Prey of Bureaucracy
‘Mahtab, I am not talking to you. You have done what you have judged right. Now I am talking to your boss and please keep shut, was the saying of Mr. Raihan, Personal Secretary to the Secrete, of Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. Ile was understandingly very angry on Mahtab, who was the Assistant Secret in charge of Planning section 3 of the ministry.
The conflict started a few months back. Mr. Raihan was participating in a training sponsored by a Danida funded technical assistance project. Danida was supporting the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock (MOFL) in implementing that project named -Policy and Planning Support Unit”. One of the major objectives of the project was the capacity building of MOFL officers. Joint Secretary (Development) was the ex-officio project director of the project. The project had a Danish consultant named Jed Beck Hansen whose title was the Senior Adviser. Formally, the project director and the senior adviser was the counterpart to each other. But functionally, the senior adviser was the actual manager of the project in every respect. The project director did not have any power even to order the purchase of a packet of paper.
The ministry had 3 Joint Secretaries. In addition to one stated above the other two were titled Joint Secretary (Fisheries) and Joint Secretary (Livestock). The other two joint secretaries were very much envy to the Joint Secretary (Development) since he was the project director of a donor aided project. Although the JS (Development) had no authority over the management of the project, he had to travel to the Danish Embassy in Dhaka from time to time to attend the project performance meeting, recruitment interviews, meeting with external review missions, etc. The Danish Embassy usually sent a luxurious vehicle for the project director for the travel purpose of those meetings. Other than this, h JS (Development) was frequently invited in some of the posh workshops and seminars from where he used to bring some seminar bags and good looking document files. So, in overall terms, the outlook of the activity of the JS (Development) as the project director might reflect a prestigious position. (incomplete)
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1. What were the reasons for the uncomfortable situation between Mahtab and Raihan?
2. Who was responsible for the deteriorating situation,
3. What can JS (Development) do in this respect to negotiate the conflict?
4. What should Mahtab decide?
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Solution (Prey of Bureaucracy)
We will now be putting forward the scenario of the case:
The conflict between Raihan & Mahtab starts from writing minutes for the meeting. Raihan wants to correct the manuscript written by Mahtab, but Mahtab did not follow Raihan’s instruction, because he felt his writing style was correct and challenge Raihan about the matter. After a few days later, Raihan wants to join an “IELTS preparation” course where Mahtab got the authority for approving the applicant. He also had the instruction from Jeff to prefer the applicant who never got any training. But, Raihan got training on “Report writing” in the precious slot. As par Jeff’s instruction Mahtab did not approve Raihan’s application. For that reason Raihan became angry and vocally complaining against Mahtab to JS (Development) in front of Secretary. The Secretary showed disappointed towards Mahtab and told him he would treat him similarly in any training proposal for him.
01. What were the reasons for the uncomfortable situation between Mahtab & Raihan?
The main cause for the uncomfortable situation was-
- Mahtab did not accept overwriting the manuscript written by him
- Mahtab corrected the minutes, but not followed Raihan’s instruction. He corrected only apart from the correction he challenged.
- Rahin was disappointed when the secretary approved the minutes without any comment.
- Finally, Mahtab’s last satirical smile create an uncomfortable situation for Raihan
- Who was responsible for the deteriorating situation?
02. Who was responsible for the deteriorating situation?
Rahan felt conflict after the manuscript issues. He also believes that his application for “IELTS Preparation” course was denied because of Mahtab. And he complains to the JS (Development) about the matter where he was not sure about the real causes. So, Raihan was responsible for the deteriorating situation.
03. What can JS (Development) do in this respect to negotiate the conflict?
The JS (Development) became dissatisfied with Mahtab and threat him to treat him next time. As a responsive person, he can listen to the real issues from both sides and should take the necessary solution on that issue. This situation arises from interpersonal conflict because of different work styles. As a senior, JS can use collaborating to manage situation. This style is both assertive and cooperative. This gives a win-win situation for both Raihan and Mahtab. He should learn, listening and attending to both the organizational and personal issues on the conflict. It can lead to high commitment, higher creativity in problem solving and team-building.
04. What should Mahtab decide?
Mahtab should ignore his anger and emotion to reach his destination and should go to compromising with Raihan. Raihan is an introvert in the environment. So, he must need to go to compromising with Raihan. He should follow his superior instruction and make a good relationship with Raihan.
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