Diversity and Conflict
The differences that make us unique individuals are also sources of potential conflict between us. Diversity in race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, and other personal qualities can lead to divisive and costly* conflict in the workplace.
Diversity specialists, human resources professionals, managers, coaches, and consultants can apply the conflict management methods learned in Certification Courses to address this challenging feature of organizational life.
* Click for complimentary access to the Dana Measure of Financial Cost of Organizational Conflict, an on-line calculator producing immediate results. Also compute the financial return-on-investment in conflict management training.
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Alyson Sato, Gil Pizano
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- Abbasi, S., & Hollman, K. (1991). Managing cultural diversity: the challenge of the ‘90s. Records Management Quarterly, Vol. 25, Issue 3, pp. 24-32. Retrieved from the web on July 19, 2004.
This article shows the American workforce is becoming increasingly diverse. This is due primarily to women, minorities and immigrants entering the workplace. The author comments “diversity of the workplace will force organizations to recognize the unique needs and cultural backgrounds of their future participant.” The work also discusses the groups making up the new diverse workforce in detail, and points to what each group has to offer. The article offers recommendations managers should use to be successful in the new diverse workforce. The article suggests that the inclusion of these recommendations by managers will alleviate many of the problems that exist in the diverse workforce, as have the level and productivity in the company.
- Allbright, D. & French, D. (1998). Resolving a Moral Conflict Through Discourse. Journal of Business Ethics. (1998, January) Vol. 17, Issue 2, pp. 177.
Business people are increasingly called on to resolve moral conflicts between various stakeholders who maintain opposing ethical positions or principles. Attempts to resolve these moral conflicts within business discussions may be exacerbated if disputants have different communicative styles. The discourse ethics procedure of Jurgen Habermas (1976, 1990) is investigated. Research focuses on the relationship between the communicative style used by participants attempting to resolve a particular moral dilemma involving workplace safety and the level of moral reasoning possessed by those participants. The results suggest that, contrary to Habermas' views, participants with higher levels of moral reasoning do not use discursive communicative tactics more frequently than participants that possessed lower moral reasoning.
- Allyn, B., & Wilkinson, S. (1994). Proposed Guidelines for Journalists Covering Ethic Conflicts. Nieman Reports, Vol. 48, pp. 77-82. Retrieved from the web on July 19, 2004.
This article is most valuable as it suggests ways in which journalists can effectively report on ethnic conflicts without escalating the conflict. It further suggests ways journalist can be more aware of diversity, which will be helpful in their presentation of issues dealing with conflict amongst diverse groups. Recommendations to journalists include, humanizing people, educating about ethnic diversity and reminding readers of conflict management solutions to global ethnic conflicts.
- Anderson , K.S., Buller, P.S., & Kohls, J.J. (1997). A Model for Addressing Cross-Cultural Ethical Conflict. Business and Society. (1997, June) Vol.36, Issue 2, pp. 169.
As transnational interactions increase, cross-cultural conflict concerning ethical issues is inevitable. A model for assisting decisions makers in selecting appropriate strategies for addressing cross-cultural ethical conflict is presented. A theoretical framework for the model is developed based on the literature on international business ethics and on conflict resolution. The model is illustrated through several case examples.
- Andrews, C. (1998). Factors that Impact Multi-Cultural Team Performance. Center for the Study of Work Teams, University of North Texas .
This paper reflects on the existing reward systems in United States organizations and their effect on a team environment. It describes the factors that impact multi-cultural team performance and the social needs that drive those factors. It discusses individual versus team performance drivers and motivational techniques. Different extrinsic and intrinsic motivators are identified. The need for different motivational considerations for international team members is addressed.
- Andrews, M. M. (1998, November). Transcultural perspectives in nursing administration: Journal of Nursing Administration, Vol. 28, (11), pp. 30-38.
Transcultural nursing administration is explored in this article as it relates to how nurse managers can achieve harmony in a workforce that has increasing cultural diversity. Culture influences the manner in which health care workers and patients perceive, identify and solve problems. Nurse managers are advised in ways to identify, mediate and communicate with culturally different staff in the workplace.
- Atwal, G. (2004, April 27). Culture Club. TheDeal.com
This article discusses the steps that can be performed to effectively manage combining cultures within merging companies. There is a checklist of how to avoid a culture clash and the consequences of the conflict such as absenteeism, leaving the organization, and poor organizational performance. Some of the recommendations include selecting “ambassadors” as role models to other employees and establishing a strong corporate identity immediately after the merger.
- Bacal, R. (2004). Organizational Conflict – The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly. The Journal of Quality and Participation. Summer 2004. Vol. 27, Issue 2, pp. 21.
Conflict that occurs in organizations need not be destructive, provided the energy associated with conflict is harnessed and directed toward problem solving and organizational improvement; however, managing conflict effectively requires that all parties understand the nature of conflict in the workplace. The dysfunctional view of organizational conflict is embedded in the notion that organizations are designed to achieve goals by creating structures that perfectly define job responsibilities, authorities, and other job functions. The functional view of organizational conflict sees conflict as a productive force, one that can stimulate members of the organization to increase their knowledge and skills, as well as their contributions to organizational innovation and productivity. Ugly occurs when the manager (and perhaps employees) attempt to eliminate or suppress conflict in situations where it is impossible to do so.
- Beer, J., Stief, E. (May 1997). Mediator's Handbook.
The first mediation manual available to the public. It set the standard for the methodology of conflict resolution, providing a time-tested, flexible model for effective mediation in diverse environments and situations. Completely revised and expanded, this new edition is an invaluable resource for people working in corporations, government agencies, community organizations, schools, or any other situation where there is a need to build bridges between diverse perspectives.
