Problem Solution: M-CORE

Problem Solution: M-Core
M-Core will develop the next generation of multi-core micro-processing chips. M-Core is on the pinnacle of a new technology and plans to revolutionize the industry by combining several multiple processor chips into one chip. “If successful the processors will provide 10 times the processing power of current high-speed processors that are available on the market, while at the same time eating up less energy,” (UOPS, 2010, p. 1).

M-Core is eager to begin producing the processor chips and to facilitate this Silatel has donated an existing facility in New Oxford but will require more land to expand it. Many area residents and the mayor welcome M-Core and the idea of new jobs with increased revenue that will breathe new life into the town. Others however, both internal to M-Core and in the community and city council, are upset with what they perceive as M-Core’s pushy tactics and are resisting.

Describe the Situation
Issue and Opportunity Identification

M-Core needs more land to expand but faces resistance from three residents within the community refusing M-Cores offers. “Elva would like nothing more than to live out the remainder of her life in her memory filled home, which now stands in the way of the M-Core expansion project,” (UOPS, 2010, p. 2). This situation presents M-Core with the opportunity to employ “the three approaches to change; try to change the other party through constructive communication; alter the conflict through compatible goals; and change communications and alter perceptions” (Wilmot & Hocker, 2007, p. 210).

Emotions enter the situation with the holdouts, the resident, the city council, and even some of M-Core employees. Dana writes that, “When emotions arise during conflict, choose to frame them as factual, objective information and to treat them as you would treat other factual data. What do they reveal about what’s happening in the other person and what’s happening in you,” (2001, p. 131). Another issue is that both internal and external destructive and constructive conflict is concurrently occurring. Wilmont and Hocker see it as “The first moments of a conflict interaction—the critical start-up— can set the scene for a constructive or a destructive conflict,” (2007, p. 16).

Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas
M-Core employees and M-Core Management have competing values. This has caused internal conflict and ethical turmoil. M-Core’s management and the New Oxford Mayor have a similar set of competing values with M-Core pushing the mayor to use eminent domain to solve the issue. The holdout residents and M-Core with their competing values are now at an impasse. The new Oxford City Council and M-Core are thrust into a situation of competing values. The City Council welcomes the M-Core anticipated growth in the town, the boost in revenue’s, and the increase of jobs but is uncertain they agree with M-Cores tactics concerning the holdouts. Nature’s Gift Society President Sebastian Byrd and M-Core are also at odds. Nature’s Gift Society is putting up $100,000 to aid in the litigation. The ethical dilemma is that Sebastian is using preservation money to aid litigation of private citizens.
Frame the “Right” Problem

M-Core, a subsidiary of Silatel Corporation, will become a world leader in multi-core processing technology by improving an existing facility and acquiring additional land for their offices, laboratory, and research facilities. Three landowners are holding out and M-Core must find a way to acquire the additional acreage and end the ongoing conflict through the use of various conflict resolution techniques. Internal and external conflict is brewing and a solution must be found quickly.
Describe the “End-State” Vision

M-Core will become the most successful producer of processor technology in the world. To achieve this goal and their end state vision they must find a means to negotiate the purchase of the remaining three holdouts property using a win-win technique.
Identify the Alternatives and Benchmarking Validation
M-Core is facing problems commonly found in other companies. One alternative is to increase the incentive offerings to the holdouts. This solution will help M-Core achieve the goal of acquiring the land and also put them quickly on the path to developing the 90 acres of land for the research and development facility.

M-Core could also try to find an independent mediator to seek a solution. Mediation can provide a solution that may benefit each party because it eliminates the need for costly legal fees and lengthy litigation. The mediator may propose a binding resolution that each side accepts and thus put an end to the conflict.

An additional alternative resolution is negotiation. Negotiation is an often used form of conflict resolution allowing each party to work together and is a give and take method. M-Core should research and benchmark companies that similarly had disagreement with residents and review their resolution methods. One company that successfully used negotiations was the Enbridge-Illinois company.

