Conflict Resolution and Ethical Leadership

      Having a staffing plan is extremely important for an organization. Without proper planning, there can be issues with turnover rates, low productivity, skill gaps, underemployment, high labor costs, or over-employment. (Morgan Hunter Healthcare, 2016). To develop and implement a staffing plan, the organization will need to outline what work needs to be done, determine how many people they will need to perform the tasks, examine what skills or experience is necessary for the tasks, and analyze any skill gaps that could be present. Depending on the needs, these plans can be developed on any scale, whether individual projects, teams, departments, or organization-wide. For this article, we will examine the practices for planning and staffing in intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship environments and organizing teams by function in both.

      Before examining practices for planning and staffing in an intrapreneurship environment, we must first understand what intrapreneurship is. Will Kenton (2021) defines intrapreneurship and states, intrapreneurship is where an employee can behave like an entrepreneur within an organization. These environments allow proactive and self-motivated individuals to pursue innovation in services and products. An intrapreneurship is beneficial because they are not affected in the same way an entrepreneur is and does not have to face repercussions of failures at the same level. Their skills and innovation can be a benefit to the organization as well as motivating for the employee. Intrapreneurs help organizations with making transformational changes. (Kenton, 2021).

      There is a great example in history that embodies what intrapreneurship is. According to (VWU) Virginia Wesleyan University (2018), "intrapreneurship began in 1974 when an engineer, Art Fry, wanted to solve an issue he was having with his bookmark. He worked at a company called 3M. At that time, 3M allowed employees to work on their project ideas for fifteen percent of the time. Fry implemented this time with a co-worker named Spencer Silver to create what is now known as post-it notes." (VWU, 2018).


      To plan for and staff intrapreneurs, it is crucial to know how to identify intrapreneurs and know how to create a culture that promotes intrapreneurship. There is a list of criteria and characteristics that helps to spot individuals who harbor an intrapreneur spirit. According to Gifford Pinchot (2020), the criteria for spotting intrapreneurs are looking at their collaboration, deep involvement with the steps to implementation, honesty, long and short-term goal setting, moderate risk-taking, motivation, optimism, inspirational leadership, persistence, team building, and technical capability. There will be specific characteristics in these areas or skills they will exhibit that others will not." (Pinchot, 2020a).

                To develop a culture and an environment that fosters intrapreneurship Gifford Pinchot outlines the methods. Pinchot states,

"create a vision of overall goals and destination of organization, actively involve management and leaders, support intrapreneurs, support cross-functional teams, create sponsorship culture, implement widespread intrapreneurial training, hold idea expos, innovation workshops or accelerators, put budgets, time, and resources at lowest levels, implement seed or sandbox funds, allow boundary-crossing, communicate culture and vision, do not discount small beginnings, measure innovation output, implement new ways of organizing work, and offer rewards." (Pinchot, 2020b).

      For team planning within an intrapreneur culture, one must remember multiple teams have their specific tasks and delegated responsibilities. According to Capsim Management Simulations (2020), "the teams are department teams, problem-solving teams, virtual teams, cross-functional teams, and self-managed teams." When it pertains to intrapreneurs, there are typically three types. According to Susan Foley (2016), the three types of intrapreneurs are creators, doers, and implementers. When developing teams and staffing, it is beneficial to have at least one of each type of intrapreneur personality. Each of these types has its own strengths they can bring to the team and the organization. The creators will be innovative and bring new ideas to the table but will probably get bored easily and move on to the next idea. The creators probably focus less on details and do not like structure. The doers can take the creator's ideas and refine the details, and they can get the job done. These people will probably be great at communicating because they must explain the details of the ideas. Doers, like creators, will not like structure or protocols very much. Then, there are the implementers, and these people are the ones who make the ideas and details happen. These people will understand how to get the idea executed and will focus on goals to complete it. The implementers will be the best people to utilize in negotiations, and they will be great under pressure since they must ensure the creator's and doer's work is carried through. These people will help to motivate the rest of the team.

      When staffing and creating teams, it is important to understand the work-related characteristics needed to achieve an intrapreneurship culture, teams, and individuals best suited for the organization.  A job performance measurement is also a tool to ensure the chosen individuals will be best suited for the job.  It is important to make sure that the questions, measures, and specifics are relevant to the task's needs, role, or position. It will most likely be easier to spot an intrapreneur personality if the individual is already within the company rather than hiring someone from outside.