- Benjamin, B. J., DeTurk, S., & Kristjansdottir, E. (2002) Giving voice to diversity: An interactive approach to conflict management and decision-making in culturally diverse work environments. Journal of Business and Management , Vol. 8, pp. 239-265.
The authors describe a new process called Interactive Management (IM) and its application to employees of a multinational tech company. This new process was put in place in a series of workshops to ease diversity tensions in employees. While in these workshops, the employees discussed many different viewpoints of a highly technical problem. Looking at the results of this experimental process, the authors conclude that IM can be a highly effective way to manage workplace diversity and decrease workplace conflict.
- Bizman, A. & Yinon, Y. (2004). Inter-group Conflict Management Strategies as Related to Perceptions of Dual Identity and Separate Groups. Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 144, (2), pp. 115-126.
The authors examined the relations between (a) the perceptions of dual identity and separate groups and (b) inter-group conflict management strategies, in two contexts: the conflict between the secular and religious sectors in Israel and the allocation of resources among organizational subunits. In both contexts, contention was associated with the perception of separate groups. Only in the organizational context, avoidance was associated with the perception of dual identity. Problem solving (i.e., finding a solution that is acceptable to both parties) was related to the perception of dual identity in the secular-religious context. In the organizational context, this relation appeared only under a low perception of separate groups. Yielding (i.e., satisfying the other party's needs at the expense of one's own) was related to the perception of dual identity in the organizational context. In the secular-religious context, this relation appeared only under a high perception of separate groups. The authors discussed the varying pattern of the associations between (a) the perceptions of dual identity and separate groups and (b) the conflict management strategies in the two contexts in terms of the Dual Concern Model and the perceived feasibility of the strategies
- Bordia P., Gallois, C., & Hobman, E. V. (2003). Consequences of Feeling Dissimilar from Others in a Work Team. Journal of Business and Psychology, Vol. 17, (3), pp. 301-325.
The article describes the relationship between value dissimilarity and group involvement in cases of diversity at the workplace. It is emphasized that feeling dissimilar has a significant effect on the conflict in the workplace. It is suggested that the management needs to address common goals towards work, in order to decrease relationship conflict in the workplace that comes as a result of value differences. Managers need to encourage policies to work in diversity in the workplace.
- Brewer, N., Mithcell, P. & Weber, N. (2002) “Gender Roles, Organizational Status and Conflict Management Styles.” International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 13, (1), pp. 78-94 . Retrieved from the web on Sept. 1,2004.
This study examines the relationship among biological sex, gender role, organizational status and conflict management behaviors in three similar organizations. The study found different styles between masculine, feminine and androgynous individuals as well as between upper and lower tier members within the hierarchies.
- Brinson, J.A., Kottler, J.A., & Fisher, T.A. (2004). Cross Cultural Conflict Resolution in Schools: Some Practical Intervention Strategies for Counselors. Journal of Counseling and Development: JCD, Vol. 82, Issue 3, pp. 294.
The authors present a context for understanding the increase in school violence as a function of poor conflict resolution skills. They provide counselors with selected cross-cultural approaches for conflict resolution and problem solving. They also discuss how the methods could be implemented in a school setting. A case study is used to demonstrate the approaches in action.
- Campbell, T.M. (2000). Fighting, Squabbling, and Arguing. Society & Culture, (2000, March 24). Print Edition. Retrieved from the Web August 28,2004.
The article illustrates that there is a place for disagreement in successful and meaningful relationships. Arguing is not necessarily destructive, but can be necessary therapeutically for both partners. All healthy people disagree and come into conflict over ideas, needs, hopes and dreams. A relationship without conflict often means one partner is repressing. A relationship must have respect between its partners in order for any disagreement to be resolved. Successful resolution of conflict often requires compromise.
- Chuang, Y., Church, R. & Zikic, J. (2004). Organizational culture, group diversity and intra-group conflict. Team Performance Management, Volume 10, pp. 26-34.
The article identifies two different types of conflict in a heterogeneous employee base and provides a solution through implementing an organizational culture that would lead to a collaborative approach to the conflicts. Setting common goals, defining values and setting expectations are the important parts of this team building effort that would eventually prevent possible conflicts.
- Cinamon, R.G. & Rich, Y. (2002). Gender differences in the importance of work and family roles: implications for work-family conflict. Sex roles: A Journal of Research , (2002, December).
This article discusses a case study in which the differences in perception of males and females in the workplace are compared to uncover how each sex perceives workplace conflict. In general, it concludes that women tend to put a greater emphasis on family than men, which leads to greater stresses when conflicts occur in the workplace.
- Coakley, J. (2003). The Territorial Management of Ethnic Conflict. Second Edition, 2002. Portland, Oregon . F. Cass.
Topics covered: Ethnolinguistic federalism. Multilingual society. Religion, ethnic conflict and territoriality. Ethnic conflict and political exchange. Ethnic diversity; Looking at Canada, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Israel, and Pakistan.
- Conflict 911 (2001). How do you calm upset customers? Retrieved from the web on September 25, 2004.
When a customer is angry or upset, you need to find ways to calm them down. In order to do that, you must understand what they want, whether it is to be taken seriously, treated with respect, immediate action, some sort of compensation, or simply be listened to. Understand what they want and try to resolve their problems.
- Conflict 911 (2001). Managing conflicts between teams. Retrieved from the web on September 25, 2004.
What to do if your group members dislike each other. Working together is not about liking each other, but about respecting each other. If team members are not getting along, it is best to mediate by sitting down with the group and discuss events and feelings. Team commitment and goal needs to be established to manage conflicts
- Cross, E. (2000). Managing Diversity: The Courage to Lead. Westport, Connecticut. Quorum Books.
