COMM 3332 Organizational Conflict Analysis Paper:

Description, Guidelines & Checklist (50 points)

This assignment is designed to help you assess organizational communication, especially in a conflict situation.

General Description of the Assignment:

Think about an organization, job or group project in which you have been a participant. Since conflict is pervasive, you should be able to think of one instance in which you observed or experienced or were involved in a conflict situation. It may be one with a superior, equal or subordinate. It may be an organization where you were a volunteer. Please take the role of a professional organization consultant who is objective about the situation that you are observing. This is assignment should be treated as a report.

Name the organization, and describe its organizational structure, i.e., is it a department, school district, sorority, etc. An organizational chart is not required, but you may include one, if you wish.

DQ1: Describe the situation. This is a formal paper, but you may use “I” in your narrative. Include a purpose statement: In this paper, I will analyze the XX organization and make recommendations about the organization. 2.5 points

DQ 2: Describe the 3-5 principal characters involved as thoroughly as possible.

You may use pseudonyms (fake names for the characters). Give the name of the character, his/her job title or role in the organization, and any other objective information that you can give. You may one of the characters, and, in fact, that is preferred. 2.5 points

For the actual BODY of the paper, you will be using textbook chapters to do an analysis of the organization:

DQ 3: What organizational approach characteristics have you /did you observe? Classical? Human Relations? Systems? Cultural? Do you see some elements of each (since the Systems approach is descriptive)? 5 points

DQ4: Are there value differences involved? Ethical issues? See for example the Dark Side of Leadership (p. 235) or the Faulty Decision Making (p. 255) 5 points

DQ5: What are the group dynamics? Are there norms, rules, expectations that are operating? 5 points

DQ6: Analyze the management and leadership strengths and weaknesses or issues. . What appear to be the motivations behind actions? Are individuals trying to maintain face? Attack face? 5 points

DQ7: What type of decision making and/or problem solving have you observed?

Is there majority rule (power play), leader-mandate? Is problem-solving being employed? If not, what prevents problem-solving from being used? 5 points

Describe the conflict management that occurred or did not occur? What type of climate was evident—supportive? Defensive? Explain why. 5 points

DQ 8: What power orientations can you identify? Conflict tactics? 5 points

DQ9: What recommendations would you make to manage the situation and “fix” it? 5 points

DQ10: Conclusion–You may summarize your paper and/or leave some parting thoughts. 5 points

Modifications of this assignment may be considered to allow for a variety of organizational experiences to be addressed. In other words, you may, for example, wish to address the issue of power or ethics in an organization as opposed to or in addition to a conflict issue. I also understand that some of you may not be able to do each DQ about one organization. We can discuss alternatives for this situation also.

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