Rachel Frank - Conflicted at Work

By Tara Feuerstein, MS, Liesl Folks, PhD, MBA, and Nancy Schiller, MS

woman at laptop.


An early-career engineer is first befriended by, and then becomes romantically entangled with, a more senior and more powerful colleague at work, leading to a number of conflicts of interest.

The case can be used to help develop career skills that may be useful to achieving long-term success, such as:

  • Managing conflict / Respectful confrontation
  • Cultivating resilience in the face of adversity
  • Understanding Workplace Conflicts of Interest


Upon completion of this case, students will be able to:

  • Understand relationship conflicts of interest in the workplace and identify common risks;
  • Formulate a strategic multi-step plan for action using a decision tree model;
  • Recognize the value of an intentionally developed professional support network;
  • Preserve one’s career trajectory in the face of an adverse and conflicted relationship at work.