DPB40103: Whether you have a roommate by choice, by necessity, or through the random selection process of your school’s housing: Organizational Behavior Case Study, PM, Malaysia

University Politeknik Malaysia (PM)
Subject DPB40103: Organizational Behavior

Whether you have a roommate by choice, by necessity, or through the random selection process of your school’s housing office, it’s important to be able to get along with the person who shares your living space. While having a roommate offers many benefits such as making a new friend, having someone to experience a new situation like college life with, and having someone to split the cost on your own with, there are also challenges.

Some common roommate conflicts involve neatness, noise, having guests, sharing possessions, value conflicts, money conflicts, and personality conflicts (Ball State University, 2001). Read the following scenarios and answer the following questions for each one:

Scenario 1: Neatness. Your college dorm has bunk beds, and your roommate takes a lot of time making their bed (the bottom bunk) each morning. They have told you that they don’t want anyone sitting on or sleeping in the bed when they are not in the room. While your roommate is away for the weekend, your friend comes to visit and sits on the bottom bunk bed. You tell your friend what your roommate said, and you try to fix the bed back before your roommate returns to the dorm. When they return, your roommate notices that the bed has been disturbed and confronts you about it.

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Scenario 2: Noise and having guests. Your roommate has a job waiting tables and gets home around midnight on Thursday nights. They often bring a couple of friends from work home with them. They watch television, listen to music, or play video games and talk and laugh. You have an 8 a.m. class on Friday mornings and are usually asleep when they return. Last Friday, you talked to your roommate and asked them to keep it down in the future. Tonight, their noise has woken you up and you can’t get back to sleep.

Scenario 3: Sharing possessions. When you go out to eat, you often bring back leftovers to have for lunch the next day during your short break between classes. You didn’t have time to eat breakfast, and you’re really excited about having your leftover pizza for lunch until you get home and see your roommate sitting on the couch eating the last slice.

Scenario 4: Money conflicts. Your roommate got mono and missed two weeks of work last month. Since they have a steady job and you have some savings, you cover their portion of the rent and agree that they will pay your portion next month. The next month comes around and your roommate informs you that they only have enough to pay their half of the rent.

QUESTIONS

1. Which conflict management style, of the five discussed, would you use in this situation?
2. What are the potential strengths of using this style?
3. What are the potential weaknesses of using this style?

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