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Conflict After Merger Essay

2289 words - 10 pages

Both HDB and NEA posses varied working styles. Thus, they were unable to see eye to eye on certain ways and methods to deal with situations. This then resulted in conflicts between them, souring the relationship between the two parties. The conflict process as shown in the diagram below aims to map out the episodes of the conflict.

Incompatible Goals

Both NEA and HDB had incompatible goals. Although both dealt with hawkers, they dealt with different aspects. The HDB Hawkers Department dealt only with administrative matters of HDB hawker centres while NEA Hawkers Department formulates and implements policies on hawkers for the promotion and maintenance of food hygiene practices among ...view middle of the document...

The new employees would have to be understanding and attend these seminars. This would then result in greater tolerance, leading to shorter meetings.

Differentiation

Differentiation also resulted in conflict. Formed in 1960s, HDB would have many older and more experience employees. On the other hand, NEA, formed in 2002, has much younger employees amongst its ranks. The conflict is a consequence of this generation gap. The younger staff at NEA tends to be more dynamic whereas the older staff often followed the traditional methods of doing things. Both groups of people endorse “different needs, different expectations, and somewhat different values” (MVG 393).

Mr Joseph Toh, a manager, has various older subordinates from HDB Hawkers Department working under him. He cites that being from a younger generation, he prefers completing tasks by using the fastest and easiest method. However, his subordinates tend to employ traditional methods, following closely to the book. This process is time consuming often causing delays. He feels that this decreases overall inefficiency of the department. On the other hand, his older subordinates view his style as shabby and not detailed as it is done in too short a span of time. The younger NEA staff therefore work shorter hours while the older HDB Hawkers Department staff clock in many hours of overtime. This results in clashing of work schedules. This generation gap conflict stems from communication problem and can escalate to socio-emotional conflict as each party sees the other as the problem.

To resolve this, the employees would have to utilize the compromising conflict management style. This requires moderate assertiveness and moderate cooperativeness resulting in a win-win situation. This strategy will serve most effective as both stand to gain and their interest can be protected to a certain extent. Workshops teaching efficient working techniques and communication skills can play a part in bridging this divide. Graduating from these courses will equip both parties with the same skills. There will then be fewer differences in working styles. Overseas trips or field trips can also serve as a tool for both parties to connect and reduce differentiation.

Scarce Resources

Scarce resources, though minimal, did add fuel to the conflict. After the merger, there were many logistical problems. Missing documents, lack of computers and so on increased competition amongst employees. Many needed these resources in order to complete tasks given to them. Ms Wun Heow Meng mentioned that there was competition for the few computers available and spats between staff as work could not be completed in time. Personal goals could not be fulfilled.

Increasing resources will be the solution for this problem. However, this solution might take sometime to be carried out due to costs. The benefit of increasing resources has to surpass the cost of doing so.

Conclusion

Though conflict here tagged with a...

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