A Conflict Case Study Analysis and Proposal
A destructive conflict was created by the parties involved in the case study 2 section 2 (Erbe, 2003) when they failed to recognize the sole purpose of a spiritual community. The spiritual community’s sole purpose was to unite the members by leading them through a common belief and offering them any support they may require.
The spiritual leader was charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the goals of the community were achieved. Instead of her using the powers bestowed to her to perform her role and the duties expected of her, she started to abuse these powers and instead of uniting the staff members and drawing them close to her, she scared them off. She started using her power to abuse and intimidate the subordinate staff in her office.
This continued for such a long time that it became a ritual. It was in fact perceived that the spiritual leader’s intention was to hurt those individuals she thought did not belong to her circle.
The issue of a fired staff came at the time the spiritual leader was also serving as the leader of the community. The spiritual leader’s apparent abuse of power is said to have caused the occurrence of the incident.
We can not conclusively say that the complaining group’s accusations made against the leader are accurate as no face to face interview with the spiritual leader to get her side of the story and comment had yet been conducted. This implies that facts about the true motive behind the sacking of the staff member and whether bullying really is going on are still unknown.
Besides, the complaining parties might be exaggerating in describing their accusations against the spiritual leader as there always is possibility of cognitive and perceptual distortions occurring where such issues are concerned. This calls for further investigation into the matter as it is necessary to establish the truth and also find out if the perceptual and distortion theories are present in the issue.
It is important to note that the organization comprised of only women. However, the culture of the organization is more masculine than feminine. This is based on the on the way the leader executed her leadership responsibilities. Her expectations of the staff members were more rigid than what is normally expected of feminine organizations (Erbe, 2003).
The leader created power and status, had matched experience to commanded attention and built ideas competitively which is characteristic of masculine organizations (Erbe. 2003). These leadership traits hence made the spiritual leader masculine as she did not exert the female leadership skills that are usually more dynamic.
This caused her to conflict with the rest of the staff members as her version of leadership was not favourable with them (Erbe, 2003). These differences in the way the leadership was handled caused the first phase of conflict which proceeded with time as in the escalating destructive conflict model created by Erbe.
The conflict proceeded as members of the staff who were not in the leader’s circle got scared of opposing her abuse and bullying. This resulted to repeated abuse by the leader as no one was able to stand up to her. This eventually triggered accumulation of ill feelings against the leader amongst the staff members.
This was even made worse by the fact that the spiritual leader was not meeting the staff member’s root expectation of her. Usually people expect spiritual leaders to be kind, fair, just and humane, this was however not so with this leader.
The complaining group was later empowered when a law graduate entered the conflict and joined their side. She made them aware of heir legal rights which they did not know before. She explained to them that they could file a suite against the spiritual leader for abusing them.
This was an empowerment to the complaining party as they got to know that there was a venue for them to air their grievances and concerns with the hope of getting help. More abuse from the leader were reported, for example there is an instance where she is said to have verbally abused a secretary who later went to seek counselling as she had been deeply hurt by the abuse.
The peak of the conflict was experienced when one of the staff members was found with a gun. Violence which is known to be the ultimate manifestation of a conflict usually triggers destructive and undesired dynamics (Erbe, 2003).