• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Managing Interpersonal Conflict helps readers better understand and ultimately manage their routine interpersonal conflicts. Specifically, the book walks readers through the conflict process--from the initial decision of whether or not to confront differences to how to plan the actual confrontation. Donohue deals extensively with the negotiation process and, if negotiation proves unsuccessful, with third-party dispute resolution. The book emphasizes keeping conflicts under control and keeping focused on the issues. The key to managing conflict is to address differences collaboratively so parties can create better solutions and, ultimately, strengthen their relationships. Managing Interpersonal Conflict prepares and encourages the reader to stop avoiding their conflicts and start confronting them. Designed for college and university undergraduates, Donohue's text and the Interpersonal Commtext series will also interest students and professionals in management studies, sociology, organization studies, and social psychology. “They provide a very useful look at a somewhat broader than usual range of conflict issues…. Where the decision is to confront, it offers useful approaches to allowing face saving and to issue structuring that will allow the conflict, in many cases, to be readily resolved…. The second section … provides a useful and easily worked with framework for negotiating, and deals most effectively with the use of and responses to the exercise of power in the negotiation context…. The book is exceptionally readable and effective in its presentation of approaches to conflict. While it is not a traditional academic text, periodic references to the conflict literature are used to allow the reader to examine the issues presented in more depth. The book will serve as an outstanding text for a training program in conflict management and can also be used by an individual effectively to learn these techniques.” --The Alternative Newsletter

Face Saving
Face saving

The last chapter stressed the need to confront conflict and to prepare for the emotional disruption that often follows confrontation. In fact, most of us fear conflict because of the possibility of this kind of emotional outburst. The general goal laid out in the last chapter focuses on understanding some key elements that can fan the flames of crisis if left unattended.

The goal of this chapter is to elaborate on two remaining elements that, if handled improperly, can further toss people into crisis. Those issues are attribution and face. Attribution explores how people perceive the causes of conflict; face examines how people's identities, or self-images affect their ability to work through a crisis. This chapter begins with the attribution issue, moves to ...

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