What type of conflict resolution strategy is the union steward suggesting?


Emery is the father of four children. He was raised in a hardworking immigrant family. His needs for achievement and power were developed while he was growing up. Now he finds himself in a low-paying, dead-end assembly line job with a large manufacturing firm. It is all he can do to get through the day, so he has started daydreaming on the job. On payday he often goes to the tavern across the street and generally spends a lot of money. The next day he is not only hungover but also very depressed because he knows that his wife cannot make ends meet and his children often go without the essentials. Now he cannot take it any longer. At first, he thought of going to his boss for some help and advice, but he really does not understand himself well enough, and he certainly does not know or trust his boss enough to discuss his problems openly with him. Instead, he went to his union steward and told him about his financial problems and how much he hated his job. The steward told James exactly what he wanted to hear. “This darn company is the source of all your problems. The working conditions are not suited for a slave, let alone us. The pay also stinks. We are all going to have to stick together when our present contract runs out and get what we deserve— better working conditions and more money.”

Questions:1.Explain James’s behavior in terms of the frustration model.

2.Cite a specific example of role conflict in this case.

3.What type of conflict resolution strategy is the union steward suggesting? Do you think the real problems facing James are working conditions and pay? Why or why not?

4.What, if anything, can be done to help the James Emery’s of the world?


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