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Summary of "Conflict Resolution: Theory, Research, Practice"

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By James Schellenberg

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Conflict resolution is an expanding field of professional practice, both in the U. The escalating costs of conflict have increased use of third parties who may serve as a conflict specialists to resolve conflicts.

In fact, relief and development organizations have added peace-building specialists to their teams. Furthermore, this expansion has resulted in the need for conflict resolution practitioners to work in a variety of settings such as in businesses, court systems, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions throughout the world. Conflict resolution as both a professional practice and academic field is highly sensitive to cultural practices.

In Western cultural contexts, such as Canada and the United States , successful conflict resolution usually involves fostering communication among disputants, problem solving, and drafting agreements that meet underlying needs.

In these situations, conflict resolvers often talk about finding a mutually satisfying " win-win " solution for everyone involved. In many non-Western cultural contexts, such as Afghanistan , Vietnam , and China , it is also important to find "win-win" solutions; however, the routes taken to find them may be very different. In these contexts, direct communication between disputants that explicitly addresses the issues at stake in the conflict can be perceived as very rude, making the conflict worse and delaying resolution.

It can make sense to involve religious, tribal, or community leaders; communicate difficult truths through a third party; or make suggestions through stories. Conflict resolution has also been studied in non-humans, including dogs, cats, monkeys, snakes, elephants, and primates. Instead of creating distance between the individuals, primates tend to be more intimate in the period after an aggressive incident.

These intimacies consist of grooming and various forms of body contact. Stress responses , including increased heart rates, usually decrease after these reconciliatory signals. Different types of primates, as well as many other species who live in groups, display different types of conciliatory behavior.

Resolving conflicts that threaten the interaction between individuals in a group is necessary for survival, giving it a strong evolutionary value. In addition to research in primates , biologists are beginning to explore reconciliation in other animals. Until recently, the literature dealing with reconciliation in non-primates has consisted of anecdotal observations and very little quantitative data. Although peaceful post-conflict behavior had been documented going back to the s, it was not until that Rowell made the first explicit mention of reconciliation in feral sheep.

Reconciliation has since been documented in spotted hyenas, [26] [27] lions, bottlenose dolphins , [28] dwarf mongoose, domestic goats, [29] domestic dogs, [30] and, recently, in red-necked wallabies. Universities worldwide offer programs of study pertaining to conflict research, analysis, and practice. Grebel also offers an interdisciplinary Master of Peace and Conflict Studies professional program. Conflict resolution is a growing area of interest in UK pedagogy, with teachers and students both encouraged to learn about mechanisms that lead to aggressive action and those that lead to peaceful resolution.

The University of Law , one of the oldest common law training institutions in the world, offers a legal-focused masters degree in Conflict Resolution as an LL. Tel Aviv University offers two graduate degree programs in the field of conflict resolution, including the English-language International Program in Conflict Resolution and Mediation , allowing students to learn in a geographic region which is the subject of much research on international conflict resolution.

Conflict management refers to the long-term management of intractable conflicts. It is the label for the variety of ways by which people handle grievances—standing up for what they consider to be right and against what they consider to be wrong.

Those ways include such diverse phenomena as gossip, ridicule, lynching, terrorism, warfare, feuding, genocide, law, mediation, and avoidance. Conflict management is often considered to be distinct from conflict resolution. In order for actual conflict to occur, there should be an expression of exclusive patterns which explain why and how the conflict was expressed the way it was. Conflict is often connected to a previous issue.

Resolution refers to resolving a dispute to the approval of one or both parties, whereas management is concerned with an ongoing process that may never have a resolution. Neither is considered the same as conflict transformation , which seeks to reframe the positions of the conflict parties. The role of culture is not always fully appreciated and must be taken into account. When personal conflict leads to frustration and loss of efficiency, counseling may prove helpful. Although few organizations can afford to have professional counselors on staff, given some training, managers may be able to perform this function.

Nondirective counseling, or "listening with understanding", is little more than being a good listener—something every manager should be. Sometimes simply being able to express one's feelings to a concerned and understanding listener is enough to relieve frustration and make it possible for an individual to advance to a problem-solving frame of mind. The nondirective approach is one effective way for managers to deal with frustrated subordinates and coworkers.

There are other, more direct and more diagnostic, methods that could be used in appropriate circumstances. However, the great strength of the nondirective approach [nb 2] lies in its simplicity, its effectiveness, and that it deliberately avoids the manager-counselor's diagnosing and interpreting emotional problems, which would call for special psychological training.

Listening to staff with sympathy and understanding is unlikely to escalate the problem, and is a widely-used approach for helping people cope with problems that interfere with their effectiveness in the workplace.

