Sample Business Studies Essays on Workplace Conflict

Conflicts are common in workplaces, especially those characterized by collaborative teams. Collaborative teams bring together individuals from different ages, cultures, and experiences with the view of achieving a common goal. However, the quest for a common goal, while can be a uniting factor, does not make the teams immune from conflicts. From conflicting personalities and individual goals to personal and work-related pressures and expectations, there are many disagreement triggers in a work environment. When handled correctly, workplace conflicts can provide unique learning opportunities that strengthen teams and drive the organization towards greater success. However, failure to master the steep learning curves that come with conflicts can derail individual employee’s progression as well as stagnate team and organizational progress. These are valuable lessons that I learned a few years ago while working a collaborative team.

Five years ago, I worked as an administrative assistant at a technology start-up. The company had interest in a wide range of disruptive technologies and innovations. I was part of a collaborative team tasked with developing innovative and disruptive brand awareness strategies that would see the company increase penetrate new market segments while also consolidating its market share. One of the markets targeted by the company was Asia due to its large population. The continent has an ever-expanding population of tech-savvy consumers. Through collaboration, our team was supposed to achieve the project deliverables within the allotted time. The diversity within the team was aimed at improving the throughput of the team. However, personality clashes due to different work ethics and turf wars were commonplace due to differences in personalities, work ethics, cultural backgrounds, and values.

Martin recently joined the company on internship and was assigned to our team. He moved to the United States from Hong Kong two years prior as a student at a local university. The internship was part of the company’s partnership program with the local universities. Due to his cultural background, Martin believed in forging close ties with colleagues and openly shared personal stories and experiences at the office. However, I found it off-putting as I believed workplace relationships should be strictly professional.

While some of the team members registered their indifference to Martin’s behavior in whispers, one day I felt he was going overboard and confronted him. I told him his behaviors were impeding the progress of the team. Martin felt that our organizational culture, especially when it comes to workplace relationships was alienating. He argued that we were creating a hostile environment for him because he was an intern. He not only threatened to quit, Martin also threatened to report our company to his university supervisor who was in charge of the internship partnership. I rallied the team members and we unanimously voted for Martin’s exclusion from our team. His internship was cut short and four months later, the local university and our company amicably ended the internship program.

Given chance today, I would have handled the situation differently by striking a common ground with Martin. Instead of outright dismissal of his behavior as unbecoming and marshaling my disgruntled team members to push him out of the team, I would take time to understand the cultural underpinning of his behavior. Consequently, I would make informed decisions based on understanding the cultural differences in America and Hong Kong. Alternatively, I would point out these issues to him in a social environment and have a conversation instead of openly calling out his behavior in the office. I believe Martin would have understood, if I explained to him, the cultural and individual reasons behind the indifference other team members registered towards his behavior.

I am drawn to study for my MBA at NTU because the University lays emphasis on diversity, something that is close to my heart. I strongly believe on globalization of economies and societies and the role cultural competency plays in achieving this goal. The NTU Global MBA wholeheartedly accommodates these ideologies and values that I hold dear to my heart. The program creates a niche for students from all corners of the globe, their cultural, ethnic, or religious backgrounds notwithstanding. I believe the program is aligned to the current and future trends in the global corporate sector and societies, in general. Additionally, the University has created a learning climate founded on innovation and diversity, making it suitable for promoting individual intellectual curiosity through research, simulation, and practical learning. Such a scholarly climate intentionally cultivated at the University is reflective of the ever evolving field of Business Administration and corporate management. As an aspiring corporate leader and entrepreneur, joining the NTU Global MBA program is an opportunity to realize my dream and follow my passion.

Within the next three years, I plan on taking a short course in cultural diversity in management and transcultural communication. Gaining these new skills will improve my overall management and leadership skills. Additionally, I intend on growing my professional and social networks by attending corporate events organized by companies and professional organizations. In the long term, I plan on earning a degree in Business Intelligence Analytics to gain a holistic knowledge of business management. I also plan of starting my business, which is a childhood passion. The NTU Global MBA will equip me with the skills and knowledge to understand business management better, including the role of diversity in modern day business environment and entrepreneurship. Through the program, I will interact with students from different backgrounds and build my social and professional networks.