Auto Safety Products Firm’s Teamwork Problems


Auto Safety Products is a firm that manufactures automobile seat belts. The company also specializes in infant and toddler safety seats. The firm has decided to change the products by developing a different design for the items. Recently, the company has initiated a concurrent engineering plan aiming to raise the standards of the elements of the products’ durability (Miller, 2015). The company also intends to produce higher quality and low-cost items that will serve the automobile industry’s needs. The firm has two employees involved, namely, Jill Hendrickson and Mike Garcia.

Mike is in the manufacturing department, while Jill is in the engineering team. The two have differences in the concurrent engineering concept for various reasons. Mike says that engineers have been taking much time to consider the manufacturing team’s proposals (Miller, 2015). On the other hand, Jill has the opinion that the manufacturing department where Mike is working does not accept their design concepts. Jill also feels that since she is in a male-dominated field, her ideas might be ignored by the manufacturing team.

Predispositions that Mike and Jill Have

The predispositions that Mike and Jill have to get the company’s reaction to change involve collaborative bases from a different departments. Mike, who is in the manufacturing department, says that the concurrent engineering concept to standardize the seat belts and safety seats is a joke. He believes that the design engineers will be reluctant to listen to the manufacturing team’s recommendations (Miller, 2015). The reason that makes Mike have that prejudice is that the company has had a raft of issues that conflict with the departments whenever they are required to work together. Jill perceives that the manufacturing managers will not welcome the entire process. She feels that management does not take time to introduce new issues to the departments properly because there is ignorance in training people to work together.

The predispositions will influence the way Jill and Mike relate for various reasons. First, Jill will view Mike as a gender-biased person because he seems to be despising her ideas. Second, Jill will conclude that Mike does not have good leadership qualities since he cannot push for a better managerial approach to new matters (Benoliel & Schechter, 2018). The two will negatively approach each other as Mike will see Jill possess the stereotype that the design engineers have had in the company. According to Mike, Jill looks assimilated into the culture of ignoring and failing to consider important recommendations.

The Conflict Resolution Style that Mike Should Use

When conflicts occur in teamwork, parties should have a consideration of various issues such as avoidance, compromise, accommodating, and the list goes on. In this case, Mike and Jill can solve their conflict with a compromising style. Through compromise, the two can find a middle ground by planning which aspects to concede to solve the problem (Benoliel & Schechter, 2018). The style can solve the issues quickly because Mike will compromise his opinion about engineers in the firm. That can be achieved by keeping in mind that the project will not have constraints like other previous encounters.

Jill can compromise her ideas which will make her view manufacturing team management as ineffective in fostering changes in the company. Additionally, Jill should reject the idea of being isolated based on her gender (Pakarinen & Virtanen, 2016). When the two agree on the issues, it will be a lose-lose situation that can bring a new concurrence for the solution to be achieved at Auto Safety Products. Since Jill is a college graduate, equipped with knowledge of organizational behavior, she will withstand the resolution style. Mike has experience of twenty years, and he will reflect on previous incidents when solving problems was required for success. Therefore, the two will solve the differences effectively, and the company shall benefit from their concurrence.

Strategy for Solving the Problem

Adam should have involved a mediator who is likely to bring Jill and Mike together. A mediator is important in such scenarios since they weigh both sides and give their recommendation based on their findings. A mediator will table both grievances from the two conflicting parties and weigh them according to the priority and possible outcome (Pakarinen & Virtanen, 2016). Through mediation strategy, both conflicting parties are advised not to be egocentric but to consider other people’s agendas. In this case, Adam will help the two work together as they will see the benefit of combining the efforts for the development of their career and the firm’s goals.

Feminist Approach to the Conflict

A feminist would approach this issue by advocating for an equal contribution in the line of work. Therefore, they will likely suggest that women’s ideas are to be considered, and that will favor Jill as she will have a chance to suggest more productive solutions in the company. However, feminists do not sideline men, they include their input as long as it meets the feminism criteria. It is possible to use other conflict resolution, such as providing a guidance framework that aims to hold each party responsible for embracing the other side’s propositions (Cobb, 2016). The outline can be in the form of legal obligations that bind a team together to achieve companies’ goals.


Benoliel, P., & Schechter, C. (2018). Teamwork doubting and doubting teamwork. Improving Schools, 21(3), 225-239. Web.

Cobb, S. (2016). Engaging conflict narratives: Challenges, strategies, and horizons. The International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, 4(2), 127-130. Web.

Miller, K. (2015). Organizational communication (7th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Pakarinen, M., & Virtanen, P. (2016). Solving organizational conflicts in a public matrix organization. Qualitative research in organizations and management: An International Journal, 11(4), 232-252. Web.

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