Hidden Conflict in Organizations Uncovering Behind-the-Scenes Disputes

original

 

Conflict is a persistent fact of organizational life. Much of it, however, rarely becomes public and instead is expressed `behind the scenes’ in such forms as avoidance, toleration, gossip and vengeance. This book is a collection of essays written by scholars and practitioners in the fields of organizational psychology and conflict management including John Van Mannen, Raymond Friedman, Calvin Morrill, Jean M. Bartunek, Robin Reid, Joanne Martin, Frank Dubinskas, and Roy Lewicki.

The chapters of this book focus on different aspects of conflict in organizations. They view conflict as part of the social fabric of the organizations studied and so investigate its occurrences as part of the routines of work. The authors take examples from a number of organizational settings and make the case that far from being an occasional occurrence, conflict is embedded in their very fabric. The authors go on to illustrate the frequency of conflict, show how conflicts are actually handled and suggest that these conflicts can be better managed for organizational effectiveness. Using field methods and narrative styles that differ significantly from most other studies of conflict in organizations, these chapters describe processes that are more private, informal, and non-rational.

The dialectical approach informs the chapters in this book and provides a basis for comparing and contrasting how disputes occur in various organizations. A dialectical approach is a way of considering the relationship between traditional features of organizational conflict and their opposites. What might appear as a distinct phenomenon can be understood only with reference to its opposite, even when the opposite concept is not visible. As such, it offers an alternative for uncovering the arenas where disputes are handled and suggests concepts that largely have been ignored by traditional scholarship in conflict management.

What emerges from these studies is a picture of how disputes are handled in the context of ongoing operations in organizations. All of the studies attend to the private, informal, and non-rational forms of conflict and the interactions between these and their opposite forms. Different chapters, however, emphasize a particular dimension as a point of departure. Several focus on the private spheres of conflict, while others address the structures of professional organizations, and the dichotomous relationship between formal and informal structures of professional organizations. Issues of gender and mediation, as well as collective bargaining in formal institutions are also discussed.

PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

Close window

Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You will have one week to download your materials from when you receive the email. You are then only authorized to use, print, or share the materials as many times as the number of copies you purchase. The TNRC charges for use of this simulation on a per-participant basis. Therefore, you must purchase a separate copy of this simulation for each person who will be participating, regardless of the number of roles in the simulation. You will only receive a link to one electronic file, which includes all general instructions, confidential instructions, and any teaching notes for the simulation. You should separate out the instructions before distributing to participants.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, a PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package for the simulation is available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. All Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

To order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Quantity.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required.

If you are ordering hard copies, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Quantity.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.