Focuses on the constructive nature of conflict and stresses conflict management as opposed to conflict resolution. Presents a comprehensive view of organizational conflict.
This collection provides a well-rounded view of organizational conflict in three broad categories: ways of thinking about organizational conflict, individual processes, and interaction processes. It enriches the positivistic literature on conflict and organizations with a focus on non-reductionistic views of conflict, individual and interactive processes of conflict, conflict management (as opposed to resolution), and the constructive nature of conflict—aiming at understanding rather than prescription.
Recounting the history of the study of organizational conflict, the book presents alternative views to the traditional positivistic approach and the traditional assumption that conflict is destructive. Rather, conflict is seen as a naturally-occurring human phenomenon, which may manifest itself on different levels with negative or positive outcomes. The book also focuses on the individual, showing how predisposition or skills impact on conflict in the organization, and vice versa. It also examines conflict interaction processes and their reciprocal influence on individuals, the organization, and/or the environment.
Anne Maydan Nicotera is Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Communication Studies at Howard University. She is author of Interpersonal Communication in Friend and Mate Relationships, also published by SUNY Press.
"It pulls together a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives on communicative processes that engender, escalate, and 'bring under control' conflicts in organizations. The book discusses individual and interaction levels of conflicts in organizations as well as interrelationships between the two levels. It also presents brief case studies of different types of organizational conflict that not only illustrate theoretical and methodological perspectives, but also show the relevance of the perspectives to the understanding and managing of conflicts in organizations. Additionally, it analyzes communicative strategies for conflict management. " — Branislav Kovacic, University of Hartford