Case: Work, Work, Work
Hallbauer Insurance is a large dental insurer. Over the last five years dental insurance has become very
popular, and Hallbauer is regarded as one of the leading firms in this field. The company insures 23 of
the nation's largest 100 industrials and has been expanding at the rate of 21 percent a year for each of the
last six years.
Three months ago Hallbauer landed a series of new contracts with four major conglomerates. The
amount of work needed to get these contracts processed and on-line is very great. The company has
announced that effective immediately everyone will be required to work two hours overtime every day
plus all day Saturday. Those wishing to work on Sunday will be paid double time or in the case of
managers, be given equivalent cash bonuses. This arrangement will stay in effect for two months, after
which the new contracts should be on-line.
This news was not well received by the personnel. Most of them feel they are already being
overworked, and they are now being pressured into working both longer hours and a longer work week.
As a result, the error rate in claims processing has doubled and both tardiness and absenteeism are now
at record levels throughout the firm.
In dealing with the problem, the company has brought in a group of consultants. After two days, they
concluded that there were serious morale and other human relations problems and suggested that the
company agree to letting them collect and analyze information related to the problem. The consultants
would like to distribute a questionnaire to everyone in the firm to get feedback on those problems that
are having the biggest negative impact. "We can then develop a plan of action for dealing with the
situation," the head of the consulting team told Hallbauer's president. The president thinks that this
might be a good idea, but he first wants to talk to some of the members of the board of directors as well
as senior-level executives. He has promised to get back to the consultants with an answer by the end of
1. What conflict response was made by the personnel to the announcement of the new work
schedules? (7 marks)
2. Which technique for resolving conflict is being used by the organization? Discuss. (8
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