While conflict can be seen as a normal and natural aspect of any work environment, in some cases, conflict can be very costly. As the manager of Software Development (Chris Abrams) who is sandwiched into a role where I have had to face ongoing conflict at the hands of Jean Eldon, the Manager of Projects, I know that when egos get involved and it seems there will be no price to pay, other managers can make life more difficult rather doing whatever it takes to make life easier. It does not help that both managers are on the same level organizationally so neither has to differ to the wishes of another. Clearly company culture and climate are at work here because they make room for anger and tension to follow revelations about needed changes.
Communication conflict in the scenario between Eldon and myself completely lowered the team morale and caused me to walk off the job with no intention of ever returning. The company culture among management staff who partner on projects is very individualistic which means that staff will use power plays when it feels threatened and without much regard for others on the team. For example, my individualistic actions in resigning were self-concerned only; they did not consider my team which had worked so hard to achieve implementation. Most problematic, however, is the $10,000 a day cost that the company would be assessed because the government’s finished product was not delivered on time. That’s why the decreased productivity is glaring. Eldon has asked that the work be changed (Table 7.1; CITE).
As managers, Eldon and I have battled out conflicts in some very unproductive ways. We agreed to put our differences aside and focus on negotiation and dispute resolution for the benefit of the government software program. In the future, if we feel confident that we can more proactive manage conflict or rely on a mutual third party to help prevent communication from taking a potentially destructive turn (CITE).