Chapter 8. Resolving Managerial Conflicts

Webster's dictionary defines conflict as “a prolonged struggle; a trial of strength; strong disagreement.” In this chapter, we focus on those managerial conflicts where opposing alternatives have a common goal.

Common managerial conflicts:

  • Decentralization versus centralization. Example: Decentralization of marketing and sales to various divisions versus centralization of marketing and sales to the company's headquarters.

  • Focusing on a large variety of services or products versus focusing on a limited number.

  • Maintaining large inventories versus maintaining small inventories.

  • Developing a generic product in the future versus developing a specific product now because of requests by customers.

  • Implementing a project structure versus implementing a matrix structure.

Use the steps to deal with managerial conflicts:

  1. Describe the conflict with a conflict resolution diagram (CRD) (Goldratt, ).

  2. Challenge the assumptions of the CRD with the following approaches:

    • —Differentiation

    • —Globalization

    • —Breaking assumptions

  3. Create actions for implementation based on the challenged assumptions.

A conflict is sometimes handled by searching for a compromise using various optimization techniques. Figure 8-1 summarizes approaches that may be used to deal with conflicts. In the previous example, an optimization tool may suggest an exact optimal solution—offering, for example, exactly 346 stock keeping units ...

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