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10.8 Summary

PLEASE NOTE: This book is currently in draft form; material is not final.

In this chapter we have dealt with managing conflict. We have defined conflict and identified dangers which can arise from it. We have leadership approaches to conflict and reviewed the nature of conflict in the work environment. We have also explored effective conflict management strategies and explained how to develop and when to use a crisis communication plan. Conflict is a perennial and nature part of group communication which can be managed effectively if we understand the important concepts and skills shared in this chapter.

Review Questions

Interpretive Questions

  1. In what 2–3 ways has your view of conflict changed as a result of reading this chapter?
  2. To what degree do you feel that techniques which are effective for managing conflict in small groups can produce positive results within large organizations or between nations? On what evidence or experience do you base your view concerning this question?

Application Questions

  1. Think of one of your ongoing relationships in which conflict plays a larger or more harmful part than you would prefer. Which conflict management strategies from this chapter are you willing to put into use in that relationship? Please report back to one or more of your classmates in two weeks concerning the outcome of your plan.
  2. Think of a leader you know who you believe manages conflict particularly effectively. Arrange an interview with the person in which you ask him/her for examples of how s/he used one or more of the strategies mentioned in this chapter. Ask also if the person has further advice for you to use in a conflict situation. Present your instructor with a short written description of the results of your interview.

Additional Resources

A Literary Zone article describes the literary devices of internal monologue and stream of consciousness.

http://literaryzone.com/?p=79

For another twist on the meaning of “stream of consciousness,” visit this blog from the retail merchant Gaiam.

http://blog.gaiam.com/

Read an informative article on self-concept and self-esteem.

http://psychology.suite101.com/article.cfm/impact_of_selfconcept_and_selfesteem_on_life

PsyBlog offers an informative article on self-disclosure. Don’t miss the reader comment fields at the end!

http://www.spring.org.uk/2007/02/getting-closer-art-of-self-disclosure.php

The job search site Monster offers a menu of articles about employment interviews.

http://career-advice.monster.com/job-interview/careers.aspx

About.com offers an informative article about different types of job interviews.

http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interviewsnetworking/a/interviewtypes.htm

The Boston Globe’s Boston.com site offers tips on handling conflict in the workplace from management consultant Sue Lankton-Rivas.

http://www.boston.com/jobs/galleries/workplaceconflict/

An article by M. Afzalur Rahim which describes in detail the challenges posed by organizational conflict and offers approaches for managing it.

http://193.140.134.6/~gokturk/sbox/Rahimtowarddevtheory.pdf