Read the scenario shown below and discuss, incorporating organizational behavior theory, the sources of the conflict between Joe and Betty and suggest how Joe can resolve it (preferably as a win-win situation).
Scenario for Question 2
Just before quitting time, Joe, the hospital’s health information department manager, watched his three new trainees struggling with the complicated electronic medical records software they had to learn to use to do their jobs. Across the room, Betty, who was an expert with the software, was preparing to leave for the day, her tasks done ahead of time as usual. Also, as usual, she gathered up her belongings and left without saying good-bye to any of her coworkers. “There goes the answer to my problem,” thought Joe, “if only I knew how to reach her.”
With her expertise and experience in using the system, Betty would seem to be an ideal coach for the new employees. However, she had begged off from taking on training duties when Joe had asked her. Her reasons were that she wasn’t comfortable telling anyone else what to do, didn’t want the responsibility for someone else’s work, and preferred to work by herself at her own job.
Joe was stunned by her refusal; he enjoyed helping his coworkers and felt it was why he had advanced to department manager last year instead of Betty, who had more seniority and experience with the company than he did. Since her work was excellent, Joe hesitated to make it an “either you do what I want or you’re in trouble” situation; he believed employees worked best at what they wanted to work at. But his problem remained: There was no money in the training budget and no other employees as skilled with the system as Betty was. Was there an approach to convincing her to help that he hadn’t thought of?
As Betty walked to the hospital’s parking lot, she thought, “How could Joe think I would lift a finger to help him? I should have been the one promoted to department manager last year, not him. I’m the one with seniority and the necessary experience. In fact, I was the one who trained Joe when he first joined the hospital! Just because he earned a Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics from Nova Southeastern University and I didn’t should not have been the determining factor, but obviously senior management thought so when they selected him over me! I could care less what happens from this point forward. I only have 5 more years until I can retire with my full pension. If my work continues to be excellent there is no way Joe can upset my plans. Not that he could since he hardly understands the complexity of the software we use since it requires a person with a lot of technology knowledge and experience.”