      Entrepreneurship is different than intrapreneurship. The entrepreneurs are left dealing with the risks of any unsuccessful innovation, idea, or business action.  These are typically the business owners. We examined the planning and staffing for intrapreneur's environment in the previous section, but that is geared toward developing the culture and ensuring innovation within the organization is implemented. In the entrepreneur's case, they will have to look at various tools to staff their organization for every role, department, task, and organizational need. The entrepreneur will also have to delegate these functions and roles to their HR department once they create and staff it.

       According to Karen McCandless (2021), an entrepreneur must create a business plan, create a staffing plan, onboarding, training, succession, satisfaction, development, retaining employees, set goals and strategies, forecast optimal staffing levels, gap analysis, monitor, adjust, and repeat as needed. An entrepreneur has functions like management does. Sonia Kukreja lists them and explains them in further detail. According to Kukreja (2019), "there are five primary functions of entrepreneur management. These five functions are planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling."

      A general umbrella method should not be used to align the organizational strategy and vision with the culture. The reason it should not be done is that each organization is unique and has its own culture. Thus, a customized strategy should be planned, developed, and implemented. It is critically important that the organization's leadership leads by example and exemplifies the culture, vision, and values the organization has. It is equally important that they communicate these visions, values, goals, and strategies to everyone within the company. It can be difficult, but self-reflection and honest evaluation of the organization is needed to be done to determine what weak areas can cause issues later. Without the insight and honesty in performing it, then the alignment efforts will not succeed. Likewise, successfully motivating individuals and teams and aligning them with their vision cannot happen without these efforts.

      Having clear goals and communicating them can help individuals know what is expected of them. Breaking down strategies, tasks, and benchmarks can go a long way in aligning employees to team goals and organization goals. Doing this makes it easier to manage tasks in smaller portions and allows for simpler monitoring efforts to be performed. It is important for individuals to feel like they are achieving something, and having a clear role and goal provides them with the ability to see the impact their efforts have.

      To motivate individuals, the organizational goals should be apparent so that everyone can share the vision, purpose, values, and mission. If they do not understand the vision or strategy, they most likely will not get on board with it. Listen to feedback, questions, and concerns and address any that surface. If an individual is uncomfortable or uncertain about an objective, they will not go along with it. People like to feel heard and valued, so making efforts to listen and clarify will go a long way towards alignment efforts. Holding regular meetings can help to ensure goals are communicated enough to refresh the visions. While individuals do like to feel a part of something, it is important to make sure they have the tools and support necessary to accomplish their task. Implementing training, development, and learning of new skills or knowledge can provide them with these tools.  It is also crucial to make sure their equipment and resources are sufficient to complete their work efficiently and effectively. Talking to individuals one-on-one and providing them with feedback helps them to know whether they are on track or not. According to Howard Rohm and David Jalili (2013), cascading is the method of breaking down strategies and goals into activities that employees perform. However, cascading is not the only way to align goals. Alignment requires action at all levels from the top down. The balanced scorecard can help assist in strategic cascading.

      We already know that individuals need communication and motivation to align with the organization's vision, but teams need this as well. It is important to remember that each department or team will have different needs from one another. A sales team will not have the same needs, resources, or tools that the accounting or HR team needs. Just like the individual level, the team level also needs to understand the company's mission and vision. If they do not understand it, they will not be on board with the alignment of it. Thus, making sure the values, goals, vision, and mission are clearly and consistently communicated at all levels. Having regular meetings with teams, just like individuals, will help to ensure they are reminded of these goals and visions. Actively listening and addressing concerns can help with fostering open relationships and communications which leads to higher engagement. Acknowledging, recognizing, and rewarding work and efforts will help teams feel accomplished and motivated. Chad Halvorson (2014) notes that many organizations have difficulties in aligning teams due to a lack of clear or concise understanding of expectations.

      Another aspect to remember is that team conflict resolution and management will be necessary skills to have. This will be needed because multiple individuals coming together in a group can tend to be a breeding ground for conflicts and disagreements. Conflict in the workplace is normal and will have many causes. According to Maricel Rivera (2020), these can be due to personality differences, unclear roles, lack of communication, poor performance, stress, burnout, unrealistic expectations, and lack of sufficient resources.

      John R French and Bertram Raven (1959) posit that there are five bases of power. They state these powers are referent, expert, reward, coercive, and legitimate. The higher the coercion on the person, the higher the resistance and less the individual is drawn towards the organization, team, group, alignment, etc. Reward power, however, resulted in a lower rate of resistance and a higher draw towards alignment, teams, organization, etc.

