COMM 333-Organizational Communication

last updated 4/2/2006
Defining Conflict

Definitions that Make Conflict Easier to Manage Definitions that Make Conflict Harder to Manage
  1. Non-Zero Sums - parties are aware each can advance the interests of the other possibly
  2. Empathy - parties can "see" at least some of the other side's perspective
  3. Broad Context - parties remain aware of the whole of the relationship and issues
  4. Problem-centered - parties focus on the problem solving not defeating the other
  5. Many Solutions - parties consider many solutions are available
  1. Zero Sums - any gain must come at the other's expense.
  2. Ego-centric - parties frame issues from only their own perspective.
  3. Narrow Focus - parties think only of a single concern in the here and now.
  4. Ideological - the issue is defined as a moral struggle of right vs wrong.
  5. Few Alternatives are considered.

* adapted from Charles Conrad. (1990)  STRATEGIC ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION.  Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 288.