Handbook of Conflict Management Research
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Handbook of Conflict Management Research

Edited by Oluremi B. Ayoko, Neal M. Ashkanasy and Karen A. Jehn

This unique book draws together current thoughts and research in conflict management. Specifically, it brings a wealth of knowledge from authorities in the field on emerging issues such as power in conflict, cognition and emotions in conflict, leading conflict from multiple perspectives and cultural orientations, the role of context in conflict and the teaching of conflict management. Altogether, the Handbook provides a critical avenue for researchers and practitioners’ continued engagement in conflict research and management theory.
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Chapter 3: Cooperative and competitive conflict management in organizations

Dean Tjosvold, Alfred Wong and Nancy Yi-Feng Chen


The theory of cooperation and competition, supported by considerable research, proposes that protagonists have the choice to manage conflict cooperatively or competitively and this choice very much affects conflict’s dynamics and outcomes. Emphasizing cooperative goals in conflict by demonstrating a commitment to pursue mutual beneficial solutions promotes high-quality resolutions and relationships. Leaders have been found to be effective by helping teams manage their conflicts cooperatively. Studies show that the cooperative and competitive framework applies in non-Western settings and that Chinese values can be applied in ways that promote cooperative conflict management. Individuals, teams and organizations are facing increasing pressure to collaborate with each other by relying on each other’s resources, resulting in increasingly complex conflicts that can spread across organizational and national boundaries. Teammates and other partners can use cooperative conflict-management knowledge to develop a common platform so that they can discuss their conflicts open-mindedly and constructively. Training studies suggest that learning cooperative conflict management is a practical investment that can pay off both for employees and organizations.

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