      We will look further at the different types of powers and whether they fall under personal or positional powers. Different methods used to effect change will be dependent on the need of the situation. There may be times when coercive power may work better than referent power. It should be noted that using too much of any power is not good for alignment and change efforts. A leader must know what power to use and when; moderation is the key here.

      Personal power consists of expert and referent power. Expert power pertains to experience, skills, and qualifications that have been developed over time. If a leader is viewed as an expert in something, individuals and teams will likely trust their judgment and decision-making. However, it is important to note that in some areas or industries, the appearance of expertise can be fragile due to rapid changes, especially in fields like technology. Due to frequent changes, it is vital to continually learn and obtain knowledge in specialization and seek advice, opinions, and wisdom from others.

      Referent power happens due to leading by example and being the role model of behaviors that leaders wish to see in others. Often individuals will not follow a leader that does the opposite of what they say as this would denote a 'do as I say, not as I do' action and will quickly lead to resistance.  This power also relies on developing and fostering relationships with individuals and teams. According to Mitchell Sowards (2019), referent power consists of soft skills and helps individuals and teams feel valued.

     Most organizations have some sort of political aspect in their functioning due to hierarchies, attempts to obtain some form of power, and efforts to influence others. According to Abraham Zaleznik (1970), regardless of what personal or positional power is utilized, an organization will still implement authority, competition, and scarcity of power to gain the upper hand or competitive advantage.

      To effect change, it is essential to reduce conflicts between people, teams, and interests. Listening to concerns, ideas and openly communicating can help in efforts of change. Rather than pushing authoritarian tactics regularly, other methods need to be implemented. Such as those found in personal power and positional power. Rather than pushing the mentality of compliance, it is better to encourage commitment to change efforts. The same methods of motivation for individuals and teams in alignment efforts can be implemented to effect change.

      Positional power consists of coercive, reward, and legitimate power. Coercive power is viewed negatively and will often implement punishment if the individual does not do as they are ordered. According to Javier Leiva (2018), this type of power can be carried out directly or indirectly. In the case of indirect threats, an individual may assume the threat is present, regardless of whether it is or not. It is not an assumption in a direct threat, and the leaders are blatantly obvious in their threats.

      Coercive power is not a method that should be implemented all the time; else, it elicits resistance and will not foster alignment. Despite this, however, there will be situations where implementing this power is necessary. Cases where an individual is continuously late, harassing others, or consistently combative or defiant are examples of when this method can be used—utilizing this on individuals or teams that are not causing issues will quickly lower morale, increase turnover, and undo any alignment strategies or efforts.

      Reward power is one that many will be familiar with and consists of individuals or teams being rewarded for their efforts and work. Often this can be seen with commissions, bonuses, awards, time off, and so forth. According to John Dudovskiy (N.D.), rewards can be tangible and intangible. Tangible is more along the lines of something physical such as raises, and intangible is more along the lines of things that cannot be seen, such as praise and respect.

      Legitimate power is a perceived role of power based upon the position of the leader. This type of power is the most common one within an organization. Individuals will see someone in the top levels of a hierarchical rung as having power and responsibilities simply because of their position. According to Louise Ledbrook (2012), once a person is no longer in the position of power, then the legitimate power becomes obsolete. Therefore it is essential to develop and grow the other skills and powers while in the legitimate power position.

      Determining the best tool, method, or strategy for problem-solving and decision-making depends on the situation, problem, or opportunity.  No one specific thing can be used as a general umbrella method. Some situations will require more logical methods, and some situations will require more creative approaches. However, it is this student's opinion that a combination of the two can be most beneficial. Various tools can help spot issues such as SWOT analysis, PESTLE analysis, SOAR, VMOST, Boston Matrix, Porter's Five Forces, and Root Cause Analysis. One can even implement Aristotle's First Principles to examine and break down situations and create solutions and strategies from the findings. Suppose one shifts their thinking from focusing on their competitor or improving an existing product or service to focusing on solving problems. In that case, this can help to facilitate creative thinking along with the decision-making efforts. Changing the thought process to look at products and services to solve issues can guide organizations, individuals, and teams to create something new. This method can be seen in the example of post-it notes and Art Fry in this assignment's previous example.

      In conclusion, implementing various powers, skills, planning strategies, communication, and tactics can be combined in customized ways to create alignment and change within an organization depending on the situations and needs.





1 Comment

  1. on April 4, 2022 at 12:48 am

    Very nice write-up. I definitely appreciate this site. Thanks!

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