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Deliverable 5 – Conflict
Competency
This competency will allow you to demonstrate the use of conflict management and negotiation strategies in decision making.
Instructions
In your role as NoJax’s organizational behavior consultant, you continue to focus on the area of conflict management. NoJax currently has some constraints within their structure that have the potential to create conflict and lacks the necessary relationship-based structure to handle them. To address or avoid conflict, some strategies and processes will need to be implemented.You will need to consider the information presented in the company background document and information within the module to conduct your conflict management assessment. Identify potential areas of conflict within the management structure and organizational constraints that may be affecting decision making. Address the following in your report:

What do you perceive to be constraints in the structure that may hinder effective decision making and why?
Using the decision-making process, identify and explain ways NoJax can make decisions more effectively.
How can the elements and techniques of negotiation be used to reduce potential conflict with employees?
Identify and explain the steps in conflict management that NoJax should use to address issues that they may encounter.

NoJax Inc. Company Background

NoJax Inc. is a small American company that designs and manufactures specialized athletic shoes, clothing, and accessories. The business was first started in 2010 when two cousins, Noah and Jaxson Williams, recognized that very few quality options were available for people that led an active lifestyle, specifically regular gym goers. This realization led the Williams cousins to create a shoe prototype designed with weight lifters in mind. The first shoe, dubbed the NJ Elite, emphasized comfort and support that wouldn’t interfere with weight lifting form while exercising. As the NJ Elite gained popularity with local retailers, NoJax expanded their offerings into sports apparel. Since then growth has been tremendous, and NoJax has grown from those small local stores carrying their products to over 200 retailers nationwide. Currently, NoJax has four main areas of focus: shoes for running, apparel for running, shoes for weight lifting, and apparel for weight lifting.
The NoJax brand is targeted at the fitness lifestyle. This psychographic segmentation strategy goes beyond typical demographic boundaries and has allowed them to position themselves as a high quality option for people serious about exercise. While this is currently a niche market, it’s a market that continues to grow as cultural trends shift more towards health and wellness. Much of NoJax’s marketing involves online advertising with fitness websites and sponsoring fitness competitions, such as the CrossFit Games and the Chicago Marathon.
Revenue for the business has grown consistently as their market and the consumer base has expanded. Last year, NoJax earned $6 million in sales with a 15% profit margin, which is above industry average. The brand is moderately priced when compared to the competition. Shoes sell for around $80, shirts go for $50, and pants average a sales price of $60.
NoJax is currently considering expansion into other markets. However, they have decided to bring in an outside consultant to analyze the company’s design for its impact on organizational behavior. Other than the addition of new product lines, very little about the company has been updated or changed since their operation began. NoJax senior management is concerned that the outdated company design and the new employees that they’ve hired may be negatively impacting the business’ effectiveness. Below is data for the consultant on the company structure, policy, and key employees.

NoJax Inc. Company Structure

NoJax Inc. currently uses the matrix structure pictured below. Product managers each oversee a single specific product line. There are currently four product managers that oversee four different types of products. Those products are running shoes, running apparel, weight lifting shoes, and weight lifting apparel. There are also three different departments with their own expertise. Those departments are Design, Marketing, and Research and Development (R&D). The Senior Management team currently consists of the two company founders, Noah and Jaxson Williams. There are a total of 50 employees working at NoJax in the positions shown below.

