Table of Contents
Harris Corporation (HRS) has the obligation of providing communication and information technology services to government, commercial clients, and defense around the world. The company was founded in 1916 and is currently based in Melbourne, Florida. On records, the firm is among the 100 federal contractors. The firm offers a wide range of services, and they include secure tactical radio communications for defense, military, and other state organizations, complete communication systems for defense, federal, national intelligence, and civil customers. In addition, the firm serves TV stations and networks- satellite, cable, telecommunications, and other media content providers. Sports and entertainment companies also get their services from Harris Corporation, including integrated broadcast communications and network solutions. Harris Corporation is an international firm, meaning it has a large number of employees who strive to make the company a success. From the organizations statistics, it has approximately $ 6 billion annual revenue and about 17,000 employees. These employees include 7000 scientists and engineers.
Just like any other company with employees, working in different departments, there are high chances of conflict in the workplace. For instance, at Harris Corporation there was a conflict of sexual harassment between employees. Marlene Mulholland accused Robert Young of sexually harassing her while at work through spreading rumors that they were involved sexually. This can be a significant source of conflict at the work place, and it requires excellent negotiation strategies to resolve such issues. This study paper will explore the application of negotiation strategies as a method of addressing potential conflicts in the workplace. The next section of the study paper will analyze how evidence-based management could be applied to Harris Corporation. In relation to Harris Corporation, the paper will analyze the phases and methods of appropriate decision making in order to come up with the best managerial in the work place. Finally, it will discuss the environmental and strategic factors that affect the organizational design of Harris Corporation.
In most cases conflict, in the work place, just seems to be a fact of life. Conflict refers to any occurrence/incident that causes tension between individuals in their lives, at work, or at home. It is not easy to explain conflict as one person might experience conflict in any situation, which another individual may not. It is almost certain that any workplace will have different people with varied goals and needs who end up in conflict. The fact that conflict is present in most work places is not essentially an awful thing as long as it is resolved effectively. Conflicts are necessary in building employees personally and professionally, and in most cases, effective conflict resolution can make the difference between negative and positive outcomes. The major signs of conflict at the work place include change in a person's behavior, non-cooperation, aggression, anxiety and tension; moodiness and getting upset easily. There are several ways, in which conflicts at the work place can be resolved and negotiation strategies is one of them. Negotiation strategy is one of the workable means of resolving conflicts at workplaces. Negotiation strategies involve several steps, which the paper will discuss in this section (Best, 2006).
Under negotiation strategy of resolving conflict, the first step is to let the concerned parties to tell their side of stories. In cases, where people are deeply upset about something, it is essential to give them a chance to get their story out. This is the main principle of negotiation as it makes resolving the conflict easier. On the other hand, most people believe that allowing people to talk about their stories may increase the level of conflict with which one must deal with, but it is the right move. One has to get through the conflict phase to find the solution. The second step of the negotiation strategy is bringing a reality check to the table. Mostly in the work place conflicts, the concerned parties focus more on the little details of the problem and end up forgetting the bigger picture and its implications. As the person, handling the conflict, it is indispensable to bring the persons back to reality by taking their attention away from the trivial issues and having them concentrate on the main issue. Handling the main reasons for the conflict may help in resolving the conflict quickly (Best, 2006). The last step in this strategy is to identify the true stumbling block in the conflict. At this point, the concerned parties need to question the true motivating factor in the conflict. Conflicts at the work place can arise because of varied reasons and work processes and job descriptions could be among the reasons. In addition, there is a job competition as everyone has his or her own priorities and interests at work. For instance, if a job description gives several workers similar responsibilities, then, this can create confusion about the roles of different employees, and hence, bring conflict. Confusion about duties is a leading cause of conflict in the work place. Understanding the main cause of conflict will help resolve the problem and also avoid future occurrences of the conflict.