Topics covered: Leadership and Democracy. Managing Diversity Intervention. Managing Diversity Theory and Practice. "Jaraco Corporation": A Case Study in Cultural Change. White Men as Champions. What We Need to Know in order to effectively "Manage Diversity". Diversity in the future.
- Currall, S. C., Friedmann, R. A., Tidd, S. T., & Tsai, J. C. (2000). What goes around comes around: The impact of personal conflict style on work. International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 11, (1), pp. 32-55. Retrieved from the Web on July 28, 2004.
The article mentions that conflict evolves not only form the outstanding circumstances, but also from the personal conflict style that affects the person's experience of workplace. The article analyzes the effect of task/relationship conflict that affects each other as a result of different conflict styles. It has been concluded that the person's own perception of conflict not only affects the individual, but also other people's perception at the workplace.
- Darling, J. R., & Fogliasso, C. E. (1999). Conflict management across cultural boundaries: a case analysis from a multinational bank. European Business Review, Vol. 99, (6), p. 383. Retrieved from the Web July 30, 2004.
The article analyzes the positive effects of conflict in a diverse workplace. A case study in a multinational bank with diversity is also analyzed. It is mentioned that conflict occurs due to different expectations, views and goals in the workplace. It is suggested that if conflict is properly managed, diverse workplace will contribute to the overall performance. Different conflict management methods are suggested to manage the situation in the sample case.
- “Debunking the 5 Most Common Myths about Diversity Initiatives.” Employment Digest . (2003, December).
This article is about diversity in general. The author includes a couple of valid points about conflict. He indicates that diversity in itself isn't enough to reap the benefits of diversity. Diversity must be managed. An organization may be filled with a diverse population, but if many conflict complaints are being lodged or diversity only exists at the lowest levels in an organization, then diversity isn't working for the organization.
- Diamant, N. J. (2000). Conflict and conflict resolution in China : Beyond mediation-centered approaches. The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 44, (4), pp. 523-546. Retrieved from the Web on July 29, 2004.
The article specifically describes the Chinese society's preference of mediation method to solve the conflicts. The author argues that mediation is not the only technique that whole Chinese society uses. The conflict resolution technique differs from region to region, also depending on the class, gender, etc. The author concludes that China needs to adopt legal institutional policies to deal with more severe conflicts in the new economic age.
- Donnellon, A., & Kolb, D. (1994). Constructive for whom? The fate of diversity disputes in organizations. Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 50, pp. 139-156. Retrieved from the Web on July 19, 2004.
This article highlights the need for discourse in the areas of dealing with diversity in the workplace. The authors' comments “As new social groups enter the work force and move up in organizations, conflicts rooted in class, gender, race, and ethnicity have become more prominent.” The authors suggest that there is a need for organizations to recognize the role of social group diversity in organizational conflict and it should also be incorporated into processes of conflict management and dispute resolution. Once these areas are addressed conflicts that have their basis in social diversities can be effectively handled.
- Dunlop, T. (2004, August 1). The Impact of Diversity and Culture on Organizational Conflict.
As we continue to move into work environments that become more diverse, it becomes critical that we recognize that culture and diversity are an important factor in the selection of conflict management strategies. Despite the culture, resolutions to conflict are sought. The approach in which they solve the conflict differs. Those managers who are able to adopt varying approaches to solving conflict are going to be the most effective. However, a no nonsense approach with actions to educate is the most effective.
- Dyer, B., & Song, X.M., & Xile, J. (2000). Antecedents and Consequences of Marketing Managers' Conflict-Handling Behavior. Journal of Marketing, Vol. 64, 1, pp. 50-67.
In this study, the authors develop and test a cross-cultural conceptual model of the organizational-based antecedents and consequences of marketing managers' conflict-handling behaviors during the new product development process. The hypotheses were tested using data collected from a large number of companies in Japan , China , The United States, and The United Kingdom. The results provided insights regarding the varying role of conflict management among diverse cultures.
- Edwards, L.S., & Villa-Komaroff, L. (2002). “An Approach to Managing Conflicts of Interest in a Changing World.” Journal of Research Administration, Vol. 33, (2) pp. 3, 9-18.
This article describes the evolution of the Northwestern University Policy on Faculty Conflict of Commitment and Conflict of Interest and addresses the underlying guidelines that shaped the policy content. The management procedures, designed to provide flexibility in policy implementation to accommodate different practices and expectations within different university subcultures.
- Engemann, K.J., & Miller, H. (2004). A Simulation Model of Intergroup Conflict. Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 50, (4), p. 355.
In this article, the authors will investigate inter-group conflict and examine the impact of strategies to manage and eventually reduce it. A probabilistic computer simulation model will be used. The model examines how conflict between two groups evolves over time. Group differences and the occurrence of inter-group incidents drive the model. Inter-group hostility which depends on past history, recent conflict incidents, and group differences is the key variable that indicates the tendency toward conflict between the two groups. The model used to examine various cases and the effect of conflict management strategies. Based on the model results, the authors developed some conclusions about the applicability of the findings to actual situations, as well as directions for further research.
- Fan, P., & Zigang, Z. (2004, January 1). Cross-cultural Challenges when Doing Business in China . Singapore Management Review, Vol. 26, Issue 1.
This article discusses the cultural differences between America and China that can lead to conflict when they are trying to work together. The cultural differences also lead to differences in conflict management because they resolve conflict in different ways. China tends to avoid direct and open conflict and solve problems through negotiation and compromise while Americans confront conflict directly through confrontation and argument. These aspects must be considered for successful integration.
