International Journal of Conflict Management

Published by Emerald
Print ISSN: 1044-4068
This chapter is concerned with the difficult question of what our field can contribute to preventing and resolving the sorts of destructive conflicts which are so prevalent in our world today at the interpersonal, intergroup, interethnic, and international levels. In this chapter, I outline an approach to this question. The chapter is divided into three parts. The first is a brief discussion of some of the factors which determine whether a conflict will take a constructive or destructive course. The second deals with the prevention of destructive conflicts—here I consider the potential roles of government, education, the media, religion, and industry. The third is concerned with how to manage intractable, destructive conflicts. KeywordsDestructive conflict-Prevention-United Nations-United States-Education, Media-Religion-Industry
This chapter suggests that conflict and cooperation are part of the many pairs of opposing tendencies that characterize organizational life. It provides a case study of intergroup conflict through collective bargaining in the public sector. It examines the way in which clashing on issues, disagreeing on courses of action and enacting disputes aids in constituting group and organizational identities. It questions how ritualized conflict management becomes productive and beneficial, not only through obtaining particular goals, but through promoting effective communication and building relationship from the on-going struggle between intergroup forces. This struggle extends beyond the traditional boundaries of collective bargaining to coalitions between members of opposing groups, alliances with external ties, and interdependent organizational linkages that give symbolic meaning to this event. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Research on layoff victims reports that interactional justice judgments influence important work-related attitudes, such as organizational commitment. In this paper, the authors build on this emerging literature through an examination of the role that both interactional justice and organizational support have in explaining the organizational commitment of 147 layoff victims at a major manufacturing plant. Ss completed surveys concerning organizational commitment, interactional justice, and organizational support. The results of structural equation analyses support the hypothesis that organizational support mediates the relationship between interactional justice and organizational commitment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
This study empirically examined the antecedents of verbal and physical assaults on managers perpetrated by subordinate employees. A model was presented and hypotheses developed that were tested with data obtained through the content analysis of published arbitration decisions. The findings indicated that such assaults were more likely to be verbal than physical, preceded by aversive treatment, and targeted at managers directly involved in the negative outcomes. Additionally, the severity of the incident varied across the different types of triggering events. Individuals who had been aggressive in the past but had not been disciplined were more likely to subsequently engage in physical than verbal assaults. The implications of these findings for future research and organizational practices were also discussed.
Theories of ethnic conflict often assume that the cause of political violence is the same across actors and constant over time. I propose that causes differ, depending upon the identity, grievances, and strategy of the perpetrator as influenced by the cultural, economic, and political contexts in which they operate. Together with Granger causality tests, multivariate time-series analyses of political deaths in Northern Ireland support a multi-causal perspective. Reflecting identity differences, Loyalist violence but not Republican violence was likely to increase during months when high levels of protest coincided with annual commemorations. By deepening grievances related to ethnic stratification, rising unemployment contributed to Republican violence, but not to Loyalist violence. Repression of Nationalists increased Republican violence but decreased Loyalist violence, supporting a see-saw conceptualization of political opportunities in divided societies. The findings highlight the need for sensitivity in both conflict research and management to differences between actors and across social contexts.
Many relationships between politicians and bureaucrats are based on an energy-equilibrium model where the politicians provide energy and the bureaucrats, equilibrium. According to this model, conflicts occur when one partner does not adequately fulfill his or her expected role. This model may be fruitfully used to study the relationship between the politician, the career bureaucrat, and the political appointee. The division of roles among this “ménage à trois” is particularly difficult and often generates tension. The situation is most prone to conflict when the government is in a period of change. At such times, the newly elected politicians have a tendency to mistrust the established bureaucracy and to depend almost exclusively on their political appointees. The dysfunctions induced by this phenomenon, in regard to the capacity of the bureaucracy to adequately fulfill its equilibrium role, are very clearly illustrated by the Canadian political transition of 1984, when the federal government was handed over to the Progressive Conservative Party. A series of interviews with ministers, senior civil servants, and senior policy advisors, all of whom had ringside seats to this transition, shows how the extensive power granted to ministerial offices aggravated the difficulties usually associated with a period of transition. This particular transition illustrates how important it is for the newly elected to ensure that their partisan policy advisors play their roles without getting in the way of the indispensable cooperation which must be established between ministers and senior civil servants.
