This week, you have the task of analyzing the conflict case below titled, The Case of the Hamburger Dilemma. In your evaluation, avoid summarizing the case. Instead, analyze the case critically and assess how it pertains to this week’s readings. Refer to the Guide to a Successful Case Study Analysis for additional guidance. Remember, excellent analyses are a combination of critical and analytical thoughts connected to greater themes presented in the readings – and this is not an easy task.
Be sure to include the following required elements in your assignment:
- Briefly describe what you consider two or three major issues contained in the case.
- Explain how these points or issues integrate with the material covered this week and explain their relevance to the case.
- Identify the implications for the parties involved in the case.
- Provide a brief description of the questions/challenges you have regarding the readings and explain why they are important.
- Answer the following questions based on your confidence level surrounding conflict at this point in the course:
- What are some things you already know about conflict and conflict resolution?
- What do you need from this course? (For example: What do you expect to be able to do at the end of this course that you can’t do now?)
Do not include the following in your analysis:
- A summary of the readings
- A detailed description of the case
- Any editorials
The Hamburger Dilemma:
Due to budgetary cuts, Bob and Diane are relocated from their individual offices and forced to share a single office space. One day Diane brings a hamburger for lunch and heats it in the office microwave. When she gets back to her desk, Bob reminds Diane he is a vegetarian for religious reasons and asks her to leave the office to eat her lunch. Diane and Bob have a problematic history, and she is on a deadline for their boss, so she declines Bob’s request. Instead, she leaves her plate on the desk while she runs out to fill her water bottle. Since Diane won’t leave, Bob decides he’s going to leave the office for a while. As he gets up to go, he trips over the cord to Diane’s lamp and falls into her lunch plate, knocking it to the floor. Diane isn’t there to see it was truly an accident and walks in just as Bob is picking her plate up off the floor.
As you are preparing your response, think about the following questions:
- What were the roots of the conflict? (Remember the triangle)
- How do the parties to the conflict view the behavior of their ‘opponents’ and pursue their own interests in the conflict situation?
- At what point did the conflict become detrimental to the parties involved?
- How might this conflict extend to the larger workplace if not resolved?
This exercise is less about “getting it right” and more about identifying your own capacity to recognize antecedents, reflect on the way you currently manage conflict and self-identify ways in which you can improve your ability to recognize, diagnose, and resolve conflict in the future.
Length: 3-5 pages, not including title or reference pages