DUALISTIC DILEMMAS & CONFLICTS
Some examples where a Conflict / Dilemma between two opposed (?) principles was managed successfully.
New thinking made it possible to satisfy BOTH. But always there is a price to be paid.
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QUALITY versus COST
Higher Quality must always mean Higher Cost.
Cutting Costs must always mean Reducing Quality.
So the challenge (OLD VERSION) is to find the best trade-off or compromise
Result: no-one is satisfied.
AND Lower Cost are both achieved thru new "Lean" work belief system & management
new thinking &
former mental model.
Org builds long-term survivability by investing in radical, risky next-generation innovations.
Org. priority is to maximize current profits by putting main efforts into proven "cash cows" (established business assets).
Result: innovation ventures either starved or socialized into conformity to dominant dominant org. culture.
former mental model.
New ventures are sheltered, protected by top managers who "get" the dual strategy. Both sides are integrated to share assets both ways.
COST: new thinking & new systems are required
The two examples above illustrate how
a DUALITY DILEMMA can be turned into a GOLDEN DUALITY
i.e. how an "odd couple" (who cannot tolerate each other but need to collaborate and to use their different abilities together) can form a productive collaboration.
Making this transformation may be called "problem solving" or "conflict management" or "organizational learning", etc.. It goes beyond negotiation and includes dialogue.
Often the "resolution" is not as clear or clean as these examples. It requires the players to tolerate some paradox and ambiguity, without blaming other players for tough situations. Many of these situations are found at an interface where people are working increase ORGanizational learning on top of somewhat Bureaucratic systems. All the disciplines of the learning organization and more will be needed.
OLD MENTAL MODEL (truism assumed by many):
"Choose your priority. You/they can't have it both ways."
NEW MENTAL MODEL (under consideration by players, as new the conflict is faced in dialog with open minds):
"We need to satisfy both of these although that seems "impossible". But WHAT IF we could change the constraints, especially some of our assumptions (mental models) ?
The examples above and below show proven ways it can happen.
A BUREAUCRATIC approach to management traditionally requires an impersonal, formal, focus on rules and procedures - rather than people and relationships.
A RELATIONAL approach to organizational management requires careful attention to people and (social-emotional) factors
Formal rules & structures support HR policies that are people- and relationship-friendly. Leaders integrate these two sides (formal & informal). This makes a more sustainable relationship-based culture than one that depends solely on informal networks, fighting corporate bureaucracy.
SOURCE: Gittell, J.H. & Douglass, A. (2013). Relational Bureaucracy: Structuring Reciprocal Relationships Into Roles, Academy of Management Review, 37 (4), 709-733.