Intractable conflicts are characterized as protracted, irreconcilable, violent, of zero-sum nature, total, and central. They are demanding, stressful, exhausting, and costly both in human and material terms. Societies involved in this type of conflict develop appropriate psychological conditions which enable them to cope successfully with the conflictual situation. The present paper proposes the following societal beliefs which are conducive to the development of these psychological conditions: beliefs about the justness of one's own goals, beliefs about security, beliefs of delegitimizing the opponent, beliefs of positive self-image, beliefs about patriotism, beliefs about unity and beliefs about peace. These beliefs constitute a kind of ideology which supports the continuation of the conflict. The paper analyzes as an example one such intractable conflict, namely the one between Israel and Arabs, concentrating on the Israeli society. Specifically, it demonstrates the reflection of the discussed societal beliefs in the Israeli school textbooks. Finally, implications of the presented framework for peaceful conflict resolution are discussed.
The purpose of this study was to determine if arbitrators use all seven of Dougherty's tests of just cause in cases involving discharge for excessive absenteeism. One hundred and ninety-five absenteeism cases published by the Bureau of National Affairs and Commerce Clearing House between 1980 and 1990 were analyzed. Four of Dougherty's key tests were found to be critical: Penalty, Equal Treatment, Proof, and Notice. Logistic regression analysis of the data reveals that if these four tests are met by management, there is an almost certain probability that a grievance for excessive absenteeism discharge will be denied. If, however, any one of these tests is not met, the probability is greater than 99 percent that the grievance will be fully sustained or split.
Much of the prior literature on arbitrator acceptability is focused primarily on demographic characteristics of arbitrators and parties. This article draws from several behavioral theories to build a single conceptual model of arbitrator acceptability. Key concepts from the theory of planned behavior, control theory, organizational justice theories, and the decision making literature are integrated into a single framework that enhances our understanding of this topic and provides useful directions for future research.
While prior work has focused on the importance of visual access and visual cues to targets of deception, this article highlights its importance to deceivers. We introduce a new approach for conceptualizing deception and distinguish between two types of lies according to the relative value to the deceiver of being able to monitor the target's reaction to the lie; deceivers telling monitoring-dependent lies benefit significantly more from being able to monitor their target than do deceivers telling monitoring-independent lies. We examine this distinction and its implications for the strategic use of deception, by manipulating visual access in a negotiation experiment with teleconference and videoconference media. We find consistent differences between deceivers use of and consequences of these two types of lies as a function of visual access. First, the use of monitoring-dependent lies was significantly greater with visual access than without it, while the use of monitoring-independent lies was unaffected by visual access. Second, consistent with our conceptu-alization, participants who lied were trusted less by their counterpart than were participants who did not lie, except when participants with visual access told monitoring-dependent lies. In these cases deceivers were actually trusted more by their counterpart than participants who did not lie. These results support our conceptualization and suggest that visual access may actually harm potential targets of deception—by increasing their risk of being deceived and inappropriately increasing their interpersonal trust.
This study presents an investigation of the communicative behaviors and strategies employed in the stimulation and management of productive and destructive conflict in culturally heterogeneous workgroups. Using communication accommodation theory (CAT), we argue that the type and course of conflict in culturally heterogeneous workgroups is impacted by the communicative behaviors and strategies employed by group members during interactions. Analysis of data from participant observations, non-participant observations, semi-structured interviews, and self-report questionnaires support CA T-based predictions and provide fresh insights into the triggers and management strategies associated with conflict in culturally heterogeneous workgroups. In particular, results indicated that the more groups used discourse management Strategies, the more they experienced productive conflict. In addition, the use of explanation and checking of own and others' understanding was a major feature of productive conflict, while speech interruptions emerged as a strategy leading to potential destructive conflict. Groups where leaders emerged and assisted in reversing communication breakdowns were better able to manage their discourse, and achieved consensus On task processes. Contributions to the understanding of the triggers and the management of productive conflict in culturally heterogeneous workgroups are discussed.
A laboratory experiment examined the effects of time pressure (high versus low) and accountability to constituents (not-accountable-to-constituents versus accountable-to-constituents) on the competitiveness of negotiators' interaction and on the outcome (i.e., agreement or impasse) of the negotiation. Using a newly developed negotiation game with the payoff structure of a game of chicken, we predicted and found an interaction effect. Based on the pattern of results we conclude that the effect of time pressure is contingent on the accountability to constituents of the negotiator. When negotiators are negotiating only for themselves, time pressure makes the negotiators act less competitive, and a higher proportion of the negotiations will result in an agreement. In contrast, when negotiators are negotiating on behalf of their con-stituents, time pressure will result in more competitive interaction and in a higher proportion of impasses.
