Conflict-Positive Organizations: Applying Mediation and Conflict Management Research

Chapter

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to help organizations prepare and empower members so that they can mediate and manage their conflicts constructively even without outside intervention. This chapter argues that organizations can be developed in such a way that managers and employees understand the value of conflict management and practice the skills of constructive dialogue. This chapter has five sections. The first one argues that employees need leadership so that they know that they and their colleagues understand and are jointly committed to managing conflict cooperatively. The second part argues that conflict management theory can provide teams and organizations with a common understanding of conflict and the major approaches they have to deal with their conflicts. The third section reviews research documenting that managing conflict cooperatively for mutual benefit very much supports organizations and teams. The fourth section identifies important ways for managers and leaders to develop cooperative goals and open-mindedness discussion for cooperative conflict management. The last part uses a case study of an organization applying theory and research to become more conflict-positive.

References

  1. Alper, S., Tjosvold, D., & Law, K. S. (2000). Conflict management, efficacy, and performance in organizational teams. Personnel Psychology, 53(3), 625–642.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Argyris, C., Schon, D. A., & Schon, D. A. (1996). Organizational learning II: Theory, methods and practice. Reading: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  3. Barki, H., & Hartwick, J. (2004). Conceptualizing the construct of interpersonal conflict. International Journal of Conflict Management, 15(3), 216–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bhatnagar, D., & Tjosvold, D. (2012). Leader values for constructive controversy and team effectiveness in India. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(1), 109–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boxall, P. (2014). The future of employment relations from the perspective of human resource management. Journal of Industrial Relations, 56(4), 578–593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bradley, B. H., Klotz, A. C., Postlethwaite, B. E., & Brown, K. G. (2013). Ready to rumble: How team personality composition and task conflicts interact to improve performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 99, 385–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Budd, J. W., & Colvin, A. J. S. (2008). Improved metrics for workplace dispute resolution procedures: Efficiency, equity, and voice. Industrial Relations, 47(3), 460–479.Google Scholar
  8. Burgess, J., Cameron, R., & Rainnie, A. I. (2014). Contemporary research on work, workplaces and industrial relations in Australia. The Economic and Labour Relations Review, 25(1), 5–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Buttigieg, D. M., Deery, S. J., & Iverson, R. D. (2014). Voice within trade unions? A test of the voice and loyalty hypothesis. Journal of Industrial Relations, 56(1), 3–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chen, Y. F., & Tjosvold, D. (2006). Participative leadership by American and Chinese managers in China: The role of relationships. Journal of Management Studies, 43, 1727–1752.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chen, Y. F., & Tjosvold, D. (2008). Goal interdependence and leader-member relationships for cross-cultural leadership in foreign ventures in China. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 29, 144–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chen, G., Liu, C. H., & Tjosvold, D. (2005). Conflict management for effective top management teams and innovation in China. Journal of Management Studies, 42, 277–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chen, Y. F., Tjosvold, D., & Wu, P. G. (2008). Effects of relationship values and goal interdependence on Guanxi between foreign managers and Chinese employees. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38, 2440–2486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. De Dreu, C. K., Evers, A., Beersma, B., Kluwer, E. S., & Nauta, A. (2001). A theory-based measure of conflict management strategies in the workplace. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 22(6), 645–668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. DeGroot, T., Kiker, D. S., & Cross, T. C. (2000). A meta-analysis to review organizational outcomes related to charismatic leadership. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences/Revue Canadienne des Sciences de l′Administration, 17(4), 356–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Deutsch, M. (1973). The resolution of conflict. New haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Deutsch, M., Coleman, P. T., & Marcus, E. C. (2014). The handbook of conflict resolution: Theory and practice (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.Google Scholar
  18. Dhiaulhaq, A., Gritten, D., De Bruyn, T., Yasmi, Y., Zazali, A., & Silalahi, M. (2014). Transforming conflict in plantations through mediation: Lessons and experiences from Sumatera, Indonesia. Forest Policy and Economics, 41, 22–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dionne, S. D., Yammarino, F. J., Atwater, L. E., & Spangler, W. D. (2004). Transformational leadership and team performance. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 17(2), 177–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Elizabeth, S. (2013). Overcoming barriers to mediation in intake calls to services: Research-based strategies for mediator. Negotiation Journal, 29(3), 289–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Friedman, R., Chi, S. C., & Liu, L. A. (2006). An expectancy model of Chinese-American differences in conflict-avoiding. Journal of International Business Studies, 37, 76–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Graen, G. B., & Uhl-Bien, M. (1995). Relationship-based approach to leadership: Development of leader-member exchange (LMX) theory of leadership over 25 years: Applying a multi-level multi-domain perspective. Leadership Quarterly, 6, 219–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Greer, I., Schulten, T., & Böhlke, N. (2013). How does market making affect industrial relations? Evidence from eight German hospitals. