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principle of managemen

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Read the following case study: Conflicting Views and submit your answers to the questions at the end of the case study.

“You’re from the old school,” said Rita. “A little change never hurt anyone. You know the old saying that the only thing certain is change itself.”
“Well,” countered Gayla, “I believe that changes should be kept to a minimum and that conflict should be eliminated entirely. I don’t want to go through another month like this last one. Don’t you remember how so-called good friends were fighting with each other over such silly things as wastebaskets and the color of desk blotters?”

Rita and Gayla were discussing the recent move from their rented quarters to the company’s newly constructed regional office. Personnel and sections from three rented facilities were now in the process of taking over the new facility. Rita’s group of sixteen people was the first to arrive and had its choice of spaces. Gayla’s group was the last to arrive; its members found themselves on the third floor, overlooking the parking lot, and occupying offices everyone else had rejected.

When Rita’s people arrived, they were asked to visit the stockrooms in the basement to select their desks, file cabinets, desk sets, and other accessories by marking the tags on each item with their names and sections. After Rita placed her people in their offices, she asked each of her subordinates to stake out a specific area or cubicle. Once each person had chosen a spot, Rita requested that the items chosen from the stock be delivered and set up.

Things were a little different for Gayla and her group, however. When they arrived at the end of last month, there were just enough chairs, desks, desk sets, and so forth to equip each person’s workstation. The stations were already set up on the third floor, in the rear quarter of the building. Exposures were north and east. The northern view was of the parking lot and the rear of a wholesale warehouse. The eastern view was of a busy interstate highway that ran parallel to the building about 100 feet away.

Needless to say, Gayla’s people were complaining and moaning from the first day. The northeast corner of the top floor would mean cold winters, and the views were about as depressing as one could imagine. When Gayla’s people found out that the others who had come ahead of them had been able to choose their own office furnishings, they really got upset. Gayla was having a very tough time trying to get her people to settle in and get productive. It did no good to explain to them that they were last because their lease had been the last to run out. Everyone suspected that higher-ups had it in for Gayla and that they were paying the price with lousy facilities. When reminded by other workers that their previous rented facilities had been considered better than anyone else’s, Gayla’s group members became somewhat defensive.

Over the last two weeks, Gayla was told by Rita and two other supervisors that her people were trying to swap wastebaskets and blotters with others in the building. In one instance, one of Gayla’s people tore up a blotter and kicked a large dent in the wastebasket that belonged to a person who would not swap with her. What had been intended as good-natured kidding was being taken by the third-floor group as insulting remarks and conduct. Gayla sensed things were getting out of hand.


1. Which opening viewpoint do you support—Gayla’s or Rita’s? Why?

2. What philosophy toward conflict does each manager exhibit?

3. What are the causes of conflict in this situation?

4. What do you think of the way in which the company handled its moves and consolidation? How did this contribute to conflict?

5. What recommendations would you make to resolve or reduce the level of conflict?

  • principle of managemen -

    We do not see YOUR response. We HELP when you DO what you can DO and you need to give us direction as to how we may help you.

    (Or, in other words: No effort on your part, means no effort on ours.)


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