This study explores the effects of different structures of accountability on the development of groupthink. Specifically, the differences between individual and collective accountability are examined and contrasted to a condition with no accountability. The groupthink phenomenon can be differentiated into collective avoidance, arising from a pessimistic perception of a decisional issue, and collective overoptimism. It is argued that structures of accountability can either promote or reduce groupthink, depending upon the way group members perceive the decisional issue. We tested the hypothesis that accountability can prevent the collective-avoidance type of groupthink, and that individual accountability will be more effective in doing so than collective accountability, by preventing the possibility to “hide in the crowd.” The results confirm that under conditions conducive to collective avoidance, individual accountability is more effective in reducing groupthink-like tendencies than collective accountability. However, group members expecting to be collectively responsible still display less symptoms of groupthink than control groups. In particular, accountability makes groups display more difficulty to reach consensus, stimulates group members to try to influence the decision making, results in a more equal dispersion of influence within the group, and in less risky decisions. Some methodological concerns regarding research on groupthink and accountability, and the implications of the findings for future research in this area are discussed.
This study examines the relationship between decisions of arbitrators and the accounts provided by grievants in a sample of discipline arbitration cases. It was hypothesized that arbitrators' decisions would be influenced by both the type of accounts used (refusals, excuses, and justifications) and the quality of accounts. The results suggest that grievants providing refusals are most likely to have their suspensions reduced, and grievants providing justifications are least likely to have their suspensions reduced Also, the quality of accounts influences reduction in suspension. These findings help broaden our understanding of the arbitration decision-making process and explain how grievants' accounts can bias arbitrators' decisions. Implications for policy-makers, management, employees, and unions are provided, along with suggestions for future research.
Misunderstanding, or misconstrual, is a major exacerbating factor in conflict escalation and an impediment to negotiation and resolution. Laboratory work has identified characteristic errors of construal which partisans make in assessing the views of their opponents. This paper examined whether these same phenomena could be observed in a traditional real-world conflict, that between trade unions and management. In two studies, union representatives and managers reacted first (in Study 1) to an actual contract negotiation that the two sides were involved with, and then to a hypothetical unjust act. Results revealed that the two sides indeed display many characteristic errors of construal. Specifically, union representatives underestimated management concern for harmful acts against workers, or management's sincere wish to negotiate in good faith within financial constraints, and were generally highly suspicious of management motives and intentions toward workers. Managers saw union representatives as unreasonable, and greatly overestimated union militancy and unwillingness to accept extenuating circumstances. Negotiations will be greatly improved if such misconstruals can be exposed and debunked prior to, or during negotiations.
This study used a critical incidents methodology to examine the influence of accounts on perceived social loafing and evaluations of team member, and to investigate the face management and responsibility explanations of account-giving. The results of this study suggest that communicative acts such as accounts may reduce perceived loafing. In addition, perceived loafing and evaluations of the team member were influenced by the type of account provided; concessions were more effective in decreasing perceptions of social loafing and increasing evaluations of the team member than excuses and justifications which, in turn, were more effective than refusals. These findings indicate tentative support for the face management explanation of account effectiveness.
This research examined the relationships among a number of outcomes of mediation. The sample consisted of 73 hearings at two dispute settlement centers in New York State. Predictions from goal achievement theory were contrasted with predictions from procedural justice theory. In accordance with goal achievement theory, disputants who attained their goals in the agreement indicated immediate satisfaction with that agreement and with the conduct of the hearing. However, goal achievement was unrelated to long-run success or long-run satisfaction with the agreement, a result which may apply primarily to the mediation of interpersonal disputes. The predictions from procedural justice theory were more successful. Disputants who perceived that the underlying problems had been aired, that the mediator had understood what they said and that they had received a fair hearing also showed immediate satisfaction with the agreement and with the conduct of the hearing. In addition, these and related perceptions—especially in the eyes of the respondent—were predictive of several aspects of long-run success.
When organizations with disparate cultures are merged, the culture of the acquired organization often represents a counterculture for the acquiring firm. Scholars and consultants frequently recommend avoiding integration of an acquired company if it has a sharply different culture. This paper presents a case study of a recent hostile takeover that disproves the conventional wisdom and shows that careful implementation processes enable the company, not only to overcome post-merger integration barriers due to culture clash, but also to maximize strategic benefits from those cultural differences. It shows that integration can be achieved through a process in which only some specific cultural dimensions are integrated while others are preserved.
