An Eventful Conversation-Role Play on Role Negotiation *



Case Code : CLHR033
Publication date : 2012
Subject : Human Resource Management
Industry : Automobile/ Hospitality
Length : 02 Pages
Price : Rs. 100

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Key words:

Role, Role Negotiation, Inter-personal intervention, techno-structural intervention


* This caselet is intended for use only in class discussions.
** More comprehensive case studies are priced at Rs.200 to Rs.700 (US $5 to US $16) per copy.


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The purpose of this case study is to explain a specific type of intervention that is both an interpersonal intervention, and also a techno-structural intervention. A fictitious situation of a conflict between three senior executives (called Role Incumbents) in a work group is presented. Through an iterative process, each of these three incumbents lists the tasks to be performed as a part of one’s role. This is followed by an understanding of one’s tasks in relation to the others in terms of extent of interaction. Finally, each of these role incumbents proposes a set of behaviors expected of the other two role incumbents, leading to successful working relation.


  » Application of Role Negotiation technique to
       » Clarify job expectations
       » Resolve inter-personal conflicts in a work group


Dave Franklin (Dave), Vice-President Operations, Agile Motors, knew there was trouble brewing as soon as he stepped into the banquet hall. Instead of a glittering array of crockery, vintage wine, and smartly dressed waiters, all he could see was chaos, and two of his seniormost executives -Jane Anniston (Jane, Manager-Corporate Events)¸and Tim Malkovich (Tim, Manager-Sales) engaged in an animated argument. The hors d’oeuvres (appetizers) were there on the tables but had not been arranged...

Questions for Discussion

1. What are the reasons of conflict between the three role incumbents?

2. What do you think are the work behaviors that hinder employee productivity?

3. Which of the following- threats or positive incentives do you think will yield the best results in a role negotiation technique?

4. Are the behavioral changes in the incumbents permanent?

5. Can role negotiation technique be applied to large work groups?

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