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Managing Workplace Conflict Is Subject of Newest Frontiers Book


by Clif boutelle, SIOP Public Relations

The latest book in SIOP’s Organizational Frontier Series, which addresses workplace conflict and how it affects managers and employees, is now available.

Edited by Carsten K. W. De Dreu of the University of Amsterdam and Michele J. Gelfand of the University of Maryland, The Psychology of Conflict and Conflict Management in Organizations is a state-of-the art overview of contemporary conflict research.

 The book, the 26th in SIOP’s Organizational Frontier Series, addresses such questions as what is workplace conflict and its origins, how do people manage workplace conflicts and with what consequences, and how do conflicts affect the health and well-being of individuals within an organization as well as the organization itself.

The editors asked contributors to provide critical reviews of how conflict has evolved over time as well as new and promising directions for conflict research in organizations. Other chapters highlighted both positive and negative consequences of conflict and the multiple context factors that shape its occurrence and outcomes.

The editors also write that “in designing this book, we started with the fundamental premise that conflict in organizations is a multilevel phenomenon, and that to truly grasp the roots, dynamics, and consequences of conflict at work, we need to consider multiple levels within organizations, as well as their cross-level influences. Accordingly, we organized the book in terms of antecedents and consequences at the individual, group and organizational levels.”

The idea for the book came out of Gelfand’s work as a member of the SIOP Organizational Frontiers Editorial Board, which generates ideas and topics for the series. “I noticed that in reviewing the topics of the previous 25 books that there was nothing about conflict management. Since conflict is an inevitable occurrence in any organization, we thought that a book on this topic would be timely,” she said.

There are 17 chapters and the editors recruited authors from a variety of disciplines to produce a book that will be of interest to not only scholars but also to practitioners, particularly those in human resources.

Both editors are accomplished conflict scholars. De Dreu is professor and chair of the organizational psychology program at the University of Amsterdam and a past president of the International Association of Conflict Management. His interests center on group processes and performance, including conflict and negotiation and creativity and innovation and his work has been published in major psychology and organizational behavior journals.

Gelfand is a professor of psychology at the University of Maryland and her research explores cultural influences on conflict, negotiation, justice, and revenge; workplace diversity and discrimination, and theory and methods in cross cultural psychology. Her work has appeared in numerous top-tier journals. She is president elect of the International Association for Conflict Management.

The Psychology of Conflict and Conflict Management in Organizations is published through the Taylor and Francis Group of Lawrence Erlbaum Associates and can be ordered by going to http://siop.org/PubHub/product.asp?id=102.