This paper proposes an anthropology-based theoretical model describing the impact of top management culture clash on the commitment of the acquired team to the new organization and on its cooperation with the acquiring team. It suggests that three factors are influential, namely the degree of cultural differences, the nature of the contact between the teams, and the intended level of integration between the companies. The paper generates numerous propositions for predicting the impact of the culture clash. It also offers suggestions for further theoretical and empirical study, and presents some of the model's practical implications.
This study investigated the unpad of culture on styles of handling interpersonal conflicts. The Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory was used to collect data on the conflict management styles of integrating, obliging, avoiding, dominating, and compromising. Two regions of the world were chosen: Middle Eastern countries and states (n = 913) and the United States (n = 144). MANCOVA was used to analyze the data. The results indicate that Arab Middle Eastern executives use more of an integrating and avoiding style in handling interpersonal conflict while U.S. executives use more of an obliging, dominating, and compromising style. Implications of the findings and future research are discussed.
Effects of voice, compensation, and responsibility attribution on justice perception and post-complaint behavior in a consumer setting were studied in a cross-cultural study. Hotel school students in China and Canada (N = 168) read and responded to a scenario which described how a service provider handled the complaint from a customer whose coat was stained with tea. The results showed that collectivists were more likely than individualists to blame the service provider. Also, voice offered by the service provider failed to reduce its blame, and compensation actually led to more blame attributed to the service provider. Responsibility attribution was found to be able to mediate the effect of culture on post complaint behavior. A culture by voice interaction indicated that when voice was offered by the service provider, Canadians were less likely to attribute the responsibility to themselves than were Chinese. The implications of these results on justice, culture, and responsibility attribution are discussed.
The doctrine of employment-at-will has been the rule of law for over 100 years in the United States. Under it an employee can be terminated for a good reason, a bad reason, or for no reason at all. Because of real abuses when firing employees, generally called wrongful termination, all but five U.S. states have now carved out at least one of three exceptions to the rule. They are implied contract, public policy tort, and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Although created with good intentions, all three exceptions have spawned a legal environment of judicial inconsistency and unpredictability and a climate of expensive litigation and monetary judgments. The Model Employment Termination Act, if adopted by all the states, would establish a uniform legal system for managing employee terminations. The Act's major provisions require that an employee can be terminated only for “good cause,” and, in the “preferred version” that arbitration be used in settling disputes. However, an employee's remedies are limited and can include reinstatement, back pay, lump-sum severance payments, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs, but no compensatory or punitive damages.
Over the past decade there has been an upsurge of interest in the study of mediation. Much of the current interest is the consequence of mediation's apparent success in the management of labor-management conflicts. It is suggested here that a critical examination of mandated mediation—a long standing, but neglected part of negotiation under the Railway Labor Act of 1926—can make substantive contributions to the development of mediation theory. This paper proposes a conceptual model for understanding context, process, and outcome constraints on the performance of mandated mediation.
Rcsulls of Factor Analysis; Motivation 
Results of Faelor Anal)'sis: Aetio..,
Because of their relationship-oriented values, avoiding conflict is thought to be particularly prevalent and appropriate in collectivist societies like China Although research in the West has assumed that avoiding conflict is one approach and a largely ineffective one, collectivists may use conflict avoidance in different ways, including protecting the other protagonist. Eighty-five managers and employees in six State Owned Enterprises in South China described concrete incidents when they avoided conflict and responded to specific items to measure the prior relationship, motivation, strategies, and consequences. Results identify major motivations and strategies used in conflict avoidance. Findings indicate that Chinese managers and employees relied upon the other person, promoted task productivity, and strengthened the relationship when they had a prior strong relationship and cooperative goals. Cooperative goals and fear of revenge were both found to underlie outflanking (trying to work around the other). Results were interpreted as indicating that avoiding conflict can be useful and even reaffirm an already effective relationship, but like open conflict, it must be managed constructively.
This paper uses 1992 nonunion employment arbitration awards to examine how parties currently use arbitration outside collective bargaining. It presents descriptive data on the costs of arbitration. It compares employer and employee claims, and finds that employees win higher damage awards. Employees recover a higher proportion of the damages they claim or have a better outcome than employers, notwith-standing the theory that an arbitrator will rule in favor of employers because they have more resources to pay the arbitrator. While both employers and employees have lower outcomes when the arbitrator is paid a fee, this appears to be because the fee-paying cases are higher stakes claims, and higher stakes claims result in proportionally lower damage awards. The findings tend to contradict the theory that employment arbitrators will be biased in favor of employers in a nonunion setting.
