People and Organisations

By Support

MGMT 20129 – People and Organisations Assessment 1 – Presentation 3











Case Study: Conflict at Company Q
Things are not going well at Company Q. For many years, the teams of sales consultants and
representatives that promote their range of insurance products have performed well, and business
seemed to be steadily improving. Sales representatives from all teams generally managed their
customer communication in a professional manner, and each team worked well with their managers,
who were largely left to their own devices when it came to managing the performance of their
respective teams.
Then, about 6 months ago, the supervising manager of the whole Sales division, Alex Hickson, left with
very little notice. Upper management quickly went through a recruitment process, and found an ideal
candidate in Sam Towerton. Sam even had better qualifications than Alex, so the upper management
team were confident that they would be able to maintain their forward momentum as a business.
However, a few months after Sam’s appointment, complaints started to come through from both
middle management and from the frontline employees. Apparently Sam was not comfortable with
giving the middle managers the same level of discretion that Alex had done. Sam had implemented an
overarching performance management system that was to apply to all employees, and all middle
managers were to implement this system equally. Employees were complaining that their time was
being taken up by additional paperwork and reporting measures, and middle managers were
complaining that they no longer felt like they had autonomy to do their job.
Upper management called Sam in to ask about the situation, and Sam’s response left them unsure
about what to do. Sam suggested that the whole Sales division was underperforming, despite the
steady increases over the last few years. In a very convincing presentation, Sam suggested that the
performance increases of the last few years could be doubled, or even tripled, if all teams were held
to the same high standards. At the moment, Sam insisted, there are too many teams who have
become lazy because their manager doesn’t push them hard enough. The upper management team
were convinced that Sam’s approach was a positive one, and decided not to take any further action.
However, a few months on, and the situation has only become worse. Performance is starting to
decline, and customers have been complaining that they aren’t getting the same level of service that
they used to. The employees are adamant that it’s the new performance management system that’s
to blame, and Sam is standing firm that all employees need to be held to the same standards. To make
matters worse, it seems clear that there are numerous other forms of conflict that have emerged as a
result of this standoff.

Assessment Task: 
  • You are provided with case “Conflict in Company Q” (as an attachment) 
  • Your group should work as a team of consultants and prepare and deliver a presentation to address the following: 
  • Your ability to engage the manager (i.e. your lecturer) and employees (i.e. fellow students) in a convincing manner will be important here. 
  • Your presentation should identify the key issues in Company Q, causes for conflict, and how management can avoid/resolve conflict within an organisation. 
  • When responding sections above, in addition to incorporating theory related to conflicts and conflict resolution, you may also incorporate theory related to group dynamics, coaching and mentoring. 
  • Your recommendations should focus on specific practices Company Q should implement to improve their current situation. 
  • Care should be taken not to sound accusatory towards either management or employees.



This report seeks to evaluate the causes of conflict and remedies to conflicts in the Volvo automobile company. The report will use theories to demystify conflicts and conflict resolutions, group dynamics, and coaching and It will also highlight the key issues within the firm. Additionally, the report will give a sound conclusion and recommendations to successfully improve its current situation.

Discussion/ Information gathering

Key issues in the company

  • The identified key issues include company employees quitting jobs with little notice for instance Alex Hickson, rushed decisions in the recruitment process (Sam Towerton) by the top management, failure to address complaints objectively, and the consequent deterioration of service provision to

Causes for conflict

  • Conflict is described as an interactive process of disagreement, incompatibility, or dissonance within or between individuals, groups, or entities (Rahim, 2010). What is paramount is the absence of agreement among or between the involved
  • The absence of inclusive consultations in designing and enforcing new management systems in the firm sparked conflict. There were no prior and comprehensive consultations among all the relevant parties in the firm before the execution of the management
  • The disregard between the overall manager and other middle-level managers caused conflict The feeling of being superior to the other, especially in executing new systems stirred unnecessary friction.
  • Taking a firm standpoint without regard to other parties` opinions about the newly enforced management system is a cause. Despite numerous complaints, there were seemingly no considerate


  • There is evident conflict in the firm and that is detrimental to its productivity. As such, the issue needs to be addressed with utmost


  • They will be grounded in the game theory. Game theory involves rational decisions in resolving conflicts (Anatol, 2012). According to him, it involves a set of parties, a set of strategies available to each party, and a set of outcomes resulting from the specific choices made by the
  • However, the choice of approaches to resolving conflicts is influenced by factors like the stage the conflict has scoped the willingness of the conflicting parties to engage in a dialogue, and the need or desire to arrive at a speedy conclusion (Clive & Jackie, 2010).
  • The social identity theory related to group dynamics, coaching, and mentoring will also contribute to the recommendations. It focuses on social influence, leadership within and between groups, group norms, collective behavior, and deviance within groups among others (Shelley, Reshma, & Neil, 2016). The recommendations include:
  • Establishing inclusive consultative frameworks when drafting new policies or
  • Sensitizing, coaching, and mentoring the different levels of management on the need to respect each other and work
  • Encouraging prior communication to all relevant parties before actualizing a new policy or
  • The top management should comprehensively listen to all the conflicting

What the company case says

  • The case is about how the company is currently facing deteriorating performance due to the ongoing internal conflicts within the It brings out the genesis of the problems or the conflicts and the way the management has overlooked the issue which has led to detrimental consequences.


  • Anatol, R. (2012). Game Theory as a Theory of Conflict Springer Science & Business Media.
  • Clive, J., & Jackie, K. (2010). Managing Conflict at Work: Understanding and Resolving Conflict for Productive Working Relationships. Kogan Page
  • Rahim, (2010). Managing Conflict in Organizations. Transaction Publishers.
  • Shelley, M., Reshma, H., & Neil, F. (2016). Understanding Peace and Conflict Through Social Identity Theory: Contemporary Global Springer.