Senior Management

Orlando Grant R&D Manager
Janet Johnson Marketing Manager
Alice Bloom Design Manager

Carrie Durant Running Shoes Manager

Jesse Mercado Running Apparel Manager

Lynn Bryant Lifting Apparel Manager

Anam Basra Lifting Shoes Manager

NoJax Inc. Policy

· NoJax currently adheres to a very centralized power and decision making structure.
· Employees are heavily monitored in order to make them as efficient as possible at their positions. This includes weekly status meetings with managers and daily activity reports that must be filled out by each employee.
· When decisions do have to be made it generally requires multiple approvals from both direct managers and someone from the senior management team. Routine decisions regularly take 48 hours to be made.
· Disagreements between the product and department managers happen frequently and a clear mediation process for these instances has yet to be developed.
· Roles and members of teams stay consistent. Employees do not rotate through positions at the company and are restricted from changing teams.
· Job tasks and design is very clearly defined with little variation between roles.
· Yearly evaluations of employees include ranking all of the employees in the company. Raises are handed out based on each employee’s ranking. The top workers can receive up to a 6% raise and the bottom employees receive no raise.
· All employees are paid a base salary. Pay is slightly above industry average, and employees average 50 hours of work in a week.
· NoJax does offer health and dental to employees but nothing in the form of investments or retirement plans.
· The hiring process at NoJax Inc. includes individual interviews with a product manager, a department manager, and then senior management. Typical time from receiving a resume to being hired is three months.
· Employees are allocated ten days off a year. Those days are meant to cover everything. This includes sick days, vacation, and personal days. Any days missed past that must be emergencies with some form of proof, such as a doctor’s note.
· Human Resource responsibilities are handled by the senior management team, as an actual HR department has never been created.
· All manufacturing and distribution of NoJax products are outsourced to third-party partner businesses.
· Discipline at NoJax works on a point system. Infractions, such as being late or acting out, cause employees to accumulate points. After an employee reaches 10 points they are written up. An additional 10 points can lead to a suspension. Points reset every calendar year and there is no carry over from the previous year.

Employee:
Alice Bloom
· Position: Design Department Manager
· Sex: Female
· Age: 62
· Race: Caucasian
· Work Experience: 40 years
· Education: High School Diploma
· Personality:
· Extraversion–High
· Emotional Stability–Medium
· Openness–Low
· Conscientiousness–Medium
· Agreeableness–Low

Employee:
Janet Johnson
· Position: Marketing Department Manager
· Sex: Female
· Age: 27
· Race: African American
· Work Experience: 5 years
· Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing
· Personality:
· Extraversion–High
· Emotional Stability–Low
· Openness–High
· Conscientiousness–Medium
· Agreeableness–Medium

Employee:

Orlando Grant
· Position: Research and Development Department Manager
· Sex: Male
· Age: 29
· Race: African American
· Work Experience: 4 years
· Education: Associate’s Degree in Marketing
· Personality:
· Extraversion–High
· Emotional Stability–High
· Openness–High
· Conscientiousness–Low
· Agreeableness–Medium

Employee:
Carrie Durant
· Position: Running Shoes Product Manager
· Sex: Female
· Age: 41
· Race: Caucasian
· Work Experience: 12 years
· Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Communications
· Personality:
· Extraversion–Medium
· Emotional Stability–Medium
· Openness–Medium
· Conscientiousness–Medium
· Agreeableness–High

Employee:

Jessie Mercado
· Position: Running Apparel Product Manager
· Sex: Female
· Age: 34
· Race: Hispanic
· Work Experience: 10 years
· Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management
· Personality:
· Extraversion–Low
· Emotional Stability–Medium
· Openness–Medium
· Conscientiousness–High
· Agreeableness–High

Employee:

Lynn Bryant
· Position: Lifting Shoes Product Manager
· Sex: Female
· Age: 52
· Race: Caucasian
· Work Experience: 20 years
· Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology
· Personality:
· Extraversion–Medium
· Emotional Stability–High
· Openness–Medium
· Conscientiousness–High
· Agreeableness–Medium

Employee:

Anam Basra
· Position: Lifting Apparel Product Manager
· Sex: Female
· Age: 38
· Race: Pakistani
· Work Experience: 10 years
· Education: Master’s Degree in Sports Management
· Personality:
· Extraversion–Medium
· Emotional Stability–Medium
· Openness–Low
· Conscientiousness–High
· Agreeableness–High

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