Prior research has illustrated the benefits of cooperation across groups. This study sought to identify methods to induce cooperation across groups. Three laboratory studies showed modifying performance appraisals to include intergroup behavior, and including an external supervisor evaluation, led to greater frequencies of helping behavior and more positive attitudes towards cooperating under scarce resource conditions.
Two distinct literatures have investigated the impact of negotiator frames. Both literatures demonstrate that negotiator frames significantly influence both bargaining behavior and negotiated outcomes. These two literatures, however, offer completely different conceptualizations of what negotiator frames actually are. In this article we classify these two conceptualizations as reference frames, the referent-dependent perception of outcomes, and conflict frames, a multi-dimensional orientation toward conflict. We report results from an experiment that links these two types of frames. We find that loss-framed negotiators adopt conflict frames that are more win-oriented and task-oriented than the conflict frames gain-framed negotiators adopt. Our results offer insight into the frame adoption process and have implications for dispute resolution and negotiation practice.
Regression results
This study samples 78 business decision-makers whose cases were part of an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process, i.e., the Public Construction Commission (PCC), which operates under the government in Taiwan, between 1997 and early 2000. The authors propose an interaction between two variations of trust—category-based trust and experience-based trust—and hypothesize that decision-makers’ perceived identity with new versus old government ideology and past justice experiences (with the PCC) would jointly affect their decision preferences. The results partially support these hypotheses. The authors emphasize the critic role of trustworthiness of the third-party ADR providers. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of the findings.
This study investigates how two situational elements influence people's propensity to lie about their own performance. We hypothesized that, a) people are more likely to lie when rewarded for doing so, b) performance pressures at work lead people to lie about their performance, and c) the joint effect of the two elements led to the highest level of lying. Reward and pressure were manipulated in an experiment with 140 participants. The findings support both hypotheses. The results have implications for the manner in which corporations pressure and reward their employees, suggesting that unsavory behaviour such as lying is a natural outgrowth of high pressure, high reward work situations.
Two studies were conducted to investigate the impact of socially-induced positive affect on organizational conflict. In Study I, male and female subjects were provoked or not provoked, and then exposed to one of several treatments designed to induce positive affect among them. Results indicated that several of these procedures (e.g., mild flattery, a small gift, self-deprecating remarks by an opponent) increased subjects' preference for resolving conflict through collaboration, but reduced their preference for resolving conflict through competition. In addition, self-deprecating remarks by an opponent (actually an accomplice) increased subjects' willingness to make concessions to this person during negotiations. In Study 2, male and female subjects were exposed to two treatments designed to induce positive affect (humorous remarks, mild flattery). These were presented before, during, or after negotiations with another person (an accomplice). Both treatments reduced subjects' preferences for resolving conflict through avoidance and increased their preferences for resolving conflict through collaboration, but only when delivered during or immediately after negotiations. Together, the results of both studies suggest that simple interventions designed to induce positive affect among the parties to conflicts can yield several beneficial effects.
A quasi-experiment tested the effects of honor values and the other party's communication style (insulting versus not insulting) on experienced conflict intensity, negative emotions, and intentions to behave distributively and integratively during a workplace conflict. After honor values were measured, participants read a scenario in which a conflict was described. In the scenarios, the other party's communication style was manipulated by describing the other party's communication such that either an insult was uttered or no insult was uttered. Consistent with our hypotheses, results showed that conflicts in which the other party used an insult lead to higher ratings of experienced conflict intensity, more negative emotions, and higher levels of distributive behavior than conflicts in which the other party did not use an insult in high-honor-value participants, but not in low-honor-value participants. Mediation analyses showed that the interactive effect of honor values and the other party's communication style on distributive behavior could be explained by experienced conflict intensity and negative emotions.
This paper reports the results of two studies that examined the impact of framing negotiations in affective terms. Pursuant to the recommendations made by Clyman and Tripp (2000) for reducing risks associated with discrepant values, the objective of the first study was to determine the optimal way of representing potential outcomes in affective terms in a negotiation payoff table. Results demonstrated the superiority of happy and unhappy face icons over other representations; it also revealed a slight advantage to varying the quantity of icons, rather than size, to reflect differences in the relative values of these outcomes. In the second study, the focus was on determining to what extent, if any, framing negotiations in affective terms would differentially affect negotiators' thoughts and feelings prior to engaging in a two-party negotiation. Results indicated that when negotiations are affectively framed, negotiators report higher levels of negotiation involvement and positive emotion and lower levels of trust, as well as a decreased likelihood of employing cooperative negotiation tactics. The implications of the findings for future research are discussed.
