However, the return on investment (ROI), was low as compared to other funds thereby meriting a change in approach a view also subscribed to by the younger generation of analysts in EPI.
Mike's entry into EPI challenged the existing 'status-quo'. The founder members of EPI were unprepared and therefore unwilling to accept Mike's style of functioning as the traditional values of the firm were being challenged. That these new methods practiced by Mike produced amazing results as also earned the loyalty of junior analysts further caused jealousy amongst the senior partners. Riding on Mike's success, other fund mangers and researchers also began to back Mike in various forums, further widening the rift between the 'old' and the 'new'. This dissension within the organization had the effect of adversely affecting the operations of other members. The senior partners felt that Mike was deliberately going against EPI's laid down policy to "provide safe and moderate income[and that it was]the philosophy we used to solicit the investment[and therefore]approach we are obligated to maintain"(p373-4). In such an organizational climate, Mike began o criticize those who would not toe his line. This would even include the senior partners who felt that Mike was willfully challenging their authority and position in the company by being insubordinate. Thus the conflict was both at a personal as well as organizational level.
Q. What are the approaches to manage the conflict
A. Essentially, the conflict was between the conservative senior partner of EPI and Mike the maverick. Obviously there was a need for a mediator who would be acceptable to both parties. Accordingly, one of the senior partners approached Dan, a founder member of EPI, as also is CEO. As the CEO it was Dan who had recruited Mike, overriding the reservations voiced by the other partners while at the same tie offering Mike, "the freedom and flexibility to operated a segment of the fund as he [Mike] desired"(p 373). By requesting Dan o resolve the conflict, EPI showed a degree of maturity. However, by insisting that, "Mike must either conform to the philosophyof the organization or else resign' (p 373), the senior partners showed a forcing approach to conflict management of impinging their views on others, an approach that can also have a negative fall-out.
Dan on the other hand, had a reputation as a 'great equalizer' who liked to work through consensus. Dan's management philosophy was based on, "loyalty - loyalty to the organization...to membersto friends"(p372). Dan approached the situation keeping in mind this very fact that the resolution of the conflict must be a 'win-win' situation for all the players. Not only should the concerns of the partners be met and the EPI itself continue to prosper, but his promise of autonomy to Mike should also be upheld.
Accordingly, Dan tried to reason with Mike in an attempt to find a compromise solution. While accepting the need for change, Dan pointed out that everyone in the company had to be taken on board and that, "The rate of change is as important as the direction "(p