Enbridge-Illinois’s oil pipeline is a proven need for the state. The plan is to build a “170-mile crude oil pipeline through central Illinois but the company has not earned the right just yet to take land from property owners along the route, according to a proposed order filed Friday with the Illinois Commerce Commission,” (Brady-Lunny, 2010, p. 1). Dana finds “negotiation is the process by which we get other people to give us the things we need while also trying to maintain good relations so we can get more things from them in the future,” (2001, p. 85).

As an alternate solution, M-Core could consider working with the Mayor and holdouts to see if there is a way they can remain in their homes until the events in the two women’s lives conclude. Stephen Truman believes that M-Core needs to find a way to give him what he wants because his only interest is in his investment return.

As a last resort, M-Core could ask the court for an order of public use that would allow M-Core to proceed.

Evaluate the Alternatives
Alternative B is to use the backing of the city and mayor to acquire the land through eminent domain, and as a last resort is alternative D with M-Core requesting for an order of public use. The final ratings of both alternatives were far lower than the other alternatives with B and D with a final rating of 2.72 and 2.44 respectively. Alternative A is to offer the holdouts more incentives to vacate and alternative C is attempting mediation. Both rank highest with a 3.67 and 3.44 rating respectively. A secondary alternative is the combination of A and C and receives the highest rating of 3.67 with the other combinations receiving only 2.44.
Narrowed List of Alternatives
M-Core should use negotiations and offer the holdouts more incentives to vacate. Negotiation is a viable alternative solution because it will eliminate the effects of outside influences working against a solution. Negotiation will allow a win-win and end the conflict.
Mediations can be another possibility for M-Core. Mediation allows M-Core and the holdouts to offer solutions and counter solutions through a mediator who will then make the best choice to solve conflict.
Identify and Assess Risks
Unfortunately, there are risks found in any form of conflict management resolution. If M-Core decides to choose negotiation the chances of the homeowners still not agreeing, excessive costs, and possible litigation remain high. Also negotiations may simply breakdown and waste more time and money. If M-Core chooses mediation, the mediator can sometimes unknowingly become biased against either party based on his or her personal values. Finally the employment of either the mayor’s use of eminent domain or seeking court orders contains the risk of a ruined public image for both M-Core and the mayors office. The best expected outcome is to negotiation individually with the three hold outs to sign non-disclosure agreements and to avoid future issues with the conflict solution.
Make the Decision
M-Core must successfully negotiate with the three holdouts of New Oxford still unwilling to comply. Negotiation is the best solution for this type of conflict because it presents the opportunity for constructive communications. One reason that M-Core and the holdouts have not been able to find a solution is that their communication is practically nonexistent. The only communication was the letter from Mark Merchant threatening them and this was only destructive communication. Negotiation can be a win-win once each fully understands the reasons they have not been able to reach agreement.
Develop and Implement the Solution
M-Core must assemble a negotiation team using internal resources. Mark Merchant will have one-week to select the team. The team should consist of both lower level and three management employees. The team will receive all pertinent information, letters, and documents, and begin their negotiations with a four week period to find a solution. Candice Ishi and Naomi Mendoza will get signed non-disclosures before they begin and then negotiate separately with each of the three hold outs and provide over-watch of the process. The negotiation should reach a decision in four weeks or less. If agreed, all contracts will require a full review during an additional two weeks. Once reviewed, Mark Merchant will conclude each agreement with the individual holdout at a signing where he or she will receive the agreed upon incentives. He will need one-week for this and then one more week to complete all the title transfers, file deeds, and complete any additional documentation.
Evaluate the Results
The most important gauge of success is that M-Core can get their product to market within four months after the start of development. Measuring the results of the negotiation is done by each side’s willingness to agree to the new terms. Other measuring tools will be how soon M-Core can hire the talent they need and a goal of 100% of the jobs filled two months prior to the start of development. Another measure of success is if M-Core can develop the 90 acres on a time line. This measurement will be ongoing with set milestones and is a success when each milestone is achieved on or before the required date. Finally, M-core will measure the success of their sales by increasing their market share by 10% a year for the first three years.
M-Core is a company that found a challenge in resolving conflict with three holdout property owners in New Oxford. To attain success, M-Core had to look past their goals, take the needs of these three individuals into consideration, and find a way to negotiate rather than force them out of their homes. M-Core was not without its faults but did become a company willing to work with these families toward a common goal rather than choosing a win lose tactic. M-Core now has a clear way to achieve their goal of bringing their multi-core processor to market successfully. In this process they have taken away the concept that negotiation can go much further in achieving success than threats. Constructive rather than destruction communication remains one of their greatest lessons learned.

