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Assignment Questions

The Appropriate Way to Respond to Workplace Conflict

DuBrin, A. (2004). Applying psychology: Individual and organizational effectiveness (6th Ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson / Prentice Hall. ISBN: 4

Research Paper
The eight page final paper should demonstrate a synthesis of your knowledge of industrial/organizational psychology by applying the information from the readings and class work to the case studies provided.

Focus of the Research Paper

Carefully review the scenario below:

Susan and Molly, employees in a busy call center, are chatting at lunch. Between bites of fried chicken, French fries, high calorie soda, and a tiny salad, Susan begins to complain to Molly that she can’t seem to lose weight and that she is tired all of the time. They chat a little more about diets, and don’t seem to pay much attention to the fact that they are past their lunch time.

A few minutes later, Susan tells Molly that she doesn’t like their coworker, Karishima, because she can’t understand half of what she says due to her accent. Molly agrees with Susan, and they both begin to laugh about Karishima’s clothing, and how it is so different. They don’t seem to notice Joy, who is seated directly behind Susan and Molly and is overhearing their entire conversation. Joy becomes increasingly upset about their comments and wants to intervene, but she does not know how to go about it.

Finally, Joy had heard enough. She gets up from her seat and marches out of the lunchroom, a grim look on her face and teeth clenched. She barely misses running into Dan, who thought to himself after taking a look at Joy’s face, “Joy really looks stressed out! This job is really getting to her”.

As he enters the lunchroom, Dan realizes that Susan and Molly are still seated, and it is past the end of their lunchtime. Since Molly is Dan’s backup, he knows that she needs to be at her desk. Dan walks up to Molly and says, “I need for you to get back to work so that I can eat my lunch.” Molly looks up at him and says, “I’ll do what I want. You aren’t my boss and you can’t tell me what to do.” Molly returns to chatting with Susan. Dan is visibly upset, and turns around to find Mr. Davis, his supervisor, so that he can tell him what happened.

In the meantime, Mr. Davis, the floor supervisor, is reviewing the low productivity levels of his monthly employee report. He knows that he needs to do something to enhance his team’s performance, but isn’t sure what it is. He briefly thought about a company picnic, but the last time he had picked a group of people to coordinate one, they couldn’t decide when or where to have it, or even what kind of food to have!

1. Thoroughly evaluate the scenario to identify at least six underlying issues from the bulleted list that appear to be driving the described behaviors.
o Resolving workplace conflict
o Reducing stress
o Handling individual differences
o Reducing barriers to verbal and nonverbal communication
o Motivating employees
o Promoting cultural diversity
o Solving problems
o Promoting personal wellness
o Achieving successful group activities
o Motivating a team
o Promoting group decision making
o Reducing barriers to communication

2. Apply a minimum of two strategies learned in the course to resolve each of the identified the issues.

3. Provide at least one theoretical basis for each of the strategies.

4. Explain the cultural diversity issues that are involved in the conflict.

5. Finally, hypothesize the impact of implementing the strategies in the workplace.

Writing the Research Paper
• Your response to the scenario must be eight double-spaced pages in length (excluding the title page, reference page, etc.) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the approved style guide.

• Must include a cover page that includes:
o Name of paper
o Student’s name
o Course name and number
o Instructor’s name
o Date submitted

• Must include an introductory paragraph with a succinct thesis statement.

• Must conclude with a restatement of the thesis and a conclusion paragraph.
• Must use APA style as outlined in the approved style guide to document all sources.
• Must include at least four scholarly sources in addition to the text
• Must include, on the final page, a Reference List that is completed according to APA style as outlined in the approved style guide.

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