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Evidence-Based Management in Harris Corporation
Evidence-based management refers to the making of managerial decisions, based on the best available evidence. As one employs the evidence-based management, it is essential to note that he or she may encounter some facts, while making decisions. The main aspect of this management style is wisdom, which will be present in other people or other places. In the earlier case at Harris Corporation, the paper discussed the Mulholland case, in which she was accusing Young of sexually harassing her at the work place. To resolve such a conflict, it will be advisable to apply the evidence-based management. Mulholland accounts for different moments, when Young harassed her sexually, while at the work place. In one of her accounts, Mulholland claims that Young was spreading rumors of the two being sexually involved and this was causing her discomfort at the workplace. Further on, Mulholland reports Young of pushing her on the lockers and almost hurting her in the process (Melnyk & Overholt, 2005). Asked whether there were any eye witnesses when Young was pushing her, Mulholland fails to provide any. In such a case, evidence will be necessary in trying to resolve the conflicts between the two work mates.
In the case of Harris Corporation, evidence-based management will be essential in resolving the work place conflicts. The manager in charge should be ready to check the basis of the accusations and beliefs of the different parties to the conflict. Understanding where the plaintiff and defendant are coming from is an essential element in evidence-based management. In the event, a work mate accuses a person of something, as a manager, the person needs to enquire on the available evidence to incriminate the other person. Some conflicts in the workplace are baseless and arise because of meager issues. In such cases, evidence will help resolve the conflicts quickly. In the first place, Mulholland accusations of sexual harassment lie with the evidence of rumors. Anybody can start rumors at work places and not necessarily the person against the victim. In the event, the conflict arises due to rumors the manager should ask the complainant to produce evidence of the rumors and probably the main source of gossip (Melnyk & Overholt, 2005).
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Creative decision making at Harris Corporation
For any organization to determine the best approach, it will require stages and methods of creative decision making. Decision making in an organization will follow varied blocks, stages and methods to establish the best approach in handling conflicts. Decisions need to be made wisely under different circumstances with varied amounts of knowledge about consequences and alternatives. Decisions, made at Harris Corporation, mainly concern the future and this may be made under conditions of risk, certainty, or uncertainty. Managers will make decisions under certain conditions, when they have sufficient information, and they are sure of the results of their decisions. In extremely few instances, managers make decisions under uncertain environment, as there will be some probabilities of the outcome. Decision making at Harris Corporation follows several steps the first one is identifying and defining the problem. The second stage involves developing various alternatives to the problem at hand. Being a communication corporation, Harris Corporation managers need to have several options to a given problem or issue. Developing various alternatives gives the decision makers other ways out of the problem at hand, in the event the first move does not work out. The third stage comprises of evaluating the alternatives, and then, followed by selecting a single alternative to the problem. Once the managers decide on one alternative, the next stage will be to implement the alternative and make it practical. The final stage will be evaluating both the decision making process and actual decision the managers used.
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Environmental and Strategic factors affecting Harris Corporation Organizational Design
Different environmental and strategic factors affect Harris Corporation organizational design and these can be external or internal. Important factors in Harris Corporation environment include the suppliers, distributors, competitors, and customers. The firm employs different strategies to have the current multidivisional organizational design. Multi-divisional, organizational design eases the problems of coordination by concentrating functional expertise and knowledge on certain goods or services. Harris Corporation has a large number of managerial personnel to oversee all the product lines (Jones, 2007). In this case, higher costs come from the duplication of various functions and the design often reduces the environmental complexities, facing any department, team, or division. For this design, horizontal mechanisms assist in handling complex environments. Low-cost strategy is one of the strategies and it involves the corporation's capacity to provide their products at a lower price than its competitors. This will give the corporation an upper hand in the communication sector as most customers will prefer dealing with Harris Corporation. In addition, the firm employs differentiation strategy, which refers to the provision of unique products and services to the market. The unique or distinctive products or services will give the corporation a better chance to compete in the communication sector.
The five main factors, which affect the multi divisional design of Harris Corporation, include life cycle, size, environment, strategy, and technology (Jones, 2007). Harris Corporation is a large organization and the larger the organization, the more complex the design. This is because the managerial roles will increase, calling for more formal structures, which will be helpful in managing the organization. The organization life cycle will also determine the organizational design of a firm, and in this case, Harris Corporation is at the maturity level. Firms at maturity level will employ complex organizational designs because the complicated, stable and dynamic environment will influence the organization's design. Conditions such as social, cultural, economic, technological and natural environment have an impact on the design the firm chooses to use. Lastly, there is the technology and Harris Corporation is an organization with mass production, hence, a more complex organizational design.
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