Manager in Conflict with Top Management...

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Manager in Conflict with Top Management...
Amar Deep Seetohul, Interim Manager, Mauritius

Conflicts occur regularly in almost all organisations. Managers having a conflict with top management normally have to accept the decision and command of top management.
But quite often, the lower/middle manager may actually be right as he is the one who is conversant with the intricacies of the shop floor, not top management...

Conflict Between Lower, Middle and Top Management
Jorge Garrido, Director, Mexico
Top managers in most cases never work on the floor. And even if they did, they forget what they learned at the shop floor.
So indeed normally the one that knows better how things can be improved is the people from the shop but sometimes they are not able to express the situations.
So we need to help them to describe them in a better way, to do diagrams or lay-outs in an easy way that everybody is able to understand (A3 form, lean culture).
In this way you will empower your people to make decisions, and you can reduce the need for managers.

How to Handle the Confilct Between the CEO and the Employees?
Gunaseelan, Manager, India
To avoid conflict, we shoud first listen to the employees about their grievences. Psychologically, employees will have some fear for CEOs. So we should make them feel at ease.
And there's nothing wrong to counsel them. When the CEO gives counselling, surely that employee will feel better.

Avoiding Conflict Between Top Managers and Middle Managers
chilufya chabu floyd, Student (MBA), Zambia
Most conflicts between top and middle managers are due to misunderstanding between each level and this can be avoided by making argument based on information generated by the organisation as the basis of what one level feels is right.
This can be achieved by creating a proper communication environment where top managers and middle managers are able to sit together and listen to each other with the view to achieve one goal where each person's contribution is considered important.
It is important for top managers to acknowledge that the middle managers are facing ground challenges so they are the best people to give feedback of the strategies they formulate. They are the ones that implement them.
On the other hand, middle managers must understand that the information they generate is used by the top managers to base their decisions on. And that top managers make decisions reflecting the best interest of the organisation as a whole and that their objective is to achieve the best performance that will put the organisation on advantage.

Managers Need to Learn How to Win-win
David Wilson, Manager, Canada
Managers should learn the art of appreciate inquiry to avoid conflict.
I would also suggest managers should learn to use the Toyota Way, including the role of sensei (teacher/coach). The more senior manager needs to encourage the junior manager to learn how to approach challenges, while continuously improving the work of their work group/team and their leadership skills. Take a look at "The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement" by Liker and Franz (2011), as it has some good case studies and ideas.
It is not about being right or wrong, it is about what is the best for the organization and its customers. If there is a conflict, then the leadership role has been broken by both levels.

Wear Strategic Hat and Operational Hat Simultaneously
Ruwan Bandara, Manager, Sri Lanka
Top managers think strategically and operational managers think operationally. This is the main cause behind this kind of conflict.
Most of such conflicts, if they're managed well, can result in break through innovation. Lower managers have more operational capital than top or strategic guys.
So the strategic guys must concurrently wear a strategic and an operational hat to see things truly strategically. And help them to think out of the box. Strategic managers must be able to switch hats with ease. For example the HR hat, finance hat, customer hat, environmental hat, supplier hat etc.
Synergy always results in better solutions and better rewards for all.

Formal Communication to Avoid Conflict
A Kum, Manager, India
@Jorge Garrido: The only way to avoid conflict is contrary to popular belief instead of sitting together and discussing informally that top management should make the decisions, and all communication should be formal, howsoever small, in the form of memo or email.

Conflicts Between Management Layers
Jorge Garrido, Director, Mexico
Managers have to follow the rules but they may have to be changed in a proper way, so the results can be obtained in another way. Most of the proposals of top management do not work that's why managers have to take the risk to discuss and change them to make them work.

A Manager in Conflict With Top Management
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India
A conflict is a process in which one party perceives that his/her interests are negatively affected by another party. Conflict occurs whenever disagreements exist in situations over issues of substance and/ or emotional antagonisms.
CONFLICT SOURCES: work priorities; administration procedures; technical opinions & performance trade-offs; human resources; cost and budget; schedules; personality.
APPROACHES TO RESOLVE CONFLICTS: minimize the obstacles for both; maintain relationship cordially; reach a decision by having aspects from all people; gain commitment and create a common power base; think and maintain future relationships; make everyone participate in decisions.

No Conflicts Between a Manager and Top Management. The Boss is the Boss
Javier Elenes, Business Consultant, Mexico
By definition there is no such thing as managers in conflict with top management THE BOSS IS THE BOSS. When the boss commands an order, he never made a mistake. If he made a mistake, he commands again... He is the boss.
He is paid to define WHAT to do (set priorities, allocate budget) and get results through others. If you work for a boss, work for him, for WHAT he defines to do. Participation management is valid only to enrich HOW you do WHAT the boss defined you should do.
The boss of an area is the responsible person (responsible means the boss is in charge to decide on the action).
Donīt despair, when the times comes if you are a good follower and your boss is promoted to a higher position, maybe you will be promoted to be the boss of an area and then YOU will define what to do.

Managerial Conflicts?
WALTER CASQUINO, Professor, Peru
I am in favor of Javier Elenes' point of view.
Conflicts are only valid between managers of the same rank. Then, their boss should define who is right. That is the end.
Conflicts with outside authorities arise when the regulations do not face the issue. That is one of the roles of regulations that are sometimes forgotten: Defining who is in charge of setting priorities.

Conflict Types
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India
Conflict occur when two or more values, perspectives or opinions are contradictory in nature. Basically this happens mostly because of poor communication.
Types of conflicts are:
1. Interpersonal conflict: between individuals due to differences in values and goals.
2. Intra group conflict - within a group or team.
3. Inter group conflicts - due to differences between two or more groups, teams or departments.
4. Inter Organizational conflicts - that occur across organizations.

Conflicts Between 2 Management Parties
WALTER CASQUINO, Professor, Peru
Whenever a conflict arises within an organization in which a good will approach exists (Technical, HR, budget, timing, functionality) it should be easily resolved with dialogue. If dialogue does not work, it is because the basic governance principle is forgotten: the boss is always right.
The best way to avoid conflicts between two different parties working together in any project is setting in advance the settling procedures. Without this conflict arises because there are no rules to follow once the differences are apparent. I would suggest to forget the conflict and first set the table leveled, designing the rule for the circumstance. Maybe hiring a detached consultant is the best option to do this task.
In designing the rules the alienation of parties with the different criteria for decision making must be born in mind: economics, ethical, pushing the frontiers of knowledge, environmental, etc.
No solution will ever be reached if this aspect is not previously resolved.

Conflicts are Part of Management
Jack Mwangi, Interim Manager, Kenya
Whether we like it or not, it's an accepted fact in management that possibilities of conflicts occur, especially in the time of administering change. The line manager of course knows the ins and outs of the shop floor. The senior manager knows the constraints of partaking some of the decisions by the line manager. The senior manager has an advantage of experience as compared to line in most cases. The mere fact is that there are always consequences in either agreement or disagreements. There is never a conflict till there is a point that comes as a harm. It maybe to the organisation or to the senior manager or even to the top management.
Always expect that some ideas will spark conflicts but often just for a short time. Change will always face resistance no matter how good or bad it comes in. Correct me if am wrong fellow HR Specialists. If I say that the better side of conflicts come from change no matter the type of conflict it is.


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