Discover the power of the graphic approach this case takes to present material on managing conflict in an organization. This version of the three-part print case “Alvarez” (OB-0660, OB-0661, and OB-0662) depicts the story of employee problems facing an international company. Canalven was a Venezuelan aluminum manufacturing company embarking on growth through new products and new processes needed to manufacture them. To help with the growth, local management brought in foreign engineers who experienced real difficulty with a long-term, relatively uneducated Canalven employee named Alvarez. Mr. Alvarez, generally seen as a grumbler, viewed himself as the on-site machine magician. He had the habit of painting his name on equipment he built. Recently, he had taken to contradicting management’s approaches. At the end of the A case, Mr. Pinto, the assistant plant manager, is faced with managing the conflict between the engineer and Alvarez. The case is relatively short, yet develops rich discussions around topics such as personal motivation and behavior, international management, managing relationships and difficult colleagues, and managing conflict. The B case describes what the assistant manager did?basically to provide high severance pay and fire Alvarez. The C case epilogue reveals a stunning twist.
Darden Business Publishing – University of Virginia