Is negotiation the best alternative solution

to resolve conflicts in the food industry?



By Ophélie Dubois

SKEMA Business School

Lille, France




As conflicts are part of everyone’s life and seem impossible to avoid, why don’t just try to learn the best possibilities to deal with disputes? The purpose of this paper is to analyze the most common causes of disputes in the food industry in order to better understand their roots and find alternatives to reduce, or at least manage at best, these conflicts. Several feasible alternatives of conflict resolution have been compared thanks to conscientiously chosen attributes and with the help of multi-attribute decision making methods to establish the best process of dispute resolution. We found out that the most pacifist alternatives appear to be the best ones; conversely to private binding and litigation, prevention and negotiation score much higher based on compensatory model techniques.

Key words: Disputes, Food Industry, Causes, Conflict Resolution, Project Management,Work Environment, Negotiation


The apparition of new professions such as « chief happiness officers » (CHO)[1] can leads us to question the evolution of the current professional world. What need-s this amusing job title is supposed to answer to? A number of studies show the importance of well-being at work, making us more productive in our job[2]. The idea is to provide a better understanding of the evolving working environment in which we are living, in order to better deal with it. One of the obvious causes of unhappiness at work is conflicts; they are numerous and vary depending on the industry you are working in. In gathering information from different sources and articles to apprehend the multiples causes of disputes in the food industry, and crossing data to understand better the major points of conflicts, their causes and consequences, it is possible to learn how to deal with these disputes in the best possible way.

Considering the definition of a project being “an investment that requires a set of logically linked and coordinated activities performed over a finite period of time in order to accomplish a unique result in support of a desired outcome”[3]; a project for a food services manager is a meal served. Each meal served come from ingredients bought by the manager, that has been cooked by cooks hired by the manager, and served by waiters also hired by the manager, the overall in a defined amount of time and so, meets the definition of a project.

Let’s now have a look at the definition of asset, program and portfolio, applied to the food industry:


To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director paul.gardiner@skema.edu.

How to cite this paper: Author last name, first initial (2019). Title, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue VI, July.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/pmwj83-Jul2019-Dubois-is-negotiation-best-alternative-for-disputes-in-food-industry.pdf



About the Author

Ophélie Dubois

Lille, France




Ophélie Dubois is a PGE student in SKEMA Business School following the MSc Project and Programme Management & Business Development (PPMBD). During her studies at SKEMA she had the chance to live six months on the Brazilian campus of the school in Belo Horizonte, and travel around the country. She previously graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management in 2015 from the “Université Lumière Lyon 2″. After that, she lived six months in Amsterdam, where she was working as a Category Manager in a start-up called TravelBird. She then moved to Paris where she worked as an Assistant Product Manager for a global beauty company, COTY.

She lives in Lille, France and can be contacted at ophelie.dubois@skema.edu

[1] LesEchos.fr (June-2017) – Le bien-être au travail incite les salariés à s’engager. Retrieved from: https://www.lesechos.fr/thema/030382984838-le-bien-etre-au-travail-incite-les-salaries-a-sengager-2095725.php

[2] Oswald, Andrew J., Proto, Eugenio and Sgroi, Daniel. (2015) – University of Warwick – Happiness and productivity. Retrieved from: https://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/63228/7/WRAP_Oswald_681096.pdf

[3] Planning Planet (Nov-2015) – Guild of Project Controls Compendium and Reference (CaR) – 1 Controls. Retrieved from: http://www.planningplanet.com/guild/gpccar/introduction-to-managing-project-controls