What Customers Don’t Know Won’t Hurt Them, or Will It?

Group 1


1. List and identify an example of the sources of conflict that lead to Elena behaving dishonestly in her workplace.


The conflict facing Elena and her supervisor looks to be a functional conflict for the point of view of the rent car company. The conflict supports the performance of the group. But the problem comes later because the situation put to Elena in a very risky situation, from many different point of view such as professional, ethics, etc. 

Communication looks to be a component of the conflict. Specifically the lack of frank and common objective oriented communication.

Structure has a component too, Helena’s manager put a lot of pressure knowing Elena goals and taking advantage of that; this manager push hardly to Elena to fulfill his own objectives and exposing to Elena to many risks. Leadership Style, dependency and Reward systems are variables that they influence the decision and increase the conflict.

Finally, personal variables has played a few role in the conflict


In other way, the conflict that has risen because of the accident put to Elena and the group in a dysfunctional conflict: someone will result damaged.

The conflict also has two components, cognitive (related with the job perspective) and affective (due to the ethical issues).

Communication looks to be a strong source of conflict. There are many alternatives to deal with the problem if it is disclosed.

Many structural source of conflict are acting here: reward system, leadership style, ambiguity, composition, diversity of goals and dependence.

Finally, personal variables help to establish different perspectives of the problem originating conflicts.


2. Is Elena in cognitive or affective conflict with the legal department managers?

In regards to the legal department we believe Elena has a component from cognitive conflict and other component from affective conflict. Elena and her supervisor have at the beginning a different perception in how to serve customers. The legal department believes this to be task oriented. They are asking if she knew the tire was faulty. Elena was supposed to do a walk around the car before the customer left.

In other side, this conflict has a component of affective conflict when it touches ethical issues. Ethical values and dealing with ethical issues generates affective conflicts.


3. Identify two conflict resolution strategies that would effective in the short term and the long term in this situation. Discuss why these strategies would be effective.

Problem solving could be the better strategy managing this conflict. Helena and her supervisor should reach an agreement that satisfies the expectations for both considering the variables that are important for them; this variables are many, such as for example reach objectives, generate better business, integrity in business, ethical concerns, etc.

Compromising is very close to problem solving looking how to manage this conflict; part parties should recognize the different current and future concerns that they have. These concerns are very broad and they go from personal to relate with the business concerns.


4. List and identify an example of all the sources of power that Elena grants to her location supervisor.


5. Did Elena go against her basic values, did she ignore her basic values or did she adopt new values in this situation. Provide examples to support your view.



1. Analyze Elena’s decision-making process at the following stages:

   a. when she first agreed to lie to the customers

  b. when she responds to the legal department manager

What are weaknesses? What steps would improve Elena’s decision-making process.

2. What policies or initiatives could the company have in place that would have aided Elena when she is faced with these decision situations?



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