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Dick Spenser’s Sources of Conflict Essay

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Updated: Jun 25th, 2019

Dick Spencer is a plant manager with an international company. As an American with passion to excel in a foreign country, he is not only experiencing family crisis, but also resentment and hatred at his place of work. Faced with pressure to perform from his seniors, Spencer’s decision to control all departments like finance, human relations, and design among others in his company creates disputes or disagreements, which leads to his failure as an international manager.

Consequently, his wife and children start to complain as they feel he is abandoning his family roles. Nevertheless, with the use of authority and political tactics, Spencer should have been able to foresee or solve his conflicts amicably and excel as an international manager. There are three main sources of conflicts in Spencer’s case; first is his inability to trust his junior staff member by thinking they are incompetent.

Due to his passion to excel, Spencer took upon himself to supervise all the departments like the finance and design among others, yet there were head of departments or supervisors who could give him the feedback of the company’s progression as the general manager. Despite knowing that he was not good in accountings, he went ahead and got involved in the financial issues of the company.

He had the authority to delegate or assign some of his duties to other people or the departmental managers. Therefore, as a foreign manager, he suffocated the junior staff with his presence because some of them wondered why he was all over the company. According to Spencer, his frequent supervisions, meetings, and conferences were to increase the rate of production, which was not the case because the company’s progression was slower than ever.

Spencer spent most of his time at work either in the office or in field, which led to the source of the second conflict. Due to his workload, Spencer did not only lack time for his family, but also forgot about the important anniversaries like birthdays and family parties or dinners. Thus, his absence in the family led to marital and family disagreements.

As a manager, if he could have a schedule to follow strictly, he could have been able to balance adequately his role as a father, husband, and a manager, which is not the case. Therefore, the inability to balance time between his job and family led to the failure of his first marriage. The third source of conflict is the inability to create good personal relationship while at work.

He had both poor listening and communicating skills, which led to frequent disagreements with other people at work. For instance, at one time he forced the supervisor to desert the saw machine and use hands to cut metal strips. He was not ready to listen to the supervisor who eventually decided to remain numb and stare at him. Although the supervisor was against the proposal, Spencer forcefully implemented his idea to cut down the cost.

Unfortunately, the supervisor adapted the use of the shear, which frustrated him only for Spencer to brand him a failure. In addition, Spencer knew that he had a weakness in handling human relations but fought it instead of working on it, which led to his failure at work as he had poor relationships with most of the staff me.

For instance, if he had the power, he could have sacked the supervisor who defied his orders to use hands to bend metal strips. Nevertheless, because the power of the company lies in the hands of the company’s president, Spencer was unable to implement some of his ideas. The pressure from the president to ensure the company prospers pushed Spencer to put all his efforts in his job.

Therefore, the authority bestowed on him, pushed him to be a dictator because he could not listen or take suggestions from the other staff members. As an international manager, Spencer faced many challenges. First, he had to establish himself in a foreign country in that, he had to move with his family to Canada after his appointment.

Therefore, he left behind most of his friends and other members of the extended family. Secondly, as an American, he faced the challenge of fitting and working with Canadians who ended up disliking his leadership skills. He had to be an all rounded person possessing good administrative and human resource skills; unfortunately, he lacked any of the two.

Due to his nationality, he experienced resentment from the workers, which was a major challenge. Consequently, the challenges led to his failure as an international manager. His major failure was his incompetency in exercising good human or public relation skills. Thus, he could not listen, delegate, or appreciate his supervisors and managers, which created constant conflicts.

Finally, he became frustrated because the company was incurring losses and his family was on the verge of breaking down. Nevertheless, the use of political tactics and skills would have saved Spencer in dealing with his conflicts. One of the political tactics was to use or employ a Canadian national to monitor all the activities of the company.

The main role of his personal supervisor would be to connect him with other staff members in the company. Thus, he would be indirectly involved in the daily activities of the company. The other tactic would be to hold open forums with the staff to discuss the company where he would acquit himself with the progression of each department and likes and dislikes of his workers.

Additionally, before implementing any idea, he should have sought about other people’s views either personally or through other managers and supervisors. If he used the managers and supervisors, they could be happy to be involved in the running or administrative duties of the company. Therefore, the application of office politics would have enabled Spencer to deal with his conflicts.

In summary, most people holding managerial positions fail mainly because they only focus on profits and not the welfare of their staff members. Due to distrust, Spencer could not assign some of his duties, which strained his relationship with his family and staff members. Moreover, he did not keep a timetable to help him balance his family and official duties.

Despite possessing authority to lead his company, he ended up as a failure because he was unable to solve most of his conflicts. Finally, if he learned to apply political tactics like use of a Canadian national to indirectly report to about the running of the company and bestow his supervisors with administrative roles, he would have not only solved all his conflicts but also prevented some and by so doing, he would surmount his challenges and propel the company into profit making.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Dick Spenser's Sources of Conflict." June 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/dick-spensers-sources-of-conflict/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Dick Spenser's Sources of Conflict'. 25 June.

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