- Ferris, G., Rosen, S., & Barnum, D. (1995). Handbook of human resource management. Cambridge , Massachusetts. Blackwell Publishers.
Topics covered: Management - integration of science and practice. Human resource management: conflict, confusion, cost and role-conversion. Organizational culture and human resource management. Grievance procedures and dispute resolution. Human resource management and employee turnover.
- Field, H., & Nolan, P. (2004). What lessons can we learn from conflict resolution? British Journal of Nursing (BJN), Vol. 13, Issue 5, p. 237.
In the last 20 years, 50 of the poorest countries in the world have been involved in wars. In 30 of these, more than 10% of the population has been displaced and approximately 90% of casualties have been civilians. So what helps traumatized people in situations of violence and slaughter to continue with their lives? In June 2003, a conference in Malta brought together psychiatrists, anthropologists, writers, artists, nurses and clergy to look at conflict resolution. Horrific images of war were put before the delegates and terrible experiences described. Yet speakers asserted that people are far more resilient than health professionals assume. A person survive unspeakable horrors with or without counseling and it was even argued that counseling often fails to take into account the culture of the people and their existing support structures. In some parts of the world, children as young as 7 or 8 years have been recruited as soldiers, witnessed murder, been raped or deliberately infected with AIDS, and been trained in the use of terrorist tactic
- Fine, M. (1995). Building Successful Multicultural Organizations: Challenges and Opportunities; "Organizational Responses to Cultural Diversity: Case Studies in Change". Westport, Connecticut. Quorum Books.
Topics covered: Challenging Demographics of the workplace. Differences in the Workplace. Theoretical Perspective of Differences in the Workplace. Cultural Identity and Performance. Dysfunctional Diversity in the Workplace. Organizational Responses to Cultural Diversity: Case Studies in Change. How to Improve Interpersonal Relationships, Multicultural Literacy, Organizational Strategies: the look at Policies and Practices for Multicultural Organizations, Differences in preferences.
- Folker, C. A. (1999). Female vs. Male Family Business Owners: Exploring the Differences Through a Trust/Distrust Framework. Proceedings from 1999 USASBE/SBIDA Annual National Conference, San Diego , CA.
The author suggests that family businesses will manage conflicts using different strategies depending on whether a man or a woman runs the family business. Female family business owners favor the relational model that incorporates high trust and low distrust, and they operate from an “ethic of care.” Male family business owners favor the dominator model that incorporates high trust and high distrust, and they operate from an “ethic of justice.”
- Fredericksen, P. (1996, March-April). Community collaboration and public policy making: examining the long-term utility of training in conflict management. (Community-oriented Research: Grassroots Issues versus National Policy Agendas). American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 39, (5), pp. 552-570.
The research in this article was conducted in a community based setting to see if there were any long term effects on receiving conflict management training in the community. Fredericksen felt there was little research conducted and evidence that supports or disputes the long term impacts of conflict management training, in particular in a community setting. The research did find a long term effect on community members that had received the conflict management training. Their research found that there was long term utility from the training. They also found that personal characteristics of the trainees were also related to how long a trainee retained the information from the class. The study also found a correlation between the amount of application of the training and the length of retention, whereas those who used the information were able to retain it longer. The author also suggests that this training reinforces the preference of collaboration over competition in resolving conflict. Participants who took the training indicated the preference of collaboration more frequently than non-participants.
- Goodman, D. (2001). Promoting diversity and social justice: educating people from privileged groups. Thousand Oaks , California . Sage Publications, Inc.
Topics covered: Social justice, Multiculturalism. Upper class – Attitudes. Social Conflict. Conflict Management. Social psychology.
- Green, M.Z. (2005). Addressing Race Discrimination Under Title VII After Forty Years: The promise of ADR As Interest-Convergence. Harvard Law Journal (Spring 2005).
This article focuses on racial discrimination under Title VII and how the current systems of litigation and legal enforcement should no longer be the focus. Instead, the author suggests rooting out racial conflict in the workplace by establishing more systematic alternative dispute resolution (ADR) activities. These activities must include “interest-convergence” in that both the majority and minority would benefit from the proposed system of resolution.
- Gross, M. A. (2002). Managing through kaleidoscope: Diverse perspectives on conflict and decision making in organizations. Journal of Business and Management, Vol. 8, (3), pp. 213-215. Retrieved from the Web on July 29, 2004.
When diversity increases in organizations, the decision-making process becomes more complex and difficult due to different perceptions, however author argues that diversity results in more creative decision-making rather than creating conflict. It has been concluded that diversity leads the organization to adopt and integrate different views and set shared set of norms in decision-making.
- Halford, K.W., Skuja, K. (2004). Repeating the Errors of Our Parents? Parental Violence in Men's Family of Origin and Conflict Management in Dating Couples. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol. 19, pp. 623-628.
Within a social learning model, family-of-origin violence places men at risk for developing negative communication in their adult relationships. Thirty young men exposed to family-of-origin violence (exposed group) and 30 unexposed young men were videotaped discussing a conflict topic with their female dating partners. Relative to the unexposed group, the exposed men and women reported higher relationship aggression and during discussion showed more negative communication, were more domineering, and the men reported more negative affect. There were no differences between the groups on cognition or heart rate. The conflict management deficits and aggression evident in the exposed group suggest that these partners are at high risk for future relationship aggression and distress.
- Harrington, K.V., Neck, C. P., & Smith, W. J. (2000). Resolving conflict with humor in a diversity context. Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 15, (6), p. 606. Retrieved from the Web on July 30, 2004.
