SOLUTION: PUAD 7021 CU Conflict Management Policy Recommendation Discussion

1
Running head: CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
Conflict Management
Natalie Berkeley-Charlotin
Capella University
02/21/2021
2
CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
Conflict Management
Harassment and Discrimination
Discrimination
Workplace discrimination and harassment manifest in different forms. According to
Roscigno (2019), employment discrimination is a form of bias based on race, gender, national
origin, disability, sexual orientation, age, and religion. Harassment or discrimination in the
workplace can sometimes be overt, such as denying promotions or racial slurs. At times, such
misconduct can be subtle or concealed. Discriminatory practices have negative impacts on an
organization’s reputation other than adversely affecting its performance, productivity, staff
morale, commitment, and attraction and retention of skilled employees. Discrimination in the
workplace is an ugly side of conflict because it affects an individual’s state of mind, thus
negatively impacting productivity and efficiency. This paper will analyze discrimination as a
source of conflict in an organization and resolve it based on a case study of Taylor Shellfish.
Workplace discrimination is a huge problem even in the U.S, even though it is illegal.
Several federal suites of anti-discrimination laws protect U.S citizens when joining the
workforce, even though different states may have their own set of laws. Laws such as the
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protect someone opposed to discrimination centered
on national origin, sex, color, and race (Valfort, 2018). The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
forbids discrimination centered on sex, specifically pregnancy, childbirth, or any medicinal
3
CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
complications from either. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) prohibits sex-based wage
discrimination on equal work in the same workplace (Valfort, 2018). The Age Discrimination
in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of
1990 (ADA) protects employees or future employees from age discrimination and disability
discrimination.
Organizational Background
Taylor Shellfish Company is America’s largest producer of aquaculture shellfish and is
based in Shelton, Washington. Specializing only in seafood, the company has an employee
base of almost 500 employees with several western Washington locations. The company, a
rapidly growing sustainable shellfish farming venture, prides itself as an equal opportunity
employer. According to their employment policy, they are committed to providing equal
employment opportunities without any form of discrimination, even criminal histories. It is
indeed true that they are an equal opportunity provider. However, they lack internal policies
to protect employees against discrimination and harassment.
Analysis of the Conflict Situation.
In 2016, there was a conflict at Taylor Shellfish Company based on discrimination.
Workplace discrimination breeds conflict among employees as the individual being
discriminated against feels alienated. According to Jones et al. (2016), workplace
discrimination in the U.S is not usually expressed through physical threats or racial slurs.
Instead, data shows it often manifests in more subtle ways such as demeaning pay or benefits,
the way performance is rewarded or judged, or through the assignments, they are given, as is
the case of Taylor Shellfish.
Taylor Shellfish condoned discrimination and harassment and violated federal law when
4
CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
it permitted racial harassment and retaliatory discipline against one of its employees.
From the first week at Taylor Shellfish, Jeremy Daniels faced various forms of harassment
and discrimination through demeaning comments and stereotypes about his race. In several
instances, Daniels was called demeaning names such as “boy,” “spook,” and the “N” word.
These are words that negatively impact a person’s emotions. Organizations should have
internal measures to protect employees from conflict, harassment, and discrimination.
Furthermore, in cases of conflict, management should have internal measures to resolve the
issues expediently.
However, in Daniels’ case, when he went to the management to report the harassment and
demeaning comments, he got retaliation instead. Instead of looking into Daniels’s complaints
and trying to resolve the issue, the supervisor retaliated against Daniels by assigning him
fewer desirable jobs, publicly screaming profanities at him, and writing him up for
insubordination. According to Akella (2016), 84% of employees experience rudeness or
harassment in the workplace, but the conflict is rarely handled because of management’s
restraints or fear of offending someone.
