Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences


Political Science and Law

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Barbara A. Nagle

Committee Member

Avram B. Segall

Committee Member

Norma C. Connolly


This thesis begins with an examination inside the private sector workplace and the manner in which the corporate environment currently manages conflict. Upon defining the methods that seem to be best practices, this thesis will analyze what is valuable and what changes should be implemented for a more effective system. The model that is projected serves as a preliminary proposal of the content of an integrative conflict management system. It does not discuss in detail the cost / benefit analysis of a current structure versus what the costs the new system would assume. Also, its purpose is not to yet develop the curriculum behind an integrative conflict management system. Rather, it explains what current practices and generalities exist and offers suggestions for enhancements.

The field of dispute resolution is evolving from a model of conflict resolution where we only concentrate on settlement of individual disputes and only train managers. Conflict management systems need to be implemented in an organization to effectively manage all aspects of workplace conflict beginning with the roots of conflict (ethics, diversity, personality) and ending with methods of resolution. Rather than enlisting too much energy and resources on resolving disputes after they have occurred, the focus needs to be in the preliminary stages.

The conflict management system needs to represent a change in the company’s mindset on how they choose to deal with conflict. In the past, dispute resolution was addressed on a case-by-case basis. This system will acknowledge other factor’s affecting today’s workforce and present a contemporary model of approaching conflict management.

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