The article argues that increased diversity in workplaces leads conflict, thus workplace humor can be used to decrease the level of conflict and stress. A study has been conducted with people from different ethnicities and genders. The results revealed that individuals use humor with people who are from a similar ethnic background. Gender differences did not affect the level of humor use.
- Heathfield, S. (2004). Fight for What's Right: Ten Tips to Encourage Meaningful Conflict. About Human Resources.
This two-part article describes ten useful tips to encourage meaningful conflict between employees. The tips include advice on employee training in communication skills, hiring the “right” people and compensation based on the success of the entire organization. It provides managers with information on how to exercise their observation skills to identify conflicts which are escalating and courses of action to diffuse the situation.
- Henderson G. (1994). Cultural Diversity in the Workplace: Issues and Strategies. Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc.
Topics covered: Enabling managers to recognize cultural differences. Outlining strategies for addressing issues related to diversity and conflict. Workplace issues and interventions. Obstacles in achieving Cultural Diversity. Importance of communication. Conflicts from cross-cultural perspective.
- Hicks, J., & Lehrer, D. (2004, July 18). Police beating protestors fail to no scourge of crime in local communities.
This is a videotape of the Los Angeles police beating an African American. City residents are upset of seeing a tape, which Stanley Miller raising his arms to surrender and then the officers jumped him. One office kicked Miller, while another hits him twelve times with a flashlight. The eight officers have been removed with pay, but the community leaders are outraged. This brings back memories of the 1992 incident with Rodney King. "Here we go again.”
- Industrial Relations Centre–Queens University . Mergers and Acquisitions: Organization Culture and HR Issues.
Increased activity in the areas of mergers and acquisitions has led companies to try to understand why these mergers frequently fail. It is important to assess the corporate culture of both companies as part of the due diligence process and plan the integration of both cultures by addressing the human side of the deal, not just the financial numbers. The article describes how to assess the cultural environment and identify various issues and probable outcomes if left unattended.
- John, K. (2000). Benefits and Detriments of Workplace Conflict. The Public Manager, pp. 29-24. Retrieved from the web on July 19, 2004.
This article will be beneficial for individuals concerned about group conflicts as it focuses on the benefits and detriment of conflict that arise from working in groups. It discusses the conflict by focusing on the relationships, the task at hand, as well as the diversity of the groups and offers feedback as to how management can effectively manage the conflict at each level.
- Kikoski, C. (1999). Reflexive Communication in the Culturally Diverse Workplace. Westport , Connecticut. Praeger Publishers.
Topics covered: Culture - Communication and Management. Reflexive Communication. Communication Paradigm – White Male. Communication Paradigm – Female. Communication Paradigm - African American. Communication Paradigm - Hispanic. Communication Paradigm - Asian American. Communication Paradigm of the United States in the Twenty first Century. Demography. New Imperatives and New Realities.
- Knouse, S. & Dansby, M. (1999). Percentage of WorkGroup Diversity and WorkGroup Effectiveness. Journal of Psychology, Vol. 133 , Issue 5. Publication Number: 486.
Topics covered: Diversity in group membership. Advantages and disadvantages for group performance. How different percentages in workgroup diversity categories affect group effectiveness. Results are discussed in terms of possible optimum diversity levels, expanded measures of diversity, and team development of diverse work. Diverse work force: supplies a rich array of different ideas, produces higher quality work and brings a broader set of perspectives and approaches. Diverse work force should better understand and be able to deal with varied demands and expectations of a diversified customer base.
- Kochan, T., Bezrukova, K., Ely, R., Jackson, S., Joshi, A., Jehn, K., Leonard, J., Levine, D., & Thomas, D. “Effects of Diversity on Business Performance” Human Resource Management. (2003).
This article summarizes the results and conclusions from a study of diversity on business performance. One of the conclusions suggests that diversity's impact (positive or negative) depends on the organizational structure. If diversity is left unattended, it's more likely to have a negative effect, rather than positive effect, on things such as group processes, communications, conflict, and cohesion.
- Labich, K. (1996). Making Diversity Pay. Fortune, Vol. 13, Issue 5, pp. 177-180.
The article is valuable as it points to the overwhelming consensus that diversity in the workforce is important to improving customer relations and business management. The author suggests that the best form of diversity training is the area that emphasizes practical conflict management. The author uses practical situations to demonstrate the importance of practical conflict management. The author suggests that creating a diverse workforce and training managers effectively in its management can lead to a more harmonious working environment for all.
- Learner, N. (2002). When generations meet on the job. Christian Science Monitor, May 06, 2002.
This short article outlines age-based “character traits” which can cause generational differences in the workplace. Age is identified as a key element of diversity in the work environment. In particular, conflicts between Generation X and the Baby Boomer Generation are analyzed. Potential conflicts between Generation X and the new Millennial Generation are exposed.
- LeBaron , M. (2003). “Culture and Conflict.” University of Colorado.
This articles states that culture is always a factor in conflict, whether it plays a central role or just influences it in some way. Cultural fluency is necessary for those people that need to address and resolve conflict. Each conflict requires different resolution methods because culture is so multi-faceted.
- Leung, K., Su, S.K., & Morris, M.W. “Justice in the Culturally Diverse Workplace: Problems of Over-Emphasis and Under-Emphasis of Cultural Differences.” September 2000.
This article covers how organizations maintain justice in culturally diverse workplaces. One of its points is that if justice issues are not well managed in a diverse workplace, consequences ranging from poor morale and low job satisfaction to inter-group rivalry may result. Two approaches are suggested: the universalist approach is based on treating everyone the same. The particularistic approach is based on accommodation of cultural differences. The two approaches both attempt to minimize conflict by maintaining fairness.
