Conflict management case studies with solutions-Abdul and Shirley

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Shirley and Abdul both work for a software development company. The General Manager of the new product division was originally the leader of the project team for which she interviewed and hired Abdul. Shirley, another project team member, also interviewed Abdul but strongly opposed hiring him for the project because she thought he was not competent to do the job. Seven months after Abdul was hired, the General Manager left the project to start her own company and recommended that Abdul and Shirley serve as joint project leaders.

Full Question:

conflict management case studies with solutions
Abdul and Shirley Case



Question-1:  Abdul and Shirley seem to have several conflicts occurring simultaneously”. Identify as many of these individual conflicts as possible.

The individual conflicts are:

Shirley feels that Abdul is incompetent at the position. In addition, she thinks that Abdul was representing himself as the leader of the projects and gave the impression that Shirley was working under him which hurt Shirley. Besides, where both of them were the joint project leader, Abdul treats Shirly as a team member like others. Signed as a director in the letter by Abdul also shocked Shirly. As a result, all of these hit Shirley’s self-esteem.

Abdul believes Shirley is too sensitive. Abdul says that as Shirley as many projects so he handles this one without disturbing her much.


Question-2. What are the possible ways to deal with the conflict between Abdul and Shirley (not just the ones that you would recommend, but all of the options)?


The possible solutions for this conflict could be:

Firstly, both of them should have a talk to remove the misunderstanding among them. They can discuss in a company meeting with their bosses. Besides, they can express their views to each other in a formal or informal meeting.

Secondly, they can distribute their responsibility and duty; also their authorization.

Thirdly, the timings for meetings in the project should make more elaborate i.e. it should be known to all easily. Finally, Shirley is already having many projects. Therefore, she can compromise with Abdul and can give him some power authorization, which helps her to focus on other projects.

Question-3. Given all the benefits of retrospection, what could or should have been done to avoid this conflict in the first place?

To avoid this problem we think that the project authority should be divided equally between Shirley and Abdul. Their control power should be as like as 50-50. That means no one can overrule others. Their job description should be specified about their duties and authorities. If those measures were correct then this type of conflict may be prevented.

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