For every business firm, the inevitability of conflicts is a reality that beckons. Scandals often originate from multiple sources. For example, they could be between employees of equal ranks in the office, a junior and a senior or the company and its clients. It is imperative that the management and supervisors in any enterprise view conflict as inherently harmful, to come up with several mechanisms to suppress them at the nick of every opportunity. By contrast, the business can view a business saga as inherently positive, leverage the scandal so that it gears towards a positive change in the business environment. That notwithstanding, a variety of organizational conflict resolution methods present themselves for any firm that grapples with scandals.
Conflict Resolution Approaches
Some companies choose to employ grievance procedure as the prime method to handle scandals in the business. Herein, the firm establishes an official grievance procedure for its workers (Ingram, 2018). The employees in every level of the industry are assured that their voices are respected and will be heard in the event of a conflict. The management promises to respond promptly and reasonably to the issues that the staff brings forth. The merit of this form is that it eliminates terrible feelings of bitterness and resentment (Ingram, 2018). It also guarantees open and quick handling of conflicts.
A positive perspective is applied in some firms. Here, the company takes and receives the conflict as a form of the natural growth process that influences the business to perceive the constructive scandal positively (Ingram, 2018). Enterprises are assured that disputes are assets to the company if it is handled meticulously and adequately. Positive perspective aids the organization in taking lessons from the mistakes and cites the areas that need the appraisal. The method also exacerbates chances of innovation.
Equal voices procedure encompasses offering the conflicting parties a fair platform of airing their grievances. In this method, employees are subjected to same treatment regardless of their positions in the company (Ingram, 2018). If the participants cite marginalization, they tend to be defensive which creates a predetermined income. The resolution goes beyond offering the affected parties equal chances of speaking but also includes providing the grieving sides equal weights on the presented arguments.
Facts finding includes the focus placed on the roots of the problem while ignoring the superficial effects of the issue during the assessment of the conflict. The assumption is that as much as grieving parties may claim with the widespread effects of the policies of the company, there are deep underlying causes (Ingram, 2018). In-depth assessment of conflicts helps in creating long term solutions to the problem within the organization.
Some firms prefer using the resolution participation method to solve conflicts. All the factions are involved in the drafting of the solutions. According to the Management by Objective (MBO) theory, employees’ commitment is high to the goals that they generated. The same logic applies to the resolution of conflicts (Ingram, 2018). All the grieving sides actively draft solutions and recommendations at the negotiating table. The ultimate goal is to unite the warring parties.
Example of Conflict: Fox News Channel
Fox News has grappled with the exploitation of its employees in the recent past. It is worse because the exploitation was sexual where female employees accused the company’s former chairperson, Roger Ailes, of sexual harassment. The nature of the conflict herein is exploitation carried out by a senior employee on the subordinate. The scandal placed Fox at an awkward position of defending its already tainted image.
In April 2017, Roger Ailes who was the Fox News Channel commentator was accused of sexual harassment, inflicting reputational damage to the broadcasting giant house. The victim, Julie Roginsky, was a political commentator and a contributor at the news house claimed that Ailes made several sexual advances towards her. She says that the accused further penalized her after she rebuffed his advances. In July 2016, Ailes was sacked from Fox News due to sexual harassment scandals. Aside from that, over 20 women that include former Fox news employees (Laurie Dhue and Megyn Kelly) filed similar complaints against Roger Ailes.
Facts Finding as Applied in Fox News Channel
Fox news channel adopted fact finding a method of conflict resolution. Herein, the company decided to suspend and later sack Roger Ailes to pave the way for investigation in 2016 (Redden, 2016). Following his sack, the giant broadcaster firm ignored the effects of Mr. Ailes behavior and dug deep in the inquiry by interviewing the affected female employees. The company’s ethical committee was tasked with an investigation into the allegations.
A meeting was held between Ms. Roginsky and Fox news network’s executives. The convention came following Mr. Ailes’ departure from the firm (Holpuch, 2017). Roginsky raised the concerns about the case and later proceeded to a public trial that was followed by a civil jury based in New York City.
Merits and Demerits of the Conflict at Fox
The conflict was advantageous to the organization because it exposed the weaknesses within the firm that must be addressed. The accusation of Mr. Ailes proved that female employees were at risk of being sexually exploited by not only their seniors but also male employees. Positively, the conflict exposed Fox news by illuminating the areas that need rectification and improvement. Resultantly, Fox has been able to come up with anti-discriminatory rules that eliminate any form of junior employees being exploited. Additionally, the company has created an environment that protects all the employees as they discharge their assigned duties. According to (Ingram, 2018) conflicts must be viewed positively as points of improvement because if they are handled correctly, they benefit the firm. In future, it might be difficult to implicate Fox news because of the mitigations that it has taken to curb exploitation of its staff.
By contrast, the conflict tainted the image of Fox news channel. When the news of sexual exploitation of female workers came out, the firm grappled with opposition and criticism from not only female viewers but also the global audience. The company’s image was negatively perceived because of the accused, Mr. Ailes (Redden, 2016). Aside from that, conflicts inculcate legal concerns in the business. The reaction of the Fox news employees was to sue Mr. Ailes. According to Holpuch (2017), Julie Roginsky filed a lawsuit against Roger Ailes and was later followed by 20 other women, of which some were former employees of Fox news, filing similar suits. In fact, Billy O’Reilly, the co-president of the firm had to offer $13 million as a settlement to five women who were victims of Mr. Ailes sexual harassment (Holpuch, 2017). It is evident that cause finding placed Fox News at reputational and financial problems.
I am convinced that equal voice was the best method that Fox news could have used. In this approach, the company would have brought Ms. Roginsky, M. Ailes, and other complainants to a hearing table within the company. Herein, all of them would have been given a fairground to address their issues regardless of their positions in Fox news. The method would create a picture that the victims are equally respected in the company. Besides, it would help in preventing a public portrayal of the negative image of the firm.
In summation, firms grapple with conflicts in the organization. The treatment and handling of the dispute differ among institutions. Fact-finding, equal voice, resolution participation, positive perspective and grievance procedure are the central mechanisms that most companies use. In light of this paper, conflicts are avenues of the business organization for growth if approached with positive constructivism.
Holpuch, A. (2017). Fox News Commentator is latest to Accuse Roger Ailes of Sexual Harassment. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/apr/03/fox-news-roger-ailes-sexual-harassment-lawsuit-julie-roginsky
Ingram, D. (2018). Ways of Managing Conflict in Organizations. Chron: Hearts Newspaper, LLC. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/ways-managing-conflict-organizations-2655.html
Redden, M. (2016). Roger Ailes Leaves Fox News in the wake of Sexual Harassment Claims. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jul/21/roger-ailes-leaves-fox-news-sexual-harassment-claims