- Loden , M. (1995). Implementing Diversity: Best Practices for Making Diversity Work in Your Organization. McGraw-Hill Companies.
Topics covered: Defining Diversity. Valuing Diversity. Getting in to the diversity mindset. Assessing organization's current situation. Profiling the company. Understanding change. Looking at best practices in organizations.
- Lowenstein, A.J., & Glanville, C. (1995, July-August). Cultural diversity and conflict in the health care workplace . Nursing Economics, Vol. 13, (4), pp. 203-209, 247.
This article looks at how the cultures in nursing are dramatically changing. This is due in part to the nursing shortage. From mostly white women to a variety of immigrants and men. Historically minorities have less education thus making the majority of leadership roles in nursing held by white women. Cultural conflict is explored as it applies to how cultures communicate differently both verbally and nonverbally. Conflict resolution styles also have a cultural base. The authors propose a conflict model that can be used for assessing and intervening in racial and status conflict in the hospital setting.
- Maltais, M. (1998, May 18) Adversity Diversity; Cultural differences can play a big role in how we approach and cope with conflict. Los Angeles Time, p. 10.
The article carefully analyzes data collected from 40 countries, and show to what extent cultural differences can impact an individual's attitude towards conflict. With this in mind US companies find they have to keep up with their diverse workforce by finding a way to deal with this diversity through training, team building or adversity training.
- Manning, M. (2000). “Embrace Diversity to Build Effective Teams: One of the Biggest Challenges Faced by Companies Today Is How to Turn a Group into a Highly Efficient Global Team.”.
This article centers on using a process to determine common values among a group of diverse members with individual personal values. Developing a common set of values minimizes the negative effects of diversity on group performance. The common values can then be used as a basis for defining the team norms and expectations.
- Mayer, B.S. (2004). Beyond Neutrality: Confronting the crisis in conflict resolution. NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
This is a thought provoking book. It discusses the failure of individuals and organizations and how to use conflict resolution methods to settle disputes. Attempts are made to answer the question of why so few are aware of alternative dispute techniques. Discusses the limitations of conflict resolution and management – when does it work and when does it not. It provides a critique of the profession of mediation, arbitration, and alternative dispute resolution.
- McCann, D. (2004). Cross Cultural Work Preferences. Team Management Systems.
Research results based upon study of work preferences of more than 73,000 people in 84 countries in numerous industries and professions. This article uses a “Team Management Wheel” pie chart format to visually describe the dissimilar values of different cultures. The major role distributions for Advisors, Explorers, Organizers and Controllers are identified and compared for specific countries.
- McNamara, C. (2004). Basics of Conflict Management. The Management Assistance Program for Nonprofits.
Adapted from the guidebook, Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision , this article explains how to clarify confusion about conflict. It outlines types of managerial behavior that cause workplace conflicts and lists different actions managers can take to minimize them. The different ways people deal with conflict is discussed and advice on how to manage internal conflict as well as conflict with others is given.
- Naylor, L. (1997). Cultural Diversity in the United States. Westport , Connecticut. Bergin & Garvey.
Topics covered: Multiculturalism in the 21 st century. Cultural Groupings. Meaning behind calling ourselves Americans. Ethnicity. Race, concept of. Diversity orientation. Minority – concept and issues.
- Neale , M. A. “Diversity and Workgroup Performance.” Stanford Graduate School of Business.
This article covers how three types of diversity affect workgroup performance. The three types of diversity covered are Informational, Demographic and Goals/Value-based. Informational is the most likely to increase productivity. Demographic diversity has some risks for creating interpersonal conflict. Lastly, Goals/Value-based diversity is the most likely to generate group conflict.
- Pelled, L., Eisenhardt, K. & Zin, K. (1999). Exploring the black box: an analysis of work group diversity, conflict, and performance. Administrative Science Quarterly , Vol. 44, pp. 1-26. Retrieved from the Web on July 19, 2004.
This article shows thorough study conducted on 45 teams from the electronic division of three companies, the relationship among diversity, conflict and performance. The authors look at different types of diversity such as background, race, tenure, and age and discuss how each group is connected with conflict. The finding suggests a link between work group diversity and work group functioning.
- Porter-O'Grady, T. (2004) “Embracing Conflict: Building a Healthy Community” Health Care Management Review , Vol. 29, (3), pp. 181-188. Retrieved from the web on Sept.1, 2004.
The author describes that the acknowledgment of differences across the human community is recognition that all conflict is normative. In healthcare systems, leaders must recognize this factor as an essential part of the expression of the leadership role. Therefore, understanding conflict, applying conflict resolution strategies in the leader's role, building approaches to addressing essential conflict, and resolving it are critical to effective leadership. Understanding the elements of conflict, the processes associated with managing conflict, and the characteristics of conflict resolution are outlined.
- Ramsey, R. (2004, June 1). Supervising employees with limited English language proficiency. Supervision, Vol. 65, Issue 6.
This article discusses the benefits and possible problems of having workers who don't speak English as their primary language in the workplace. The article then proposes how to manage blending non-English speaking workers into the organization in an effort to avoid conflict with supervisors and other employees. Some of the recommendations include posting diagrams, recruiting interpreters, not giving orders, and maintaining a zero tolerance policy for discrimination.
- Roosevelt, T. & Woodruff , M. Building a House for Diversity: A Fable about a Giraffe and an Elephant Offers New Strategies for Today's Workforce.
Topics covered: Moving toward diversity, Creating action plans. Examining Characteristics of the Diversity. PDMI Test.
- Rothman, J. “Resolving Identity-based conflict in nations, organizations and communities .”