After the Mandela government took power in 1994 in South Africa, one of its highest priorities was providing power to the impoverished rural areas, and particularly the infrastructure-poor black “townships.” In addition to a scarcity of resources, multiple stake-holders with very different agendas were integrally a part of the decision-making process. To this extent, what happened with the electricity industry is a metaphor for the multiple issues—social, economic, and political—which had to be negotiated by the new society. The multiple stake-holders were brought together in a “Forum,” a non-regulatory advisory body which was designed to specifically include all relevant interested parties in an open (“transparent”) problem-solving process. This forum system was extensively used in the 18–24 months immediately before and after the 1994 elections to deal with a host of issues. The National Electricity Forum (NELF) was one of the earliest and most successful of these forums. This case reviews the build-up to the 1994 elections, describes how the forum process worked, and outlines its structure.
This study evaluates an attempt to develop a mediation program within a state environmental agency. A number of concerns arose during the agency's efforts to use mediation, including the neutrality of mediators, the types of cases mediated, the voluntary participation of parties, and acceptance of the mediated agreement. These issues were examined through a case study of a conflict that was mediated by the agency. Based on issues in the case, criteria are suggested which help guard against the problems that arise when government agencies serve a mediating role. These criteria may be useful to any organization that contemplates using mediation to help resolve conflict.
Experimental Design 
Comparison of Pre-and Post-Negotiation Survey Scales
Number of impasses and Mean Value of Sale Price (in thousands of dollars) as a Function of Group Type 
Using a four-person email negotiation on a fictitious house-sale as the context, this study explores the effects of (1) familiarity and similarity manipulations on agent-agent relationships, and (2) the emotional attachments that novice agents and principals form and maintain over the course of a single negotiation. Results show that only agent-agent pairs receiving both manipulations (similarity and familiarity) were uniquely more successful in achieving an agreement, and that positive feelings for novice agents begin aligned with the principal and end aligned with the other agent. This demonstrates that relationship-building in the online environment may be easier for some partnerships than for others, and that the dual-loyalty conflict facing agents seems to encourage one partnership being preferred to the other at any one point in time. Implications for theory and for email negotiations are discussed.
Sixty-six male Japanese students verbally interacted with a confederate opponent, who expressed unreasonable requests politely or impolitely. Half of the participants was pressed to respond immediately, while the other half was not. Personality variables were found to determine the participants' responses to the conflict in interactions with the situational variables; that is, verbal aggressiveness increased hostile responses only when the confederate behaved in an impolite manner, and self-monitoring increased integrative responses only when the participants were not pressed to respond quickly.
Regression Analyses for Group Value Congruence, Individual Demographic Dissimilarity, and Conflict 
Regression Analyses for Conflict, Value Intensity, and Outcomes 
In this quasi-experimental study we investigate value congruence and demographic dissimilarity among group members as factors which influence various types of conflict within workgroups. We also examine whether it is beneficial for members to be different or alike, to agree or disagree, in order to foster work group productivity. Results indicate that visible individual demographic differences (i.e., sex, age) increase relationship conflict, while informational demographic differences (i.e., education) increase task-focused conflict. Value congruence of members decreased both relationship and task conflict, and the specific content of the values held by members influenced performance. Specifically, both detail and outcome group value orientations increased objective performance; outcome, decisiveness, and stability orientations increased perceptions of high performance; and both decisiveness and supportiveness orientations increased the satisfaction level of group members while a team orientation decreased individual member satisfaction in this sample.
This review article focuses on the factors that affect the selection and implementation of three principles of distributive justice (i.e., equity, equality, and need) to reward systems in group and organizational settings. After presenting an overview of the assumptions, goals, and possible consequences associated with each of the three perspectives, the article then describes the moderating factors influencing distribution rule preferences across four levels of analysis: (1) the interorganizational, (2) the intraorganizational, (3) the work group, and (4) the individual. Some of the variables discussed include cross-cultural differences, reward system implementation, task interdependency, work group climate, and individual characteristics. This material is then summarized through the use of a new conceptual model for describing allocation rule preferences. The article concludes with suggestions for future research.
