Communication and Conflict: Analysis of a Conflict Situation

Table of Contents

Case Overview

Mr. Selig as the producer in this show has sternly expressed a positive demand on the result of the show which is about to be performed and does not require any further discussion about the matter. To him, the only thing he would accept is the success of this show; regardless of how the Director Mr. Roger, and his crew members would conduct the show. Pressure is now mounting on the Director, Mr. Roger, who seems to have little resources including the idea (vision) on how this show should be conducted. He also in turn wants the show to go on successfully but has met resentment from the cast and the crew (i. e. Tim) who demands to know the direction of the show. The cast and the crew, now feel that Roger has failed in giving the way forward. Therefore, each wants to give his or her suggestion on what they feel can help attain the success of the show. This is the genesis of a struggle between these parties, as each one of them seems to have a different interest or goal to pursue. Fortunately, the active parties involved both know what they want to achieve as far as this show is concerned, that is, to achieve success in this show, which is the topic of interest, both parties must get fully involved.

Key facts

Mr. Selig is seen to have used his powers as the producer, to dictate his interest in this matter to the Director Mr. Roger. If not so, he would have given Roger the necessary guidelines on how he wanted the show to be conducted. In this case, we may say that Mr. Selig does not value the work that Roger does (Relational goals). He does neither consider what he is to the team and how the failure of the show can dent his reputation (identity goals), but the reality is true with Roger, who did not engage him in any sort of struggle for interest but accepted without questioning to follow his orders. On the other hand, Tim just like the producer and the Director, has a part to play to make the show successful. However, the manner in which he questions Roger about what to be done, likely suggests that he also had his own opinion on how it should be done, different from what Roger had. However, collaborative decision-making invites more conflict and struggle for interest and goals. This is because people cannot think, feel and perceive things in the same manner and fashion at the same time. According to sociologists i.e. Conflict Theorist, conflict is a natural phenomenon that accompanies daily life, and we cannot so easily break away from it.

Sources of Conflict

According to Wood (2005, p. 15), everyone tends to think that what they hold in terms of ideas is the best, thus should not be compromised for other issues, interests, or other goals. We try to do our best to win an argument and not to lose because of personal issues. Wilmot and Hocker (1998, p. 9) define conflict as a struggle between two or more interdependent individuals who have different goals, limited resources, and hindrance between members from attaining their goals. If this definition is something to go by, then we can conclude that conflict is a failure to agree on the topic of discussion among the involved party. This is true with the case of Mr. Selig, Roger, and Tim.

Resolving a Conflict is not a Mark-time but a foreword-match, meaning that it requires steps from one point to the other. It is obvious that people always know what they want to achieve (Topic Goals); they also know what hinders their achievement. Therefore, In order for them to narrow down their difference and settle on one issue, they have to embrace some crucial goals in conflict solving. For instance, Mr. Selig, Roger, and Tim are interdependent in terms of their operation in the show (Relational Goals); therefore, one’s service is just as valuable as the other and no one is to look down upon the other. Each person needs to know his place in this cooperation as they come together for such discussion (Identity Goals). In regard to this, question is, how should the producer, Mr. Selig treat the director? How should the director treat Tim and other crew members and vice versa? So that one’s image may not be reflected badly. If a discussion fails in the first attempt, it does not mean that there is no way forward, what is necessary is just a different method of approach and communication skills (Process Goals).

Alternative solutions

In his opinion, Morrow (1994, p.34-45) postulates that unless the concerned party reconsiders their opinion on this matter, they will continue to get stacked in such a time frame. The involved members (Mr. Selig, Roger, and Tim) must know for certain that both their own career and the career of other cast and crew members are at stake if this situation persists. Therefore, for the Producer, Director, and Tim personal interests and conflicts need to be compromised amicably for the good continuity of an organization. This will include engaging everyone in the decision-making to know each one’s view on the matter, avoiding dictatorial mindset as a witness in the case of Mr. Selig.


Morrow, W & Honohue, R (1994), managing interpersonal conflict; understanding your conflict Episode: New York, William Morrow and Company.

Wilmot , W and Hocker, J. (1998). Interpersonal Conflict; New York: Harper Collins & Irving.

Wood, J. (2005), interpersonal communication; New York, NY: wood press.

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