Negative feelings such as annoyance, anger and discomfort can interfere with understanding exactly what is wrong in situations of confrontation and how to set things right again. Gaining a bit of distance from negative feelings is exactly what such moments call for, especially on the part of the person with presumably the greatest maturity. Problem ownership is defined as deciding who should take ownership of the behavior or conflict in the issue Gordon, Identifying ownership makes a difference in how behavior is dealt with, as well as how the problem is effectively solved.

It is important to ask clarifying questions to really understand the root causes of the conflict. Several strategies help with distinguishing who has a problem with a behavior and who takes ownership. One of those strategies is active listening. Active listening consists of continually asking questions in order to test your understanding. It also requires giving encouragement to the student by letting them tell their story, and paraphrasing what the student says so you can form an unbiased conclusion.

It is key not to move too quickly at solving the problem by just giving advice, instructions, or scolding. Your comments should be assertive, emphasize I-messages, and encourage the student to think about the effects of his or her behavior. Seifert and Sutton state that the first three steps describe desirable ways of handling situations that are specific and last for only a short time. These steps by themselves could potentially not be enough when conflicts persist over extended periods of time.

Often it is better to negotiate a solution in these situations. Even though negotiation demands time and energy, it often demands less time or effort ultimately than continuing to cope with the problem. The results of negotiation can be valuable to everyone involved in the situation. The theories differ in specifics, but typically are generally similar to the steps we previously discussed:.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Conflict resolution disambiguation. For conflict resolution between editors of Wikipedia, see Wikipedia: This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. July Learn how and when to remove this template message. Civil resistance Conflict continuum Conflict early warning Conflict management Conflict resolution research Conflict style inventory Conflict transformation Cost of conflict Creative peacebuilding Dialogue Fair fighting Family therapy Gunnysacking Interpersonal communication Let the Wookiee win Nonviolent Communication.

Group Dynamics 5th ed. Finally, Chapter Six examines formal theories. Formal theories attempt to explain conflict by use of logical or mathematical models. The author notes that formal models are both powerful and flexible, but can be difficult for the lay- person to understand and apply. Part III focuses on the practice of conflict resolution. Again, each chapter describes a different approach to conflict resolution, and weighs its advantages and disadvantages. Chapter Seven examines the use of coercion to end conflict.

Coercion may involve the use of force, or merely the threat of force. Chapter Eight discusses negotiation and bargaining. Generally, negotiation is a voluntary process where the parties try to move from having conflicting interests to reaching mutually satisfactory agreements. Chapter Nine describes adjudication, or settlement by a court.

This chapter focuses on the civil court system in the U. Chapter Ten explore the use of mediation to resolve conflicts. Mediation is assisted negotiation. Mediation is used in a variety of conflicts, from divorces to international disputes. Mediation practices vary widely depending upon the type of conflict being mediated. Chapter Eleven describes the practice of arbitration.

In arbitration, disputing parties appeal to a neutral third party, who will then make an authoritative decision settling their conflict. Binding grievance arbitration is used as a typical example of the arbitration process. Finally, Chapter Twelve describes how these various approaches to conflict resolution may be combined in practice.

Schellenberg ends closes this text with a fictional debate between a "realist"' and an "idealist" on the future of conflict and the hope for effective conflict resolution. Numerous case studies illustrate and enliven the text. Check out our Quick Start Guide. Don't miss upcoming posts, signup for the Newsletter. Find out what you can do to help society more constructively handle the intractable conflicts that are making so many problems insoluble.

A free and open online seminar that takes a complexity-oriented approach to frontier-of-the-field issues related to intractable conflict. Explanations of how the conflict and peacebuilding fields' fundamental building blocks can help with both intractable and tractable conflicts.

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Conflict resolution is any reduction in the severity of a conflict. It may involve conflict management, in which the parties continue the conflict but adopt less extreme tactics; settlement, in.

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conflict resolution Read the case study for this unit regarding ExtremeNet and Allen Lopez. As the Chief Executive Officer for ExtremeNet, you are responsible for resolving the conflict between Allen Lopez and ExtremeNet in a manner that demonstrates solid ethical reasoning skills and the ability to manage stakeholder interests.

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In this lesson, we will review researched and approved conflict resolution education programs and identify helpful sources of research on conflict. This sample Conflict Resolution Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Like other free research paper examples, it is not a custom research you need help writing your assignment, please use our custom writing services and buy a paper on any of the communication research paper topics.. Outline.

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If a conflict occurs in a school, the authorities need to apply the conceptual method detailed in the conflict resolution keeping in mind the nature of the conflict. Tel Aviv University offers two graduate degree programs in the field of conflict resolution, including the English-language International Program in Conflict Resolution and Mediation, allowing students to learn in a geographic region which is the subject of much research on international conflict resolution.