Managing Organizational Conflict: Collaboration, Bargaining, and Power Approaches

by C. Derr



The article emphasizes costs and feasibility issues of successful conflict management implementation. It stresses on the realistic constraints and complexities that are important for practical and workable conflict management methods. The article is for conflict managers who want to try a variety of methods to manage serious disputes that, may have multiple and complex causes. A contingency approach to conflict management is suggested to provide managers with a conceptual framework for knowing what to do when. Many organizational conflicts promote creative tensions, which lead to system improvement. Some will serve the interests of various parties and groups without disrupting the organization itself. The article outlined three very different modes. They are Collaboration, Bargaining and power play. Power-play is in sharp contrast with collaboration but optimal under some conditions. Very few empirical studies document the dynamics of power-play. One major problem has been to find an appropriate method for studying it.

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