Susie Steel is a vice president in a real estate development firm called Hearts Development. She has spent enormous amounts of energy cultivating a relationship with a local town regarding an available plot of land. Susie would like to purchase the land to build townhomes for sale. She has developed an excellent relationship with the town politicians and community members. An issue has developed over the planned usage of the land, though. The town will sell the land to Susie’s company but feels that townhomes would be bad for the overall community. They’re concerned with the additional cost and burden of kids that the townhomes would bring into the community. Susie understands the community’s concern and wants a win-win situation to occur. She feels that this issue will be a functional conflict due to the fact that the disagreement will bring a positive end result to both parties. Positive results of functional conflict include: Awareness of both sides of issues
Improvement of working conditions due to accomplishing solutions together
Solving issues together to improve overall morale
Making innovations and improvements within an organization
In Susie’s case, constructive criticism and discussion resulted in a compromise and a solution between the parties. Susie understood the town’s concern but needed to find something to build that would bring revenue for the company. Through their joint meetings, the end solution was for Hearts Development to build a retirement community, which would only have citizens 55 and over living in the town. This would eliminate the issue of having more young people come into town and burden the school system.