In Daniels’ case, the issue reached Taylor’s top management, but due to lack of conflict
management policies and a backward organizational culture, no action was taken. Instead,
Taylor’s management told Daniels to avoid involvement in the issue and do as directed by his
supervisor. Daniels was told to grow a thicker skin. After failing to resolve the conflict, and
the only option he had was to get a thicker skin, Daniel decided to quit. According to Daniels,
his first interaction with his supervisor was discriminatory as he informed him that his father
used to run Daniel’s kind out of town. Furthermore, he added that it had been long since a
black person worked at Taylor, and Daniels was the first.
5
CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
Harassment seriously attacks a person’s dignity, integrity, and commitment and is on the
same list as robbery, rape, and homicide. Since harassment and discrimination target
emotions, they are identified as ‘psychological terror.’ Workplace harassment extremely
affects employee morale and organizational performance. Employee performance drastically
changes due to stress, more so if they do not get any help from the management. Harassment
and discrimination mentally hurt and isolate an individual resulting in anxiety, poor
performance, and low morale. Furthermore, discrimination impacts negatively on corporate
image and profitability.
Conflict Resolution Methods
Leadership and accountability are vital elements in developing an organizational culture
that does not tolerate discrimination and harassment. Therefore, when management refuses to
act against conflict such as Daniels’ case, they build a discriminatory culture in the
organization. As seen in Daniel’s case, Taylor Shellfish lack did not have any policies to
contain and resolve arising conflict. When Daniels approached his supervisor to complain
about the profanities, name shaming, and discriminatory harassment, the supervisor retaliated
against him. Instead of resolving the conflict, he made it worse by further discriminating him
by publicly screaming profanities at him, assigning him fewer desirable jobs, and writing him
up for insubordination.
Furthermore, when he addressed the issue to higher management, no action was taken.
Rather the management told Daniels to get a thicker skin. Management did not resolve the
conflict rather told Daniels to avoid involvement in the issue and do as directed by his
supervisor. It is clear from this case that an organizational culture that supports harassment
and discrimination and the leadership of the organization also condone it. The lack of any
6
CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
conflict resolution efforts by the management left Daniels with no choice other than to
leave that workplace. Thus, Daniels quit and resorted to seeking justice through the U.S.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). after judging his case, EEOC found
Taylor Shellfish guilty of discrimination and harassment. They were fined $160,00. To avoid
a repeat of the same, Taylor was to implement new policies to prevent and resolve conflict,
extensively training both management and employees, putting a visible anti-discrimination
notice at their premises, and reporting compliance for three years to the EEOC.
Effectiveness of Conflict Resolution Methods.
Taylor implemented new policies to prevent harassment and discrimination, conducted
comprehensive employee and management training, and posted at their workplace an antidiscrimination notice. All these measures are effective in avoiding and resolving conflict
when used all at once. There need to be organizational policies that assert the consequences
of conflict and avenues of resolving it. But on the other hand, policies alone may not be
effective since any company may have the set policies and public opinion that they offer
equal opportunities to the people they hire. However, it is the employees that know what goes
on once they are employed. However, policies are set for employees and management, but if
they are not educated on the need for diversity, they will not benefit from the policy; instead,
it might lead to more conflict. Thus, employee and management training is vital to cultivate a
new culture of diversity. Lastly, people forget over time and more so if they do not do or see
something for a while. Thus, to ensure the other two measures work effectively, there is a
need for a workplace anti-discrimination notice to constantly remind employees of the new
culture.
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CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
Recommendations
Taylor Shellfish failed to devise strategies through which they can understand each
individual’s rights and the reason why discrimination at work should be prohibited by law.
Thus, to ensure future conflicts do not arise and, if they arise, they are sorted amicably, I
recommend the following.
The use of culturally competent therapeutic workshops can be thought of as a
means through which employees at the workplace can acquire new skills and education to
better mediate the needs of a culturally diverse workforce. These efforts will help assist
members of the company with a cultural understanding. All novices will acquire tenets of
different cultures that they were unfamiliar with, thus creating a schema for cultural
knowledge.
Secondly, Diversity has been called the perennial underdog in the industrialized
world.