Among the recurrent concerns of urban planners and administrators is the institutionalization of an inclusive, equitable, and effective process of citizen participation. Such is required not only as matter of law but also as instrument of social cohesion. The great majority of urban conduct is a function of voluntarism, consensus, and accommodation. In earlier decades, informal social processes facilitated reconciliation. In more recent decades, formal processes of citizen participation have yielded frustration. For the present decade, both literature and practice suggest a shifting of citizen participation processes toward mediation alternatives. While increasingly popular, all mediation alternatives carry three troublesome concerns: definition of interested parties, openness to information, and role of the public mediator. Unless such alternatives are seen as more inclusive, equitable and effective, they will fail to win social acceptance, leading to increasing community distrust and frustrating the ability to effectively plan and govern urban communities.
Negotiators with a BATNA (best alternative to the negotiated agreement) obtain higher individual outcomes and a larger percentage of the dyadic outcomes than individuals without a BATNA. This study examined if three mechanisms related to a BATNA, an alternative, a specific goal, and self-efficacy, independently or in combination, influence outcomes. Six of the eight combinations resulted in higher individual outcomes. An alternative coupled with a goal or self-efficacy resulted in a higher percent of dyadic outcomes and higher impasse rates.
This paper presents an analysis of interview data and field notes from participant observation collected during a four-month period to discover different work-related cultural assumptions between Chinese and American co-workers in a multicultural organization. The paper also addresses how those different cultural assumptions which guide the ways Chinese and American workers conceptualize their jobs and job behaviors lead to conflict as the employees go about their daily business. The contrasting cultural assumptions discussed in the paper are (1) Chinese and American views of the role of manager and the practice of “managing,” (2) Chinese and American conceptualizations of good service, and (3) Chinese and American perspectives of compensation. Finally, the paper discusses some theoretical and methodological implications of the current study and its research method for future studies of cultural and conflict in multicultural contexts.
The recent impasse over federal forest management in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States has been a living laboratory of conflict and its management, and provides the context for this case study. While most of the media attention has been focused on regional or national events such as President Clinton's Forest Conference of April 1993, a larger number of localized conflicts have shaped the controversy at the grassroots level. This case study focuses on a pivotal meeting in one such conflict: the Shasta Costa planning process. Outside intervenors mediated the meeting, and USDA Forest Service personnel, timber industry representatives, and environmentalists participated Participant observation and a supplemental survey led to the following conclusions: (1) measures of standing (the legal and social basis for legitimate participation) differed between the industry and environmental representatives, (2) reliance on science differed between groups, and (3) the process was not able to overcome a power imbalance. These findings suggest that there may be little hope for local dispute efforts if there is substantial policy uncertainty at the national level. Implications for managing forestry conflict in the region are discussed.
The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is a theory of measurement. When applied in decision-making, it assists one to describe the general decision operation by decomposing a complex problem into a multi-level hierarchic structure of objectives, criteria, subcriteria and alternatives. The AHP provides a fundamental scale of absolute magnitudes to represent judgments in the form of paired comparisons. A ratio scale of relative magnitudes expressed in priority units is then derived from each set of comparisons. An overall ratio scale of priorities is synthesized to obtain ranking of the alternatives. What is illustrated here is an application of the AHP to a retributive ongoing conflict in which the parties maximize both their benefits from and costs to the opponent. Using the AHP, benefit and cost hierarchies are constructed for the parties, four for each, involving actual and perceived benefits and costs of concessions. Similarly, a mediator must construct his own hierarchies to evaluate and propose changes in judgments and new concessions to improve an impasse in negotiation.
This discussion forwards a political economy framework for the analysis of the role and impact of political intervention on the process and outcome of environmental conflicts. The proposed analytic approach, advocated by the class-centric state perspective, focuses on the economic roots of political action in conflict situations. The paper provides a critique of the existing analytic approaches to conflict analysis. The paper also offers a brief account of Hawaii's land use policy and history of land-related environmental conflicts to illustrate the potential of the political economy approach.
Ting-Toomey's (1988) face-negotiation theory of conflict predicts that choice of conflict style is closely associated with face-negotiation needs, which vary across cultures. This study investigated this prediction in a workplace setting involving status and face-concern with a sample of 163 Anglo-Australian and 133 Chinese university students who were working full or part-time. The association of type of communication (direct or cautious) according to type of face-threat (self or other) and work status (subordinate, co-worker or superior) with preferences for three conflict management styles (control, solution-oriented, non-confrontational) was examined for the two cultural groups. The results showed that: (1) as predicted by the individualist-collectivist dimension, Anglo respondents rated assertive conflict styles higher and the non-confrontational style lower than their Chinese counterparts; (2) overall, both Anglo and Chinese respondents preferred more direct communication strategies when self-face was threatened compared with other-face threat; (3) status moderated responses to self and other-face threat for both Anglos and Chinese; (4) face-threat was related to assertive and diplomatic conflict styles for Anglos and passive and solution-oriented styles for Chinese. Support was shown for Ting-Toomey's theory; however the results indicated that, in applied settings, simple predictions based on only cultural dichotomies might have reduced power due to workplace role perceptions having some influence. The findings were discussed in relation to areas of convergence and the two cultural groups; widening the definition of “face”; and providing a more flexible model of conflict management incorporating both Eastern and Western perspectives.
