Elgar original reference
Edited by Oluremi B. Ayoko, Neal M. Ashkanasy and Karen A. Jehn
When individuals interact with each other, we can expect some form of conflict. Consequently, conflict is an inevitable part of life in organizations, which are characterized by interdependency and collaboration (Pfeffer, 1997). It is also widely acknowledged that workplace conflict is a double-edged sword that can elicit both productive and destructive outcomes for the individual, team, and organization (Deutsch, 1969; De Dreu and Weingart, 2003; De Wit et al., 2012; DeChurch et al., 2013). This recognition has brought a surge in scholars’ and practitioners’ interest in conflict. Scholars have been preoccupied in particular with how to stimulate productive conflict for increased innovation and creativity (De Dreu, 2006) and at the same time to minimize the destructive aspect of conflict. Moreover, because it is so ubiquitous, conflict is also inherently a multidisciplinary construct. Thus, apart from the field of organizational behavior (OB), conflict is researched across disciplines such as social psychology, economics, politics, environmental studies, social sciences, law, diplomatic history, international relations and business (Bercovitch et al., 2009). In the OB discipline, research into conflict may be dated back to the influential work of Deutsch (1969, 1973), Rahim (1983), Thomas (1976) and Jehn (1995). Since then, there has been a steady growth in conflict research. This saw the birth of the International Association for Conflict Management (IACM), which was established to encourage scholars and practitioners to develop and disseminate theory, research and experience that is useful for understanding and improving conflict management in family, organizational, societal and international settings.