I Seem to be Going from Bad to Worse
This case reports, in his own words, the experiences of Javier, a 22 year-old factory worker, reflecting on three separate interpersonal incidents occurring within the past year at his job in a food processing plant that gave him cause for concern. A critical look at the incidents involving different issues and individuals, reveals a young employee who struggled to communicate effectively and was not acting proactively or able to resolve conflicts effectively when dealing with co-workers. An underlying issue in the case involves the ways expectations emanating from Hispanic cultural traditions affect Javier’s working relationships with workers of differing gender and age. The decision point is at the end of the case when Javier reflects on all three incidents and attempts to determine: (1) how he might have behaved more effectively in each situation and (2) what he might learn from examining the overall pattern of his responses.
- Analyze and evaluate the positive and negative aspects of the communication strategies used by Javier in his interactions with his co-workers.
- Apply basic conflict resolution strategies to identify which strategies Javier might have used more effectively in each of the three incidents.
- Apply the concept of proactive interaction to analyze ways in which Javier could have been more proactive in each of the three incidents.
- Analyze how traditional practices and beliefs within the Hispanic culture may have affected Javier’s work actions.
- Analyze how the managerial actions of Roberto may have contributed to the negative outcomes experienced by Javier in all three incidents.
Application: This case is appropriate for use in both introductory and advanced courses that focus on organizational behavior, conflict resolution, and interpersonal and cross-cultural communications.