Presenting a brilliant new approach to conflict resolution that will intrigue and inform practitioners and scholars alike. Writing from his remarkable range of academic and real-world experiences including his historic work in bringing Israel and the PLO to the negotiation table, Rothman shows how identity-based conflict can be managed so that both parties reach a higher ground than either could have found on its own. Demonstrating step-by-step how it can be applied in a variety of environments. Complete with field-tested assessment instruments and action plans, Resolving Identity-Based conflict is a seamless union of theory and practice anyone seeking to turn the passion of conflict into the fuel of creativity can use.
- Ruben. V. W. D. J., (2004). Managing Conflicts in Open Source Communities. Electronic Markets, Vol. 14, (2), p. 104.
Van Wendel De Joode explains in his article that an increasing number of companies adopt open source software. These companies will typically pay programmers to participate in the design, development and maintenance of open source software. The programmers, however, are reported to have different interests compared to the voluntary programmers who dominate most open source communities. The diversity of interest will eventually result in conflicts. To that their interests are achieved, companies should understand how conflicts between their programmers and the voluntary programmers can be managed. The aim of this article is to discuss mechanisms that are currently present to manage conflicts in open source communities.
- Sanarahm, I. , Paul, S., & Mykytyn, P. (2002). Exploring the Links between Cultural Diversity, the Collaborative Conflict Management Style, and Performance of Global Virtual Teams.
Growth of “virtual teams”, teams brought together by technological means, individuals located in different parts of the world with diverse backgrounds, has brought rise to conflict management needs. Culture affects most of our attitudes, perceptions and personalities, which is reflected in our behavior. A team's success and willingness to work together is subject to the influences of member behaviors. The more collaborative team members are, the likelihood of arriving at decisions agreeable to all individuals is higher.
- SBA Online Women's Business Center. (1997). The Value of Cultural Diversity. Texas Center for Women's Business Enterprise, Austin, TX, 5/97.
This article describes how to reduce the risk of harm to a business by properly managing diversity in the workplace. Cultural diversity is defined based upon the traditional business model and cultural diversity's impact on small groups is identified. The effects of diversity are discussed from the point of view of a female small business owner.
- Song, M., Xile, J. & Dyer, B. (2000) “Antecedents and consequences of marketing managers' conflict-handling behaviors.” Journal of Marketing . Vol. 64, (1), pp. 50-67 . Retrieved from the Web on Sept. 1, 2004.
The authors develop and test a cross-cultural conceptual model of the organizational-based antecedents and consequences conflict-handling behaviors among marketing managers during the new product development process. The hypotheses were tested using data collected from 968 companies in Japan , China , the US , and the UK . The results provide some interesting insights regarding the varying role of conflict management among diverse cultures.
- Sonnenschein, W. (1998). The Diversity Toolkit: How You Can Build and Benefit from a Diverse Workforce. NTC Publishing Group.
Topics covered: How diversity has changed the workplace. How to adapt to the new workforce realities. Perfecting team leadership. Attaining leadership skills. Improving communication skills, setting goals and achieving results.
- Scarborough , J. (1998). The Origins of Cultural Differences and Their Impact on Management. Westport, Connecticut . Quorum Books.
Topics covered: The Cultural Connection. Looking at cultures of: Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan , Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia; The Philippines, Vietnam, The Arab World and Islam; The Indian Subcontinent, Mexico, and Russia.
- Southard, G. & Lewis, J. (April 2004). Building a Workplace That Recognizes Generational Diversity. Public Management (US), Vol. 86, (3), pp. 8-11.
In today's work environment we are faced with two types of diverse generations. The baby boomers (1946 to 1963) are extremely loyal to their employers and will stay at their place of employment for a longer period of time. In order to manage their time between work and family, this generation needs to have a flexible work schedule. On the other hand Generation X and Y are more independent and have other career expectations. They tend to focus more on development opportunities and are less likely to be loyal to their employers. Companies need to be aware of the needs of both generations and implement programs that are suitable for their needs.
- Strenski, J. (1994). Stress diversity in employee communications. Public Relations Journal, Vol. 50, pp. 32-36.
The author points to the need for Corporate America to address and incorporate diversity into business strategies. He points to the values of incorporating diversity and suggest that organizations which acknowledge and legitimize diversity “are rewarded with the ability to attract much needed talent, grab a bigger share of the market and achieve success in the global arena.” Organizations should implement several programs into their agenda to address issues of diversity. These include diversity related programs, manager training on mentoring, negotiating and conflict management. Once these areas are addressed it can lead to a more valuable workforce.
- “Study on Diversity in the Workplace.” Stanford Report Online.
The article discusses how the different types of diversity affect the productiveness of a group. Informational differences can lead to very productive exchanges, where as cultural differences are more likely to generate conflict. How individuals interact in groups with which they are familiar or are strangers with is discussed as well. When one is a stranger in a group they may be more forthcoming with information, where as when they are in a familiar group they may assume their information is already known.
- Taber, G.M. (2003). Embrace Diversity in tense Times. njbiz, Vol. 16, (12), p. 26.
After September 11 th crimes against the Arabs has increased significantly. A misunderstanding in ethnicity resulted in a killing of a Sikh because he wore a head covering. People are mainly exposed to ethic diversity in schools and workplaces. It is important to understand all types of groups so that people can reduce their “fears of the unknown”.
