References and case studies



Environmental conflict

Mobile phone base station antenna

A mobile phone base station antenna, which was built right next to a school and a kindergarten, is met with strong opposition from the parents concerned. The conflict has been swelling for two years and all the attempts to solve it by mutual agreement have failed. A new attempt has been proposed with the support of the local environmental protection agency - and the parties agree to meet.

Internal negotiations

Improving the performance of a European Work Council

A European Work Council wants to strengthen the quality and efficiency of cooperation among its members, and to raise its influence with its different stakeholders. A sub-group of members has been asked to very rapidly put together a plan of action to reinforce the "standing" of the Council. However, the task is further complicated by the fact that the members of this team do not speak the same language and are not accustomed to work together regularly.

Family-owned business

Conflict between two branches of the family

A tense conflict has broken out in a family-owned company. One of the shareholders representing one branch of the family has filed a suit against the co-owners from the other branch of the family; those co-owners have reacted by counter-suing him. The conflict has escalated to such a degree that it is starting to threaten the continued existence of the company.

Internal conflicts in a family-owned company

Daily conflicts in a small company which was created in 1774 and is currently managed by the seventh generation are growing alarmingly, mostly within the production department - but also between production and the two owners who manage the firm. The owners realize that for the sake of the future of the company, it is critical and urgent to improve the quality of internal cooperation.

Broad-band internet access

Productive dialogues

Broadband internet access is one of the key factors determining the economic potential and strength of a region. Unfortunately, there are significant gaps in the broadband coverage of the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany. Closing them is an important priority for the government of the state. Coverage gaps are not due to the lack of technical solutions, but rather to the human difficulty of letting demand and supply meet together locally. The question is how to resolve this difficulty.

Project management

Conflict between a consulting company and its customer

A consulting firm is confronted with a project which has run into difficulties. A meeting with the customer, which promises to be very tense, will take place shortly. If the consultant in charge does not get the situation under control, the project will most probably fail and the business relationship with the customer will suffer accordingly.

Strategic alliance

Strategic alliance - negotiation between two unequal companies

A mid-sized software company focused on one particular market segment is in discussion with a much larger and diversified competitor concerning a strategic alliance. The last meetings were totally ineffective and didn't reach any results. The smaller company asks itself whether it should make the effort of putting the negotiation back on track, or if it should rather walk away.

Neighborhood conflict

Conflict in an urban city quarter

In order to revitalize a rarely used public square in a high-density residential area in Frankfurt on the Main, a weekly market was established on Fridays. Unfortunately, this market became a victim of its own success: now up to 2'500 people attend and stay until late in the evening. The noise and left-behind trash, bottles and broken glass is growing discontent in the neighborhood.

Healthcare / Hospitals

Conflict between different professional groups in surgery department

The same German hospital is fighting against serious bottlenecks in the availability of surgery rooms. These problems are clearly due to practical (e.g.: technical, financial, operational) constraints. However, it has become obvious that the different professional groups in surgery do not work well with one another. The hospital accordingly decided to deal with cooperation issues first, and then work on improving the efficiency of surgery processes.

Internal fighting at management level

About fifteen years ago, a medium-sized hospital in Germany was struggling for survival. It was subsequently radically restructured, and new chief physicians with an entrepreneurial mindset were hired. The hospital then managed to achieve a strong recovery. Since then, however, strong internal fighting has become widespread. Key decision makers didn't talk to one another anymore.

Internal conflicts

Conflict between management and employees

A large transportation company outsources parts of its service delivery. However, at one of its subcontractors, the relationship between management and employees has severely deteriorated.

Outsourcing / Production

Difficult cooperation with a contract manufacturer

A company located in a German speaking country has outsourced the production of an important product line to a French contract manufacturer. The cooperation between the two proves to be difficult and they both want to improve it.

Change Management

Difficult negotiations within a retail network

A chain of discount supermarkets built up a complementary retailer network in rural areas over several years. The stores, managed by independent retailers,were operating increasingly independently and autonomously. At the same time, they were becoming less and less competitive. Therefore, the company decided to completely rebuild this business segment and bring the stores up to scratch: modern, attractive, and professionally managed. Diffiucult negotiations with the retailers concerned were to be expected.