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 51(2), 215–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Halpert, J. A., Stuhlmacher, A. F., Crenshaw, J. L., Litcher, C. D., & Bortel, R. (2010). Paths to negotiation success. Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 3, 91–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Harris, L., Tuckman, A., & Snook, J. (2012). Supporting workplace dispute resolution in smaller businesses: Policy perspectives and operational realities. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(3), 607–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kougiannou, K., Redman, T., & Dietz, G. (2015). The outcomes of works councils: The role of trust, justice and industrial relations climate. Human Resource Management Journal, 25(4), 458–477. Early View. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1748-8583.12075/pdf.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Latreille, P. L., Buscha, F., & Conte, A. (2012). Are you experienced? SME use of and attitudes towards workplace mediation. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(3), 590–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lounsbery, M. O., & Cook, A. H. (2011). Rebellion, mediation, and group change: An empirical investigation of competing hypotheses. Journal of Peace Research, 48(1), 73–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Macneil, J., & Bray, M. (2014). Third-party facilitators in interest-based negotiation: An Australian case study. Journal of Industrial Relations, 55(5), 699–722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Maynes, T. D., & Podsakoff, P. M. (2013). Speaking more broadly: An examination of the nature, antecedents, and consequences of an expanded set of employee voice behaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology, 99, 87–112.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Ng, T. W. H., & Feldman, D. C. (2011). Employee voice behavior: A meta-analytic tests of the conservation of resources framework. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 33, 216–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Peng, A. C., & Tjosvold, D. (2011). Social face concerns and conflict avoidance of Chinese employees with their Western and Chinese managers. Human Relations, 64(8), 1031–1050.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Poitras, J., Hill, K., Hamel, V., & Pelletier, F. B. (2015). Managerial mediation competency: A mixed-method study. Negotiation Journal, 31(2), 105–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Polster, J. C. (2011). Workplace grievance procedures: Signaling fairness but escalating commitment. New York University Law Review, 86, 638–671.Google Scholar
  35. Premalatha, U. M. (2012). Industrial relations: An approach to improve productivity and profitability referring to select units of Mumbai industries development corporation. International Journal of Marketing and Technology, 2(7), 95–102.Google Scholar
  36. Richter, F. D., & Tjosvold, D. (1980). Effects of student participation in classroom decision making on attitudes, peer interaction, motivation, and learning. Journal of Applied Psychology, 65(1), 74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Somech, A., Desivilya, H. S., & Lidgoster, H. (2009). Team conflict management and team effectiveness: The effects of task interdependence and team identification. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 30, 359–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Tjosvold, D. (1991). The conflict-positive organization: Stimulate diversity and create unity. Reading: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  39. Tjosvold, D. (2008). The conflict-positive organization: It depends upon us. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 29(1), 19–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tjosvold, D., & Deemer, D. K. (1980). Effects of controversy within a cooperative or competitive context on organizational decision making. Journal of Applied Psychology, 65(5), 590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tjosvold, D., & Sun, H. F. (2002). Understanding conflict avoidance: Relationships, motivations, actions, and consequences. The International Journal of Conflict Management, 13(2), 142–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Tjosvold, D., & Tjosvold, M. M. (1995). Psychology for leaders: Using, motivation, conflict and power to manage more effectively. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  43. Tjosvold, D., & Tjosvold, M. M. (2015). Building the team organization: How to open minds, resolve conflict and ensure cooperation. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tjosvold, D., & Wang, L. (2013). Developing a shared understanding of conflict: Foundations for Sino-Western mediation. China Media Research, 9(4), 76–84.Google Scholar
  45. Tjosvold, D., Law, K. S., & Sun, H. (2006). Conflict in Chinese teams: Conflict types and conflict management approaches. Management and Organization Review, 2, 231–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tjosvold, D., Wong, A., & Chen, N. Y. F. (2014a). Cooperative and competitive conflict management in organizations. In O. B. Ayoko, N. M. Ashkanasy, & K. A. Jehn (Eds.), Handbook of conflict management research (pp. 33–50). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  47. Tjosvold, D., Wong, A. S. H., & Chen, N. Y. F. (2014b). Constructively managing conflicts in organizations. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 1, 545–568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Whalen, C. J. (2008). New directions in the study of work and employment: Revitalizing industrial relations as an academic enterprise. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wong, A. S. H., Liu, Y., & Tjosvold, D. (2015). Service leadership for adaptive selling and effective customer service teams. Industrial Marketing Management, 46, 122–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Zhang, X. A., Cao, Q., & Tjosvold, D. (2011). Linking transformational leadership and team performance: A conflict management approach. Journal of Management Studies, 48, 1586–1611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Team and Conflict Management CenterJiangxi University of Science and TechnologyJiangxiChina
  2. 2.Department of ManagementLingnan UniversityTuen MunChina

Personalised recommendations