Conflict Management & Law

Subject Conflict Management & Law

Coursework 2 (CW2) Brief

This task, which focuses on managing conflict through effective negotiation, is designed to develop your ability to handle conflict competently. This competence complements other effective leadership traits such as the ability to motivate people, emotional intelligence, and vision.

This task has two parts: Part A. Part A should be undertaken from the following two perspectives:

  • Paul Currant- the new Project Manager; and
  • As someone acting on behalf of Morris Electrical

Background

You need to imagine that you are the Client’s Project Manager involved in the following fictitious scenario:

Bishopsgate is a large and prosperous town, where a developer, Dover Street PV, is building a mixed-use shopping center.  Adjacent and above the main entrance to the scheme, there is a flying freehold owned by the Local Authority (LA) and used as a public lending library.

Both the Local Authority and Dover Street see the benefits of upgrading the entrance.  From the Developer’s point of view, a better entrance will enhance the value of the scheme, and for the Local Authority it is an opportunity to upgrade the library.  It is important to recognise that the Developer will finance the external upgrade.  In exchange for allowing this improvement to the scheme, the Local Authority wishes to add internal upgrade works to the library within the scope of the library upgrade

The library was built in 1970 and very little money has been spent on its upkeep.  It comprises two principal levels of 1,000 sq m together with ground floor reception and basement.  The problem with this type of building is the inability to ascertain the condition of the structure behind the fittings before works start on site.  Potentially, there could be a number of issues including; leaking roofs, fire safety, asbestos, dated and poorly functioning air conditioning, and ducts that had never been connected.

In terms of project delivery, there has been a recent change in the Client Team.  Mr Strong, who was an experienced Project Manager, unexpectedly resigned quoting issues with managing the architectural design team.  Previously, he had successfully worked with the LA’s Project Sponsor, Andrew Holt, in other, smaller library refurbishment projects across the County. Mr Strong felt that he did not receive the support he needed to fulfil his responsibilities as a Project Manager from the Sponsor. Another point of contention was that Mr Holt kept directly consulting his colleagues at the LA’s Estates Department to make design decisions and to informally communicate them to the Architects. Hence, Mr Strong was deprived of the opportunity to finalise the incomplete design brief for the external works and issue it to the Architects, fulfilling one of his bridging roles between the Client and the consultants.

On Mr Strong’s resignation the Project Owner said:

“I am disappointed, but not surprised. Disappointed because we had worked successfully with William previously on some refurbishment projects and had greatly admired his commitment, organisation, singlemindedness and attention to systems and detail which had served us well in those projects; not surprised because as this project developed it became clear that those qualities which carried with them a certain rigidity and inflexibility would not in themselves be enough to develop and sustain a productive relationship with the design team in this project.”