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Case Study – The Use of Interest-Based Problem Solving Method
Using the Interest-Based, Problem-Solving worksheet on pages 49-51 of Police Labor-Management Relations (Vol. II), analyze one of three case studies located in Chapter Four. Review the selected case study from the standpoint of police management, and write a report to the City Council outlining the identified interests, possible options, and the reasoning to support one option over another. Ensure that you fully disclose the options and impacts to the City and labor union.

The paper must be two to three pages in length (excluding the title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA style. Cite your resources in text and on the reference page. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar.

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Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.

Groups learn the interest-based, problem-solving method best by applying it. In this chapter we present three hypothetical cases to which an interest-based method could be applied. We provide a worksheet that groups can use to work through each case. The worksheet can also be used when applying the method tissues and problems that surface within their own departments.
Accompanying each case is commentary that the facilitators can use when reviewing the work of the union-management groups who are learning to apply the method? The commentary should not be construed as the only answer or solution to the case, but as an example of what kinds of ideas might result when the method is applied. The facilitators may ask their union-management groups to work through the cases and compare their notes with those provided.
When attempting to learn to use the interest-based method, either to build organizational capability or simply to determine if or how the method can add value to the group’s labor-management efforts, it is of critical importance to follow the method completely. It is difficult to evaluate the method’s effectiveness unless it is followed all the way through one or more problem-solving efforts. Doing so may seem awkward at first. Some may think that the answer or solution to a particular problem is obvious (often, it is the option that they are proposing) and does not require the attention given it by applying a structured process. Others may not like being held to a discipline or having to gather data, instead of merely anecdotal claims, to help understand the problem. That is understandable because following a process may be a significant departure from common practice and requires some getting used to. But if the stakeholders desire a high-quality outcome that is based on a thorough understanding of the problem and the needs that people have in relation to it and a high degree of acceptance of the group’s decision, then a structured, interest-based process will help them to do that.
An Interest-Based, Problem-Solving Worksheet
Step 1. Decide on the Issue.
• List everyone’s perspective of the issue
• Clarify
• Synthesize
• Identify the issue – the underlying condition that you choose to address
• State the issue in writing.
Police Labor-Management Relations (Vol. II)
Step 2. Identify Interests
• Identify stakeholders and their interests
• Clarify
• Discuss importance of each interest.
Step 3. Invent Options
• Brainstorm options.
• Clarify the options
• Discuss options
• Combine, eliminate, add to, and revise
• Establish priorities, if needed.
Step 4. Evaluate Options against Interests
• Construct the matrix
• Test options against the interests
• Review completed matrix
• Discuss the options with the most “Y’s.”
Applying the Interest-Based, Problem-Solving Method
Step 5. Select and Agree on an Option
• Use consensus to decide
• If no solution emerges, discuss, add to, revise, and continue to watch for emerging solutions
• Establish priorities, if needed
• Agree on a solution.
Step 6. Develop an Implementation Plan
• Outline the process or sequence of tasks to be completed
• Establish a tentative timeline for implementation
• Identify the person(s) responsible for each task
• Create a mechanism for monitoring progress and evaluation.

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