This study employed a scenario method to test the hypotheses of the multiple goals theory. One hundred and seven Japanese students were asked to read the scenarios that described a conflict between two people and to consider themselves as the one of whom an economic cost was unreasonably requested by the other. Four situational variables (resource cost, familiarity between the two persons, the other person's manner, and the other person's tactic) were presented in the scenarios. In addition, a set of scales to measure four different goals (relationship, identity, justice, and resource) were included, as well as two types of mitigative tactics (integrative and appeasing), and two types of confrontational tactics (assertive and aggressive). A basic hypothesis of the theory—that social goals would be activated even in resource conflicts—was supported. It was also found that familiarity activated relationship goals, which increased mitigative tactics and compliance, but decreased confrontational tactics, and that a resource cost activated resource goals, which increased both mitigative and confrontational tactics, but decreased compliance.
This paper explores the relationship between integrative potential, information exchange, and behavioral and perceptual indicators of negotiation outcome. A measure of integrative potential is introduced that allows the researcher to quantify how much potential for integrativeness is contained in various bargaining scenarios. An experiment using a variant of Pruitt's (1981) bargaining scenario was conducted to investigate the usefulness of the measure. In particular, competitiveness interacted with information exchange to affect joint benefit. It is concluded that integrative potential can help develop useful theories of integrative bargaining.
This observational and interview study investigated the role of caucusing (private meetings between the mediator and a disputant) in community mediation. The results from 73 cases at two mediation centers indicate that mediators are more likely to caucus when disputants have a history of escalation, are hostile toward each other during the hearing, and fail to engage in joint problem solving. Caucus sessions were found to discourage direct hostility between the disputants but to encourage indirect hostility. There was also evidence that caucus sessions foster disputant flexibility and problem solving between the disputant and the mediator. However, no relationship was found between the occurrence or nature of caucusing and the likelihood of agreement or the quality of the mediated outcome.
In a simulated three-issue organizational dispute, subjects were interrupted by a third party (their supervisor) who recommended—and eventually imposed—one of five different outcomes. Each outcome provided subjects the same overall payoff, though the arrangement of payoffs across each of the three issues varied. The design allowed us to evaluate four different perspectives regarding negotiators' perceptions of their outcomes. In addition, third parties provided justifications, apologies, or excuses for their actions. Fairness judgments and supervisory evaluations were most favorable when negotiators received an outcome reflecting favorable settlements on the majority of the issues, or the midpoint compromise; the least favorable reactions occurred when subjects received favorable outcomes on only their most important issue. Third parties who offered a justification for their actions were seen as fairer than those offering apologies or excuses. The findings reiterate the importance of considering both the symbolic characteristics of outcomes and the interactional justice inherent in different types of explanations.
One aspect of attracting new employees that has historically been ignored by recruitment researchers is salary negotiations. In this study, we used a hypothetical scenario design to depict salary negotiation experiences in which we varied the levels of salary offer, the behavior of a company and its representative, and the deadlines for receiving a signing bonus. MBA students served as study participants who read the scenarios and responded to questions about perceived organizational attractiveness and job acceptance decisions—two important recruitment outcomes. As hypothesized, our results indicated that salaries, a company's responsiveness to candidate questions, and a company representative's expression of derogatory comments all impact recruitment outcomes. However, exploding signing bonuses had no significant effects, calling into question the negative connotation practitioners have of exploding compensation schemes. Our justice framework revealed that many of the effects that we found for our manipulations on participants' judgments regarding our recruitment outcomes were mediated by perceptions of organizational justice. Finally, we found some evidence of the frustration effect, as procedures that were considered fair worsened rather than mitigated the negative effects of unfair outcomes on job acceptance decisions.
Top-cited authors
Karen Jehn
  • University of Melbourne
M. Afzalur Rahim
  • Western Kentucky University
Ray Friedman
  • Vanderbilt University
Carsten K W De Dreu
  • Leiden University
Simon T. Tidd
  • GetUpside