Brady-Lunny, E., (2009) Judge denies eminent domain claim for Enbridge pipeline. Pantagraph.
Retrieved 20 August, 2010 from
Dana, D., (2001) Mediation toll for everyday work life. Conflict Resolution. McGraw - Hill:
New York
UOPS (2010) SCENARIO: M-Core. Retrieved 19 August, 2010, from University of Phoenix
Wilmot, W., and Hocker, J., (2007) Interpersonal Conflict. (7th ed.). McGraw - Hill: New

Table 1
Issues and Opportunities Identification

Reference to Specific
Course Concept

The three remaining landowners are not prepared to accept the terms of Mark Merchant’s most recent offer at this time. Using the three approaches to change Mark Merchant needs to consider because he has further alienated the holdout land owners with his most recent letter threatening he will ask the city to condemn their land. The three approaches to change that Mark Merchant needs to consider are: try to change to other party through constructive communication; alter the conflict conditions through finding compatible goals; and change communication and alter perceptions (Wilmont & Hocker, 2007, p. 210).
Emotions are entering the conflict. Opportunity exists for everyone to be in a win-win resolution. Everyone involved needs to check their emotional involvement and its effect on the situation. Dana writes that “When emotions arise during conflict, choose to frame them as factual, objective information and to treat them as you would treat other factual data. What do they reveal about what’s happening in the other person and what’s happening in you” (Dana, 2001, p. 131).
The current letters to the holdouts have intensified into destructive climate. Mark Merchant and most of corporate management have lost sight of the holdouts needs by exercising dominance over them thus causing a breakdown in any communication. “Persons using dominance often escalate the cycle by not listening to the needs of others, numbing themselves to injustice, focusing only on their own needs and tasks, making light of others’ needs, trivializing and minimizing the needs of others, and blaming the victim” (Wilmont & Hocker, p. 247).
Constructive and destructive conflict is at work internal and external to M-Core and the other stakeholders. Currently there is destructive conflict between M-Core, the city council, the holdouts, and Natures Gift Society. Wilmont and Hocker see it as “The first moments of a conflict interaction—the critical start-up— can set the scene for a constructive or a destructive conflict” (2007, p. 16).
The Mayor and his use of eminent domain is being used to threaten the three holdouts. M-Core has spoken for the mayor stating they will use their political connections to obtain the land condemned if the homeowners do not sell. Wilmont and Hocker write, “that destructive spirals occur when the thoughts and actions of parties degenerate into worse and more damaging forms of communication. The interactions and perceptions feed one another and cycle out of control” (2007, p. 219).

