The Power Struggle

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Michelle has been impacted by a recently introduced call center policy. According to Nikki, her employer, there has been an increase in corporate orders, prompting the necessity for extended operating hours. Prior to the implementation of the new schedule, staff worked from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The company has opted to extend weekday business hours and open an extra day on Saturday. The abrupt adjustment left little choice but to create additional shifts that will aid in meeting the needs of the organization. People with more seniority can pick from four alternative shifts. However, Michelle was not impressed with the shift that she ended up with as it interferes with her domestic duty. Besides, she signed up for the previous shift when she was employed since it was best for her. This essay analyzes the power differential between Michelle and Nikki as well as how best Michelle can prepare for the negotiation.

Since Nikki is Michelle`s manager, she has power over her. The power surrounding Nikki's position comes from her role as a company manager. Nikki`s role in the firm says a lot about her powers over other employees. Her task includes solving conflicts that may occur as well as following through with meetings. However, Nikki should watch her conduct so that Michelle does not feel powerless. Michelle derives her power as an ordinary employee from the ability to express her opinion. Michele is aware that her problems cannot be acknowledged if she keeps silent and ignores her sufferings. It is important that anytime workplace issues arise, employees gain the courage to approach the management and air their grievances (Marginson, 2015). In this case, Michelle can request for a mediator to intervene in the discussion and help come up with a remarkable solution. The fact that Michelle is raising power by presenting to her boss a formal request makes her a thoughtful person. The power differential between Nikki and Michelle should help them prepare for the negotiation.

It is evident that Michelle is in the lesser party position since unlike Nikki, she is an ordinary worker. Michelle needs to adequately prepare for the meeting as it is an opportunity to express her concerns and attempt to change her situation for the better. Some of the factors that Michele should consider are:

Identify both interests. Michelle can point out the interests of the company as well as hers, and try to illustrate how both parties are working towards the same goal, which is performance and productivity.

Present her reasoning with supporting statements. Michelle should explain to Nikki why she believes the shift change will be inappropriate for her. For instance, she can illustrate how she is trying to manage as a working lady and a single mother as well as how it is hard finding a good daycare that will meet her new schedule. Since Nikki is also a single mother, she should be able to relate with this.

It would also be wise if Michelle can ask Nikki for additional time to adapt to the changes in schedule. The business made a shift change that would help it meet its demands; however, as it is the case with Michelle, employees need time to change as they have other obligations.

As Rosenfeld & Denice (2015) suggest, brainstorming over options is important, and Michelle can brainstorm her options and present Nikki with alternatives that can work for both parties. Such as requesting if she can switch shifts with another employee who would be comfortable with her new shift.


Power is an important factor in an organization as it can destroy or build a working relationship. Nikki and Michelle can use their powers to come to an understanding. Being in the lesser power position is not necessarily a disadvantage as one can plan on how best he/she will negotiate with the management to come with an amicable resolution.


Marginson, P. (2015). The changing nature of collective employment relations. (Employee Relations), 37(6), 645-657.

Rosenfeld, J., & Denice, P. (2015). The power of transparency: evidence from a British Workplace Survey. (American Sociological Review), 80(5), 1045-1068.

May 02, 2023

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