Thus, to ensure that workplaces are diverse, there are several strategies that
management can use to induce work diversity: Synergistic, parochial, and ethnocentric
(Currie et al., 2017). To prevent intergroup conflicts at the workplace, the best approach, in
this case, would be the synergistic approach which involves mediation and assumes cultural
contingencies. Allowing people from different ethnicities to work in a single environment
ensures the company follows the best way, which is dependent on the cultures of the different
people working for that organization (Currie et al., 2017). Cultural diversity should not be
minimized or ignored. Instead, it should be viewed as a resource through which
organizational systems can be built.
The last recommendation is to find a federal policy that can limit such
organizational conflicts. One such law is the federal anti-discrimination law which states that
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CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
all harassment at work is prohibited because it leads to hostile work
environments. If all the provisions provided in this law are followed, employees and
employers will feel obliged to follow the law since violation will incur costs towards the
oppressed and legal fees. In addition to this, employees from diverse cultural backgrounds
will feel more confident to work in any environment, knowing that their civil rights are not
being violated. Concerning the case, the presence of federal laws that provide penalties and
punishment to responsible officers who are reported to harass their employees from other
ethnic groups consistently would have hampered the stereotypes and demeaning comments
towards Jeremy.
References
Roscigno, V. J. (2019). Discrimination, sexual harassment, and the impact of workplace
power. Socius, 5, 2378023119853894.
Valfort, M. A. (2018). Do anti-discrimination policies work?. IZA World of Labor.
Currie, D., Gormley, T., Roche, B., & Teague, P. (2017). The management of workplace
conflict: Contrasting pathways in the HRM literature. International Journal of
Management Reviews, 19(4), 492-509.
Akella, D. (2016). Workplace bullying: not a manager’s right?. SAGE Open, 6(1),
2158244016629394.
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CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
Jones, K. P., Peddie, C. I., Gilrane, V. L., King, E. B., & Gray, A. L. (2016). Not so subtle: A
meta-analytic investigation of the correlates of subtle and overt discrimination. Journal of
management, 42(6), 1588-1613.
1
Running head: CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
Conflict Management
Natalie Berkeley-Charlotin
Capella University
02/21/2021
2
CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
Conflict Management
Harassment and Discrimination
Discrimination
Workplace discrimination and harassment manifest in different forms. According to
Roscigno (2019), employment discrimination is a form of bias based on race, gender, national
origin, disability, sexual orientation, age, and religion. Harassment or discrimination in the
workplace can sometimes be overt, such as denying promotions or racial slurs. At times, such
misconduct can be subtle or concealed. Discriminatory practices have negative impacts on an
organization’s reputation other than adversely affecting its performance, productivity, staff
morale, commitment, and attraction and retention of skilled employees. Discrimination in the
workplace is an ugly side of conflict because it affects an individual’s state of mind, thus
negatively impacting productivity and efficiency. This paper will analyze discrimination as a
source of conflict in an organization and resolve it based on a case study of Taylor Shellfish.
Workplace discrimination is a huge problem even in the U.S, even though it is illegal.
Several federal suites of anti-discrimination laws protect U.S citizens when joining the
workforce, even though different states may have their own set of laws. Laws such as the
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protect someone opposed to discrimination centered
on national origin, sex, color, and race (Valfort, 2018). The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
forbids discrimination centered on sex, specifically pregnancy, childbirth, or any medicinal
3
CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
complications from either. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) prohibits sex-based wage
discrimination on equal work in the same workplace (Valfort, 2018). The Age Discrimination
in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of
1990 (ADA) protects employees or future employees from age discrimination and disability
discrimination.
Organizational Background
Taylor Shellfish Company is America’s largest producer of aquaculture shellfish and is
based in Shelton, Washington. Specializing only in seafood, the company has an employee
base of almost 500 employees with several western Washington locations. The company, a
rapidly growing sustainable shellfish farming venture, prides itself as an equal opportunity
employer. According to their employment policy, they are committed to providing equal
employment opportunities without any form of discrimination, even criminal histories. It is
indeed true that they are an equal opportunity provider. However, they lack internal policies
to protect employees against discrimination and harassment.
