For this case study, we will be looking at a fictional case of a manager caught between a rock and hard place. Nick Cunningham is a manager at Synergon, a high powered company involved in purchasing poorly managed companies and then restructuring them to become more profitable. However, Synergon has now purchased Beauchamp, Becker, and Company which is a well-managed and highly profitable company.
Nick is in an awkward position because he is in charge of managing this merger, but he also knows that the success of the merger is dependent on Beauchamp’s managing director and other top leaders remaining in their positions and continuing their solid work. However, Nick’s bosses are not known for taking a conciliatory approach towards companies they purchase and usually force major changes on any company that they acquire. Predictably, Nick is faced with a threat of retirement by Beauchamp’s managing director Julian Mansfield due to Synergon’s strict policies and approach.
Before beginning the Case Assignment, make sure you have thoroughly reviewed the tutorial and textbook readings from the background materials. Pay special attention to readings on causes of conflict, types of conflict, and conflict management styles. For this assignment you will need to apply concepts from the background materials to this fictional case.
Once you have finished reviewing the background materials, take a look at this following article and think about how the concepts from the background materials apply to this fictional case:
Cliffe, S. (1999). Can This Merger Be Saved? Harvard Business Review, 77(1), 28-44. [EbscoHost]
Then write a 4- to 5-page paper addressing the following questions:
- Do you think this conflict that Nick Cunningham faces is functional or dysfunctional? Explain your reasoning, and cite Sims (2002) or Luthans et al. (2015) in your answer.
- What is the source of this conflict? Use the terminology from the Pearson tutorial, Sims (2002), or Luthans et al. (2015) in your answer. For example, is this conflict a result of relationship/interpersonal issues? Or from tasks/roles? Other?
- Of the five styles of conflict management discussed in Chapter 1 of Raines (2013) which one do you think would be the best approach for Nick Cunningham to take?
- What other advice would you give Nick Cunningham based on the concepts discussed in Sims (2002) or Luthans et al. (2015)?