duties. On the other hand, Tania is charged with the responsibility of preparing reports that are utilized within the company for different purposes. Concerning the conflict, Tania is ready to make up with John as she tries talking to John with the attempts of finding a lasting resolution. John is reluctant to listen to Tania and most of their conversations end up in quarrels which frustrate Tania further. Several officers within the division are also significant players in the conflict. Their role has been trying to reach an amicable solution in the conflict and ensure that John and Tania live in harmony with each other. However, the informal meetings geared toward uniting John and Tania have failed because of John’s misunderstanding. These mediators have tried to apply the best efforts by organizing informal meetings which did not work out because of the continued animosity between John and Tania. Therefore, the key players in the conflict are John and Tania and the entire conflict originates from the promotion of Tania to a higher position and the continued rejection of John’s applications hence leading to the feeling that the Finance Division favours women.

One of the key issues in the conflict is gender. Significant issues relating to gender have been raised in the conflict representating the idea of gender animosity and ill feelings. This issue is captured in John’s perception that the Finance Division favours women and sidelines men when it comes to matters of promotions at the company. This is in line with the denial of a promotion even after many attempts to apply for a promotion at the Division. More so, gender issues can be identified from the overall conduct of John. He feels that Tania who is female cannot perform effectively in the preparation of reports.  Johnson (2009, p. 73) reiterates that gender animosities have played an enormous role in contributing to organizational conflicts. He feels that Tania only depends on the information already collected by other people and has no potential to prepare files that would be important for the progress of the company. The ill feelings between John and Tania bring to light the ill feelings between men and women as he asserts that the Finance Department favours women in terms of promotions at the company.

Another vital issue highlighted in the conflict is high emotions. High emotions can be seen from the entire conflict as both John and Tania get emotional in different instances. It is asserted that Tania is extremely frustrated by the conduct of John in tainting her name at the Division. The entire situation is so tough for Tania and she is not able to stay in peace and this also attracts the concern of her husband who is uncomfortable with the persistent frustrations she is undergoing. John also expresses emotions after the denial of a promotion after making several attempts to apply. With the high emotions, John goes ahead to assert that the Finance Division favours women in terms of promotions (Andrewartham & Carlopio 2012). He also holds that Tania’s reports are useless and she has no potential of preparing tangible reports that the organization can rely on. High emotions are also expressed when Tania tries to talk to John about ending their conflict. It is noted that all their arguments end up in arguments and continued misunderstanding between the two.

The collaborating approach and the accommodating approach would be the best strategies to employ in the management of this conflict. It is significant to note that these approaches are always aimed at full satisfaction of the interests of both parties, and entail transparent treatment of both parties to the conflict (Kumar 2010). In this case, the two significant parties to the conflict are John and Tania and the conflict seems to emerge from John’s ill feelings toward Tania who was promoted five years ago.  According to Martin (2008, p. 55),  the collaborating approach and the accommodating would be the most appropriate strategy to employ in the management of this conflict because they build trust and the aspect of cooperation between the parties involved hence amicable solution to the problem. These strategies would bring out both parties equally and there would be no pointing of fingers at any specific party as the course of the conflict (Lievens & Chapman 2009). This will attract immense soberness and focus by both parties as they feel that a fair solution would be found through a responsible approach. Both John and Tania would be more confident to present their positions relating to the conflict in cases where they are assured of fair treatment and high levels of transparency in the resolution of their conflict. This leads to the collection of more information.

More so, these approaches would be vital strategies to solving the standoff because they give each party an equal chance to present their side of the story.  Mathis & Jackson (2011, p. 78) agree that it is through these equal opportunities that trust and collaboration would be built between these two parties. In this case of this conflict, both the collaborative and accommodating approaches would ensure that both John and Tania are given an equal chance to state their positions and feelings concerning the entire matter. The position asserted by both John and Tania would facilitate a proper understanding of the conflict and the significant measures that can be adopted to ensure that the conflict is resolved in the most amicable manner possible. The information derived from the position expressed by each of the parties would help in faster resolution of the conflict.

These strategies are also relevant in the conflict because it would maintain harmonious relationships between John and Tania.  According to Palthe (2008, p. 7), openness in the process of conflict resolution would ensure that the truth about the origin of the conflict is understood and both parties to the conflict are assessed in line with the recommendations brought forward from the collected data. Again, there would be timely solution of the conflict and this would give the Finance Division a greater opportunity to continue with its operations in a normal manner. Timely completion of the standoff would ensure that normalcy returns at the Finance Division within the required time hence improving the level of operations (Andrewartham & Carlopio 2012).

It is worth noting that the accommodating approach and the collaborative approach of managing this conflict would adhere to a number of vital steps before reaching and amicable solution. First, there would be effective diagnosis of the background of the conflict between John and Tania.  Strandberg (2009, p. 15) asserts that it would be important for a diagnosis concerning the origin of the conflict to be made to assist in finding proper solutions that would satisfy both parties. Fairness should be maintained in the diagnostic phase. Second, there would be independent collection of data. Independent parties would be given the opportunity to collect data relating to the background of the conflict and any other issues surrounding the matter. Data should be adequate and should be fair in the sense that it involves both parties to the conflict (Svendsen 2011). This data would be an appropriate stepping-stone to understanding the cause of the conflict between John and Tania and it would offer an effective opportunity of trying to find a solution. Third, there would be implementation of these approaches. The implementation of the collaborating approach would entail taking a fair position in reaching a solution to the conflict. It would be significant to stay neutral and ensure that both Tania and John understand that the interests of the organization have to be put first.  Additionally, implementation would emphasize on the significance of harmony and cooperativeness in the performance of organizational duties. In the course of implementation of the accommodating strategy, both Tania and John should be given the opportunity to present their side of the story to ensure fairness and transparency (Andrewartham & Carlopio 2012). Last, an ultimate solution to the conflict would be reached. The solution reached must be asserted clearly and both Tania and John satisfied according to their interests. It would be significant for the solution to reflect a high sense of fairness and maturity for the development of the organization. Again, the solution must be stated in a clear manner to ensure that it holds forever in the attainment of harmonious working between Tania and John (Werner, et al. 2011). Thus, there will be achievement of the desired cooperation between Tania and John as an amicable solution would be found through these implementation procedures.

Conclusion

In conclusion, all contemporary organizations around the globe face different conflicts that have significant influence on their normal operations. It is vital for all the human resource managers within all organizations to identify any existing conflicts and put in place measures that would help in the resolution of such conflicts. Interpersonal conflicts such as the one between John and Tania are an example of the conflicts that organizations may be exposed to at different times. Personal differences between individuals lead to inefficiencies within organizations as such individuals do not appreciate the work performed by each other. For instance, John was not ready to appreciate the work performed by Tania as he reiterated that her reports are useless and could not benefit the organization. The accommodating and collaborative approaches would play an enormous role in helping solve the conflict existing between John and Tania. These strategies would begin by assuring both John and Tania that the entire process of conflict resolution would be as fair as possible and transparency would be observed to the end. The assurance of transparency would ensure that the relevant independent data is collected and utilized in the mediation process. A manager at the Finance Division would ensure that a lasting solution to the conflict between John and Tania is found and there would be an increased level of cooperation between the two as they work toward the achievement of the goals of the organization. Thus, organizations would be better places in cases where conflicts are identified in time and resolution strategies put in place at the correct time.

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