Table 2
Stakeholder Perspectives and Ethical Dilemmas

Stakeholder Perspectives and Ethical Dilemmas

Stakeholder Groups with Competing Values

List: Group X
versus Group Y

The Interests, Rights, and
Values of Each Group

The Ethical Dilemma Based on the Competing Values

M-Core Employee’s vs. M-Core Management M-Core employees are not in agreement with managements desire to move forward with this project and disregard the needs of the three holdouts needs. Internal conflict takes away from productivity and causes ethical issues for some.
M-Core Management vs. Mayor of New Oxford M-Core staff is pushing the Mayor of New Oxford to use eminent domain to clear out the reaming three holdouts. Based on some recent cases it may not be ethical of the mayor to condemn the land for private use.
Three remaining Holdouts vs. M-Core Each holdout has a different reason for not wanting to sell; Eva wants to live out her life in her home; Stephen wants more money; and Tracy wants to continue to have a convenient distance from work to home to care for her elderly mother. M-Core believes they must move quickly and will acquire the remaining land at any cost creating an ethical dilemma.
New Oxford City Council vs. M-Core The New Oxford City Council welcomes the growth of industry and new jobs; however some are sympathetic to the holdouts. Even though the growth of the city is of value and supported, the idea of condemning homes and forcing and resident to move is not well received.
Natures Gift Society Sebastian Byrd vs. M-Core Has provided Sebastian Byrd with $100,000 to put on litigation costs to support the wetlands and those living there. The ethical issue is using litigation funds for wetlands preservation to fight M-Core for the private citizens.

Table 3
Analysis of Alternative Solutions

Table 4
Risk Assessment and Mitigation
Risk Assessment and Mitigation
Alternative Risks and Probability Consequence and Severity Mitigation Techniques and Strategies
Offer the holdouts more incentives to vacate • Some may refuse
High Risk
• Those offered less may file suit
High Risk
• Cost could be excessive
High Risk
• The project could risk the holdouts never settling
Medium Severity
• Cost prohibitive
Medium severity
• Make separate offers to the holdouts with non-disclosure clauses

Get city and mayor backing to acquire land through eminent domain • Negative public image
High Risk
• Litigation
Medium Risk
• Mayor may back down
High Risk
• M-Core gets community nonsupport
High severity
• Mayor loses public image.
Medium severity
• City council conflict
Medium severity • Initiate public relations campaign
• Settle possible litigation
• Initiate conflict management
Attempt negotiation and mediation • Failure
Low Risk
• M-Core internal conflict
• Mediation goes in favor of holdouts
High Risk
• M-Core decides project has failed
Medium Severity
• The project is increasingly delayed
High Severity
• Research best alternatives
• Get a professional mediator
• Ensure the holdouts feel well represented.

Ask the courts for an order of public use • Litigation
High Risk
• Negative image
High Risk
• Court may deny
Medium Risk
• Indefinite delays
High severity
• Loss of public image/support.
High Severity
• Project cancelled
Medium Severity • Hire the best litigation team available.
• Initiate public image campaign.

Table 5
Pros and Cons of Alternative Solutions
Alternative Pros Cons
Offer the holdouts more incentives to vacate • Win-Win settlement
• Can begin construction
• Good public image • Additional costs for settlement.
• Unless non-disclosure is signed litigation could follow.

Get city and mayor backing to acquire land through eminent domain • Lengthy settlement
• Less cost than M-Core settlement

• Loss of public support
• Litigation and delay

Attempt negotiation and mediation • Fairly fast settlement
• Win-Win settlement
• Either can fail
• Time consuming

Ask the courts for an order of public use • Quick
• Cheap • Countersuits
• Time consuming
• Acrimony

Table 6
Optimal Solution Implementation Plan
Action Item Deliverable Timeline Who is Responsible
Out together a negotiation team One Week Mark Mechant
Offer holdouts more incentives to vacate with individual negotiations with non-disclosure Four weeks Candice Ishi and Naomi Mendoza
Get signed contracts ensuring all agreements are binding Two week Mark Merchant
Conclude the deal signing contracts and delivering all incentive to the holdouts One Week Mark Merchant
Complete transfer, file deeds and other legal documents One week Mark Merchant

Table 7
Evaluation of Results
End-State Goals Metrics Target
Successfully develop the new M-Core Chip Time to market statistics Four month after start of development
Get the remaining land form the holdouts Time to complete closure on holdout land contracts Two month after agreement by holdouts
Attract and hire the best talent in research and development All positions filled with highly qualified talent Two month prior to start of development 100% of jobs filled
Develop the 90 acre research and development facility Time line for completion of each project All project completed on or before scheduled date
Successfully market the M-Core Chip Increase in market share 10% per year for 3 years then level off

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