• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The SAGE Handbook of Conflict Communication: Integrating Theory, Research, and Practice is the first resource to synthesize key theories, research, and practices of conflict communication in a variety of contexts. Editors John Oetzel and Stella Ting-Toomey, as well as expert researchers in the field, emphasize constructive conflict management from a communication perspective which places primacy in the message as the focus of conflict research and practice.

Definitions and Approaches to Conflict and Communication
Definitions and approaches to conflict and communication

Few scholars would deny that communication is an essential feature of conflict. As Thomas and Pondy (1977) noted in their massive review of conflict in organizations, “It is communication with which we are most concerned in understanding conflict management” (p. 1100). Communication aids in the forming of issues, framing of perceptions, and enacting the conflict itself (Putnam & Poole, 1987). It functions as an impromptu code to signal intentions, exchange information, exercise influence, and coordinate outcomes. Most of all, “communication is the means by which conflict gets socially defined” (Simons, 1974b, p. 3).

Despite the importance of communication in social conflicts, early researchers often cast it as a backdrop or a taken-for-granted activity. ...

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