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[Excerpt] In this article we look at the traditional approach to workplace conflict, the evolution of conflict management, criticism of this process by progressive and traditional critics, and then consider whether they can be reconciled by taking what we call a strategic view of conflict management in the workplace. This view calls for an alignment between the goals of the conflict management system and the overarching nature of the organization in which that system is implemented. The management of conflict, according to this approach, should complement the organization’s strategic posture and existing structures. We maintain that the level of fit between an organization’s conflict management philosophy and its strategic goals and objectives dictates whether the conflict management system will enhance or hinder key stakeholder outcomes.


Suggested Citation
Lipsky, D. B. & Avgar, A. C. (2010). The conflict over conflict management [Electronic version]. Dispute Resolution Journal, 65(2-3), 38-43.

Required Publisher’s Statement
© American Arbitration Association. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.