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Encyclopedia entry

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International encyclopedia of organization studies

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Managing conflict is an intellectual challenge to understand and an important practical management issue of which to be aware. Researchers have exposed the traditional idea that conflict is inevitably destructive and demonstrated the value of conflict for solving problems. Indeed, conflict, when well managed, contributes very critically to team and leader effectiveness. Recognizing both the positive and negative consequences of conflicts, researchers have proposed various ways to identify and distinguish the nature of productive conflict. They have identified dynamics and conditions under which conflicts can be constructive for people and their organizations. However, making conflict positive for organizations has proved difficult. This entry first defines conflict and then empirically reviews developed frameworks and comments on their limitations and potential for future development. Conflict has traditionally been defined as opposing interests involving scarce resources and goal divergence and frustration.



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ISBN of the source publication: 9781412915151

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Recommended Citation

Tjosvold, D., & Chen, N. (2008). Conflict. In S. Clegg, & J. Bailey (Eds.), International encyclopedia of organization studies. (pp. 253-257). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412956246.n87