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Understanding Conflict as a (Missed) Opportunity for Social Development

Aktivitet: Tale eller præsentation - typerForedrag og mundtlige bidrag

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Ib Ravn - Foredragsholder

  • Learning Lab Denmark
In the literature on conflict management, conflict is usually defined in terms of incompatible goals and activities. In contrast, Thomas (1992), making no reference to such incompatibilities, defines conflict as a process that begins when one party feels negatively affected by another. This paper modifies and extends Thomas' definition thus: One party is in conflict with another when he or she 1. experiences psychological or physical pain, 2. holds the other party to be responsible for this pain, and 3. does not accept this situation. This definition is nested in a theoretical perspective that sees pain as a signal that something is wrong and needs to be changed. Pain represents an opportunity to learn and develop--personally, organizationally, socially. When the cause of the pain is projected onto another party and conflict appears, the opportunity for social devel­opment may be seized and the parties may learn and grow, or it may be missed--lost in suppression, projections, fear, etc. Conflict is thus seen, not as an outcome of regrettably incompatible goals or activities, but as an active potential for learning and development. Some implications for conflict resolution practice are outlined.
Emneord: Conflict, conflict management, social development, definition of conflict, incompatibility
24 maj 2007

Begivenhed (Konference)

Titel 4th Workshop of "Process, Person and Society": Conflict, Communication, and Emotion
Dato24/05/200724/05/2007
ByÅrhus Universitet
LandDanmark

ID: 32202463