- Thompson, C., & Carter, R. (1997). Racial Identity Theory: Applications to Individual, Group, and Organizational Interventions. Mahwah, New Jersey. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Topics covered: Race, Socialization, and Contemporary Racism. Racial Identity Development in the Professional Context. Clinical Applications of Racial Identity Theory. Supervisory Experience: White Counselor and White Client. Race and Psychotherapy: the Racially Inclusive Model. Applying Racial Identity Theory to Group and Family Interventions. Facilitation of White Identity Development. Therapeutic Group Intervention. Racial Identity Theory and Bowen's Family Systems Model. Using Racial Identity Theory in Family Group Organizational Racial Diversity Training. Applying Racial Identity Theory to Institutional and Organizational Interventions. Management of Corporate Racial Diversity. Applying Racial Identity Theory to the Legal System: the Case of Family Law. Embedded Inter-group Relations and Racial Identity Development Theory.
- Ting-Toomey, S. (1999). Communicating Across Cultures. In New York , Constructive Intercultural Conflict Management (pp. 194-230). The Guilford Press.
This article discusses some of the contributing factors to intercultural conflict as well as the skills needed for effective conflict management. The suggestion on how to better manage cultural conflict is practicing collaborative dialogue. This involves using the proper verbal and nonverbal skills to properly listen and speak with one another. It involves using different methods depending on if you are speaking as a collaborative or individualist oriented individual.
- Tinsley, C.H., & Weldon, E. (2003). Response to a Normative Conflict Among African American and Chinese Managers. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management: CCM, Vol. 13. Issue 2, pp. 183.
In this study, we test the impact of national origin on intentions to shame and to seek revenge in response to it normative conflict. As expected, Chinese managers showed a stronger desire to shame and teach a moral lesson compared with American managers. Contrary to expectations, Americans were no more likely than the Chinese to express a desire for revenge. Results also showed that Americans were more likely to choose a direct approach in response to the conflict, compared with the Chinese managers, who were more likely to use an indirect approach. These data are consistent with previous research suggesting that shaming is a more common form of social control in more collectivistic compared with more individualistic societies, but inconsistent with cross cultural theories that suggest that interpersonal harmony is more important in a collectivistic culture.
- Tjosvold , D., & Fang , S.S. (2004) “Cooperative Conflict Management as a Basis for Training Students in China."
This article reviews how Chinese students are trained to handle conflict management. There is general acceptance that the Asia cultures are more likely to avoid conflict rather than confront conflict head on, as in Western cultures. With the diversity within China and greater interaction with the world, conflict resolution is of becoming of greater importance to Chinese students.
- USDA Handbook on Workplace Violence Prevention and Response. (1998).
Although this U.S. Department of Agriculture Handbook details workplace violence responses specific to its service personnel, it also provides general knowledge of identifying and preventing workplace violence. It recommends an employee awareness training program, threat assessment and long-term security measures. Alternative Dispute Resolution and Employee Assistance Programs are proposed as methods to resolve conflicts before they escalate into violence.
- Walker, K. (2004). Activity Systems and Conflict Resolution in an Online Professional Communication Coarse. Business Communication Quarterly, Vol. 67, Issue 2, pp. 182.
Conflicts often arise in online professional communication class discussions as students discuss sensitive ethical issues relating to the workplace. When conflicts arise in an online class, the class has to be kept balanced for the course to continue functioning effectively. Activity theory and distributed learning theory are useful for studying conflict resolution and online communication. The article mentions several strategies to be used to facilitate conflict resolution in online courses, based on these theories: complimenting, generalizing, and agreeing.
- Wills, K., & Mead, T. (2004). Resolving workplace conflicts; offering mediation services allows an EAP to reduce workplace conflict while encouraging employees to take control of their interpersonal disputes and improve their work relationships. The Journal of Employee Assistance, Vol. 34, pp. 24-26.
The authors in this article concede that because of the diversity in the workplace today there is bound to be interpersonal conflicts. The authors demonstrate, through the findings produced by studying the Jefferson County Public School system, how conflict can be effectively managed by implementing a neutral third party through their EAP program to help in the facilitation of a discussion between the affected individuals.
- Work911.com (2004). Dealing with Difficult People – It's about skill.
The lack of social or communication skills does not make someone a difficult person, they just don't know how interact with people more appropriately. Sometimes they may feel discomfort in the situation to force them to act difficult. This article talks about how to deal with those difficult people and to make sure the actions you take or the things you say does not encourage and reward those unwanted behaviors.
- Work911.com (2004). Dealing with hostile “bait”.
Avoid responding to the “bait” that is in front of you when dealing with verbal abuse from clients or customers. Learn what to say exactly to avoid conflict when your customers say things like “I bet if I wasn't (ethnic group), you would give me…..” There are self defense tactics to learn from.
- “Workplace Conflict: Unavoidable, but Manageable.” Georgia Merit System.
The article explains that conflict can be healthy when it promotes creativity and does not stifle productivity. It covers the importance of either preventing conflict or catching it as early in the cycle as possible. It also covers several ways in which to minimize conflict from occurring, such as making fairness an organizational practice and stressing the value of diversity.
- Xu,Y., & Davidhizar, R. (2004, January-March). Conflict management styles of Asian and Asian American nurses. The Health Care Manager, Vol. 23, (1), pp. 46-53.
Foreign nurses and American nurses who are culturally diverse are an increasing reality in today's workforce. Conflict inevitably occurs in the healthcare industry and it is amplified when members of the health team are culturally diverse. This article examines the conflict behaviors and management styles of Asian and Asian American nurses from a cultural perspective. The authors propose that conflict can be better understood and managed if management appreciates aspects of the Asian culture and examples of the culture are explored.
- Zogloy, H. J., Dr. (2004). What Arabs Think: Values, Beliefs and Concerns.
Article how Charlie Daniel's Band angered Arab-Americans. The words in a song have caused an ethnic group to be offended.