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Ashraf, H and Rowlinson, S (2015) The importance of context in conflict management: Explicating the notion of conflict management climate and agenda setting for future research. In: Raiden, A and Aboagye-Nimo, E (Eds.), Proceedings 31st Annual ARCOM Conference, 7-9 September 2015, Lincoln, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 1021–1030.
- Type: Conference Proceedings
- Keywords: conflict management climate, interface management, structural framework for conflict management
- ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-9-0
- URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/4142bc64e7252854c41b91d171acaba2.pdf
Dual concerns models of varying specifications have been developed by theorists to describe different styles available to conflicting parties for conflict management during a conflict episode. Most of the research employing dual concerns models has exhausted its efforts to find a local-optimum solution in a particular situation or what Kenneth Thomas has described as short term conflict management. This major stream of research, although important, is void of descriptive value if one's goal is to achieve best possible solution by introducing structural changes in a system and the emphasis is on proactive conflict management rather than reactive. A theoretical distinction between short term and long term conflict management is at the heart of this scholarly effort. In line with the theoretical underpinning for long term conflict management, the structural framework for conflict management proposes parameters of a system which lead to a behaviour theorized to be aligned with proactive conflict management. Measuring structural parameters of a system for the purposes of empirical research could become difficult when the level of measurement shifts from micro (e.g. individual) to macro (e.g. organization). Industrial and organizational psychology has conceptualized and researched a notion known as climate that could adequately address the measurement challenge. Conflict management climate therefore is a notion that measures shared perceptions of people with regard to structural parameters of a system and is theorized to be an aggregated construct of organizational level. In a logical sequence, this paper further explicates the dimensions of the construct of conflict management climate. Thus, in a bid to develop research agenda for conflict management climate, this paper builds a case for long term conflict management and draws on the theory of climate to theorize and explicate the dimensions of conflict management climate. The paper culminates by setting a research agenda for this newly conceptualized construct.