Analysis of the Conflict Situation.
In 2016, there was a conflict at Taylor Shellfish Company based on discrimination.
Workplace discrimination breeds conflict among employees as the individual being
discriminated against feels alienated. According to Jones et al. (2016), workplace
discrimination in the U.S is not usually expressed through physical threats or racial slurs.
Instead, data shows it often manifests in more subtle ways such as demeaning pay or benefits,
the way performance is rewarded or judged, or through the assignments, they are given, as is
the case of Taylor Shellfish.
Taylor Shellfish condoned discrimination and harassment and violated federal law when
4
CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
it permitted racial harassment and retaliatory discipline against one of its employees.
From the first week at Taylor Shellfish, Jeremy Daniels faced various forms of harassment
and discrimination through demeaning comments and stereotypes about his race. In several
instances, Daniels was called demeaning names such as “boy,” “spook,” and the “N” word.
These are words that negatively impact a person’s emotions. Organizations should have
internal measures to protect employees from conflict, harassment, and discrimination.
Furthermore, in cases of conflict, management should have internal measures to resolve the
issues expediently.
However, in Daniels’ case, when he went to the management to report the harassment and
demeaning comments, he got retaliation instead. Instead of looking into Daniels’s complaints
and trying to resolve the issue, the supervisor retaliated against Daniels by assigning him
fewer desirable jobs, publicly screaming profanities at him, and writing him up for
insubordination. According to Akella (2016), 84% of employees experience rudeness or
harassment in the workplace, but the conflict is rarely handled because of management’s
restraints or fear of offending someone.
In Daniels’ case, the issue reached Taylor’s top management, but due to lack of conflict
management policies and a backward organizational culture, no action was taken. Instead,
Taylor’s management told Daniels to avoid involvement in the issue and do as directed by his
supervisor. Daniels was told to grow a thicker skin. After failing to resolve the conflict, and
the only option he had was to get a thicker skin, Daniel decided to quit. According to Daniels,
his first interaction with his supervisor was discriminatory as he informed him that his father
used to run Daniel’s kind out of town. Furthermore, he added that it had been long since a
black person worked at Taylor, and Daniels was the first.
5
CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
Harassment seriously attacks a person’s dignity, integrity, and commitment and is on the
same list as robbery, rape, and homicide. Since harassment and discrimination target
emotions, they are identified as ‘psychological terror.’ Workplace harassment extremely
affects employee morale and organizational performance. Employee performance drastically
changes due to stress, more so if they do not get any help from the management. Harassment
and discrimination mentally hurt and isolate an individual resulting in anxiety, poor
performance, and low morale. Furthermore, discrimination impacts negatively on corporate
image and profitability.
Conflict Resolution Methods
Leadership and accountability are vital elements in developing an organizational culture
that does not tolerate discrimination and harassment. Therefore, when management refuses to
act against conflict such as Daniels’ case, they build a discriminatory culture in the
organization. As seen in Daniel’s case, Taylor Shellfish lack did not have any policies to
contain and resolve arising conflict. When Daniels approached his supervisor to complain
about the profanities, name shaming, and discriminatory harassment, the supervisor retaliated
against him. Instead of resolving the conflict, he made it worse by further discriminating him
by publicly screaming profanities at him, assigning him fewer desirable jobs, and writing him
up for insubordination.
Furthermore, when he addressed the issue to higher management, no action was taken.
Rather the management told Daniels to get a thicker skin. Management did not resolve the
conflict rather told Daniels to avoid involvement in the issue and do as directed by his
supervisor. It is clear from this case that an organizational culture that supports harassment
and discrimination and the leadership of the organization also condone it. The lack of any
6
CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
conflict resolution efforts by the management left Daniels with no choice other than to
leave that workplace. Thus, Daniels quit and resorted to seeking justice through the U.S.
Equal Employm…
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