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Employee Conflict Sources and Resolution Approach Case Study

The Sources of Conflict in the Case

The case of a quarrel between two colleagues from one corporation contains several sources of conflicts because the Educational Pension Investments (EPI) firm’s senior partner’s assistants offered their superior to hire his acquaintance (Birkmire, 2011). Michael, an individual who was new to this organization, had his understanding of different marketing strategies’ righteousness. Moreover, it seems like he has the perfect image that he is ready to adjust to any company or firm that employs him. He is a young and ambitious man who wants to realize his innovative ideas and build a successful career. Although Michael is a valuable employee with the best recommendations from his previous superiors, he does not have enough experience to run the entire investment firm.

Another character in this case study is Daniel. He has been occupying the highest position in EPI for an extended period, and he knows every aspect of this business. In fact, he invited Michael because his partners thought that this broker was able to modernize EPI and could help the organization gain more profit. In my opinion, the primary source of this case study’s conflict lies in personal differences because these people’s approaches to their professional activities significantly vary from one another. Moreover, Daniel seemed to be discouraged by Michael’s achievements and various methods that he implemented to reach certain goals of EPI (Wallensteen, 2015). It would be proper to state that Michael’s work fell short of Daniel’s expectations.

There is another difference between Daniel and Michael that does not satisfy both characters of this narrative: “You seem to think you can get this firm to look like it’s progressive shrugging off its stodgy image without taking any risks or ruffling any feathers” (Birkmire, 2011, p. 7). The conflict stems from their educations and skills because Michael knows all the modern business strategies, but Daniel sticks to his guns that might be already old, but still efficient. They both have a sense with their statements and people like their leadership abilities, but they must work separately to show better results. Moreover, I think that this case study also represents the conflict source of particular role incompatibilities and the characters’ environmental stresses (Mulki, Jaramillo, Goad, & Pesquera, 2015). Indeed, it is a challenge for Daniel to work under one roof with Michael and vice versa. Unfortunately, there is a possibility that these people envy each other.

The conflict described in this case study could have also emerged because these people were acquainted with each other. Many businessmen say that working with friends and relatives is the worst collaboration that one might establish at his or her professional position. Many colleagues have good relationships and even become best friends, but when close people start working together, one thing (career or friendship) will cut another out after a certain period.

The Approaches to Conflict Management Used by the Actors

As the colleagues in the discussed case study were acquainted with each other beforehand, they could not use such approaches as avoiding the emerged conflict or forcing it because these methods would ruin their relationship at a glance of an eye. Therefore, the colleagues decided to resolve the problem in a sophisticated way. Daniel and Michael have also implemented such conflict management approaches as compromising and accommodating (Schlaerth, Ensari, & Christian, 2013). When Daniel started a serious conversation with his colleague, his behavior was sullen, but the man avoided offending his friend. Although he was serious and seemed unhappy, his attitude towards Michael did not imply any pre-apprehension.

However, it would be proper to mention that Daniel was avoiding the conflict at first. Perhaps, he wanted to wait and evaluate Michael’s work objectively to point out particular drawbacks in his professional activities (Birkmire, 2011). In turn, Michael did not even suspect that Daniel was not satisfied with his business strategies during the first hours of their collaboration. At the end of this conversation, the two men decided to implement the accommodating method in order not to upset each other. Daniel told Michael that he appreciated his work and that many employees preferred following his innovative strategies. “EPI will no doubt lose a good part of its customer base if you leave” (Birkmire, 2011, p. 8). To make their friendship stronger, Daniel invited Michael to his house to go sailing on a brand new boat. It is essential to emphasize the fact that the situation could have gone another way and would have had other consequences if the characters were not in good relationship with each other (Tidström, 2014). The case study shows that it is always a better decision to calm down, as the opposite mood only worsens such situations and usually does not lead to preferable outcomes.

Such conflict management approaches as compromising and accommodating together are considered to be the best resolving strategies because people often start disrespecting each other after such methods as forcing and avoiding various conflicts (Halperin, Cohen-Chen, & Goldenberg, 2014). However, the characters decided not to implement the collaborative practice, as they knew that this experience could have terrible outcomes and was likely to have a bad impact on their relationship. To conclude, I would like to stress that both men have admitted their mistakes and did not argue because they wanted to prove their points of view. Only mutual respect and understanding will always be beneficial for both sides of the conflict. Moreover, before laying the blame on someone else, it is essential to analyze your own actions that could have caused certain misunderstandings.


Birkmire, J. (2011). Web.

Halperin, E., Cohen-Chen, S., & Goldenberg, A. (2014). Indirect emotion regulation in intractable conflicts: A new approach to conflict resolution. European Review of Social Psychology, 25(1), 1-31. Web.

Mulki, J. P., Jaramillo, F., Goad, E. A., & Pesquera, M. R. (2015). Regulation of emotions, interpersonal conflict, and job performance for salespeople. Journal of Business Research, 68(3), 623-630. Web.

Schlaerth, A., Ensari, N., & Christian, J. (2013). A meta-analytical review of the relationship between emotional intelligence and leaders’ constructive conflict management. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 16(1), 126-136. Web.

Tidström, A. (2014). Managing tensions in coopetition. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(2), 261-271. Web.

Wallensteen, P. (2015). Understanding conflict resolution. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

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IvyPanda. (2020, September 13). Employee Conflict Sources and Resolution Approach. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/employee-conflict-sources-and-resolution-approach/

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"Employee Conflict Sources and Resolution Approach." IvyPanda, 13 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/employee-conflict-sources-and-resolution-approach/.

1. IvyPanda. "Employee Conflict Sources and Resolution Approach." September 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/employee-conflict-sources-and-resolution-approach/.


IvyPanda. "Employee Conflict Sources and Resolution Approach." September 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/employee-conflict-sources-and-resolution-approach/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Employee Conflict Sources and Resolution Approach." September 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/employee-conflict-sources-and-resolution-approach/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Employee Conflict Sources and Resolution Approach'. 13 September.

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