This case study involves two members at managerial level at Modern Lighting Industries Incorporated (MLI). The members in question are the President of MLI, Cardullo and Turner, the Marketing and Sales Manager. This particular case study references the time from Turner commencing formal duties at MLI in his capacity as Marketing and Sales Manager. Cardullo, as President of MLI was initially seeking to employ someone to take over the full managerial responsibilities at MLI. As an experienced manager and his availability to commence duties immediately, Turner appeared to be the perfect candidate to fulfil the role.
However, even though all indicators presented Turner as the key candidate for a success of the company, after a few months the relationship between Cardullo and Turner had begun to deteriorate. The conflict appears to be a result of role expectations not being fully clarified and agreed upon by Cardullo and Turner at the point of Turner’s employment by Cardullo. As Sharpe and Johnson (2002) state: “The relationship at the top executive level is very susceptible to conflict. ” Turner’s frustration and unhappiness resulted from unattended situations of conflict stemming from this initial lack of clarification having been made.
Despite the initial agreement, as President of the company Cardullo had not fully relinquished control over managerial decisions thus undermining Turner’s authority and focus on obtaining the correct business outcomes for MLI. The essence of the conflict in this situation is that of poor communication at the hiring phase. Clear expectations by both parties not having been presented or discussed. Sharpe and Johnson state that to avoid such situations developing, “investigate the expectations you and your boss have to each other. This appears to not having been done by Cardullo and Turner. An analysis confined to just the first three month the organization would reveal the job opportunities at MLI as key of success for the new employee. Turner had looked to MLI for career advancement. At their initial meeting he had presented himself to have the appropriate level of work experience, a sound knowledge base and intelligence to fulfil the role of Marketing and Sales Manager at MLI. Indeed, he had demonstrated at the interview that he was most appropriate for the job.
Cardullo had considered him to be extremely capable and so had been willing to hand over much of the responsibility in managing the company. Turner, by being the successful candidate had achieved his desire for improved work standing and was overwhelmed with the prospect of moving to Chicago, which as described by Gabarro & Kaftan (2011) as being “an exciting place to live”. However, neither took into consideration personality issues or scrutinised character traits of each other. Considering that they were to be influential decision makers at MLI this became a serious oversight by both parties.
From the start Turner had some misgivings but in his desire to get the position he did not openly discuss them with Cardullo. Sharpe (2001) states, “Conflict need not have negative results if it is managed properly. ” Unfortunately in this situation, due to lack of open discussion and dialogue between the two parties, difficulties began to emerge. Notably, Cardullo began to be annoyed with Turner’s approach rather than his work achievements. Buchanan & Huczynsky (2010) state that “Communication affects organisational performance and individual career prospects. The difficulties created because of the initial lack of communication between Cardullo and himself became increasingly evident to Turner on a daily basis. Heightened not only by Cardullo not presenting Turner with feedback or dialogue when the situation required, but also because of Cardullo’s verbal interactions with Turner not matching his actions.
Festering doubts between the two parties began to impact in a negative manner and cause further deterioration in their working relationship. As Kurtzman (2010) asserts, “People with chops are the ones who know what they are talking about. Cardullo, in his capacity as President of MLI, began making amateurish decisions not based on expertise which infuriated Turner as it impinged on his brief to improve outcomes for MLI. The lack of proper and due consideration by both parties at the initial contact to openly discuss expectations had developed into a dysfunctional working relationship between Cardullo and Turner. This effectively having a detrimental effect on the development and implementation of positive growth outcomes for MLI, further compounded by the subsequent failure by both parties to open dialogue about emerging concerns.
This scenario between Cardullo and Turner could be improved with conflict resolution meetings in place, to the benefit of MLI and its employees. Question word count: 753 POSSIBLE SOLUTION AND ALTERNATIVE COURSES OF ACTION: 3) How, if at all, should Turner approach Cardullo at the end of the case? | The article has presented a clear case of the developing situation between Cardullo and Turner at MLI but has made no indication of a resolution or a conclusion having being found. There is no doubt though, that for the benefit of the company there is the need for Cardullo and Turner to resolve their differences.
To that end, Turner needs to approach Cardullo to organise a meeting to clarify his position and areas of jurisdiction in the company, thereby creating a workable and harmonious workplace environment for all concerned. Sharpe (2001) maintains that “the ability to manage conflict plays a key role in determining whether an executive will continue on a successful career path or will derail. ” The situation at MLI could have been avoided if both parties had, at the start of difficulties presenting themselves, sat down together to openly and clearly discuss their concerns.
Especially taking into consideration that, if at the initial interview, Cardullo had presented a clear and unambiguous job description to Turner, misconceptions could have been avoided. Of paramount importance is the need for job parameters being in place and clearly communicated. As Taylor and Gryskiewicz (2003) state “problems arise when you decide, after many plans have been drawn, that there is different way. ” This took place after Turner had begun to put into place ideas that Cardullo had discussed with him during the early phase of his employment at MLI.
Cardullo however, had opted to modify these ideas without approaching Turner. This affected Turner’s decision making strategies and created doubt and uncertainty to his role at MLI. Cardullo’s actions were having a negative impact on Turner being able to do his job. Guttman (2004) asserts that “conflict should be managed, not eliminated” and to this end Turner decided to approach Cardullo in the hope of effectively dealing with the difficulties that Cardullo was creating. This to be done without compromising his position at MLI as he was concerned that a resignation could ultimately weaken his employment prospects.
By managing the situation Turner was hoping to lead to a compromise and resolve the apparent misconceptions of both parties to the situation that had evolved between them. Turner was further prompted to take steps because of the impending visit to MLI by Alan Oliver, CEO of Triple S Company, a holder of MLI. As Menkes (2011) states “Some managers maintain their clarity of thought and even think more clearly as the world becomes more confusing and threatening. ” If this is so, then the pressure generated by Oliver’s visit to MLI can be a positive turning point for Turner.
But this can also work to the contrary and the added pressure may reduce Turner’s ability to reflect and act. Menkes (2011) claims, “Great leaders become more precise under pressure. ” This situation can provide Turner with the ideal opportunity to perform as a leader or fail. The present state of affairs requires urgent intervention. Turner needs to approach Cardullo to set up a meeting to resolve their conflicting approaches to managing MLI. Both need to be forthright in voicing their misunderstandings and elucidate expectations to unravel the difficulties before further damage to MLI occurs.
They need to be in agreement and negotiate the best outcome for the company. To predict the outcome is impossible due to the amount of data that needs to be analysed and discussed. Problems at the meeting may arise due to both executives having different perceptions about the reality of the situation. Conflict resolution is essential and may require a third party to mediate at the meeting. A compromise may have to be decided upon at this stage, with ongoing meetings to ensure further difficulties are dealt with immediately. This will not only benefit all employees at MLI, but will have a positive impact on sales and customer satisfaction.
Furthermore, this should be a clear example of how communication can change situations and give more satisfaction to everyone involved in the case study. As matter of the fact, every decision in the everyday life conducts to a consequence. Usually the decision cannot be changed but the consequences can be modified by a mix of communication and knowledge that can be applied to obtain the desire outcome. This case study demonstrates that though expectations and perspectives can be different, with open and clear communication people can resolve situations without disappointment.