Conflict resolution/business

Question 1.

Discuss whether or not Kalinsky should have fired his former brother-in law    Michael Kalinsky had every right to fire his former brother- in-law, and this is due to several reasons.

David Kenworthy seems to have no respect for his superior and displays it before and behind him. He was also selfish, and does not have the best interest of the Empryean organization at heart most of the time, especially in relation to the Capital One Account.

He knew that the company was losing the account but failed to communicate it to Michael Kalinsky. This is a breach of his fiduciary responsibility, and should be fired on the basis of that alone.

The fact that Michal Kalinsky had been divorced by David’s sister, seems to indicate that there might be some unresolved family issues behind the behavior of the latter. The climate necessary for proper communications to resolve any conflict or to have company’s objectives objectively discussed was constantly absent. (, 05/12/10) There was also little time spent discussing the issues that are important to the growth of the organization and the constant conflict between them would only lead to the reduction in workers morale and the respect they have for the leadership.

The conflict therefore seems more destructive than constructive, and may eventually lead to others thinking that the manager is incompetent, in terms of controlling what is happening in his working environment, and positively affecting the confidence of other workers, to perform, especially that of the Vice –President, who seems to be his own boss.

   In the meantime the revenue maximization policies of the company is taking a back seat in the face of the constant battle between both men, and continuation of the relationship will only exacerbate the situation and lead to severe under achievement in the short term.

The situation had become untenable, especially with the father of David Kenworthy (Bruce), having substantial investment in the company, a fact which most likely tie Michael Kalinsky hands every day, and prevents him, from exercising his authority in the fullest manner. The company as an entity was being choked and needed a release, which should be in the form of the dismissal of the Vice President.


One of the styles of conflict management used in this situation is the AEOIU format. Michael was wrong to Assume that David meant well even though he was bitterly Expressing his feelings on a daily basis. He was also wrong to think the Outcome was clear and that as mature men proper Understanding will prevail in the climate. The approach failed because all the criteria to achieve the successes were absent. (Wisinski, 1993)

Michael Kalinsky assume David meant well but the constant feud between them and the question of autonomy, as well as the loss of the Capital One Account, shows that perhaps sabotage may be happening. He advocated for the Capital Account, then lost it, and said nothing to his superior, until it was too late. This action showed that he was also immature, in that he put his personal feelings, and ego before the interest of the company, an act that could have very negative repercussions, the longer the two worked together.

The method also failed, because David Kenworthy was not truly expressing his feeling, he gave the impression that he was doing a good job, and the outcome of his efforts would soon be clear, but he removed himself hundreds of miles away from Blue Bell, where he would have been more effective in the handling of the Capital One Account.

Later on it was discovered that he was not pursuing the customer with the intent and purpose required to secure and maintain the account. The entire style therefore fell apart, as there was nothing positive to stand on to initiate resolution strategies. The Norms which helps the leader or administrator to stay objective while dealing with a conflict in the environment, also failed to resolve the conflict between them. (Huber, 2007)

Kalinsky tried to be unbiased, by keeping the past deficiencies of Kenworthy, and focus on the desired outcome, but to no avail. The observable situation was seen by Bruce Kenworthy, and Thomas Brady at least, and may have travelled through the grape vines creating even greater havoc among the other employees.

There were no measurable parameters for them, because they seemed to have opposite views, on almost everything, and to make matter worst, David may be constantly thinking that the company owed him more than he was getting, because he was the one who kept it afloat, during the IRS investigation.

Both methods therefore failed to resolve this conflict, which now seems to be heading in one direction, unless some dramatic change in attitude takes place.


Integrated Negotiations were not employed throughout this process as no one tried to separate both men so that a compromising attitude could be generated. (UOP, 2004) the most ideal person who could do this would have been Bruce Kenworthy, but he did little in the way of bringing both to the table. Michael Kalinsky seems to focus on the interest of the company, while his brother-in –law held divergent views in the area of promotion, and complete autonomy, even though he was not doing a good job.

There was no point in Kalinsky expressing the importance of an objective outlook, because his leadership strategies were constantly questioned, before and behind him. According to Krivis, through this negotiating technique, everyone knows the problem, and goal, and everyone is willing to put his personal feeling aside to reach that mutual goal. (Krivis, 2006)

However, the attitude and mind set of both men especially David, were far from what is required for this strategy to work, and there seem no way the company can go forward with this kind of toxic climate.


TheC problems between both men were due to the non-establishment of regular positive contact, constant attacking of people rather than the problems, failure to put aside personal feeling, and the geographical distance between the leadership. ( , 12/31/2007)

With both men constantly arguing, there were little room for positive contact to be made, and the real issues discussed, and a real barrier to communication seems constant between the two parties.

The objectives were not being adequately aired, and fine tuned, and much of the company time was being eaten up by the conflict between the leadership. Kalinsky needed to expand and grow the company, while David Kenworthy needed a promotion before he could do what was required of him. The personal feeling also seems to creep into their regular discourse and change the focus of meetings that was design to develop strategies to keep high valued customers effectively and efficiently serviced.

The communication problem was also exacerbated by the distance between both men, with David, deliberately choosing to be as a hundred miles away. A reduction in the frequency of meetings, and the constant conflicts when there are meeting, presents insurmountable barriers to effective communication, and problem solving. These barriers artificial an do otherwise were too much not to bring about some form of separation, in the near future, if the company was going to communicate its goals and objectives, and survive.

Question #5

Third party Mediation seems the best means of resolving this conflict. It would be best if both men were able to attend counseling, and be helped to put their personal feelingsaside, before such meeting, as there would be less bitterness, anger, animosity, and resentment to handle.

According to Marsh, it is the last chance before major expenses are incurred (Marsh, 2008), and because   of the immaturity, and unresolved family issues, it would be the best approach for both sides.

The presence of an impartial, highly trained and experience mediator would enable both sides to start listening perhaps for the first time, and for a level of understanding to develop, and an agenda developed, that would put the company interest at the top, and a way developed to go forward.

It may be at the end a successful resolution would be reached, with Michael Kalinsky

getting his wish that the top accounts be managed at home by his vice president, who willbe satisfied that his work during the IRS Investigation has been rewarded, with thepromotion received, and he will be now willing to join forces with his president todominate the consultancy human resource market.

The alternative to this, could be separation and a long legal battle in which both sideswill be physically, emotionally, and financially stretched, but such are the realities of conflict resolution cases, and it would be good if good sense and maturity prevails.


1. Marsh, S.R., 2008, Conflict Resolution, pp.83-84, Green haven Press, Farmington Hill, MI

2. Bluestein, J. Conflict Prevention and Resolution: Strategies,,12/31/07

3. Wills, S. Conflict Resolution Strategies in the Workplaces, 12/31/2007,

4. Wisinski, J.1993, Resolving Conflicts on the job, American Management Association, pp.27-31

5. Huber, B. July 2007, pp.110 (7), Maintenance and Operations Conflict, Rock Products