CMP 4422 ISU Communications Conflict Management Research Paper

Research PaperTopic
You will develop a research paper that examines the academic research in a particular area of
conflict, negotiation, bargaining, or any other topic relevant to interpersonal or international
conflict. The paper topic should avoid areas of public policy conflict between political parties,
lobbying groups, or other stranger relationships. These types of “conflicts” are better studied
through various rhetorical and political theories. You should also avoid studying intrapsychic
conflicts within a single individual, which are the purview of psychology.
The topic should be one of your choosing, as long as it meets the requirements above. Some
general suggestions include:
Conflict in a particular setting: International conflicts, labor/management negotiations,
student/teacher conflict, conflict in marriage, dating conflict, intergroup conflict in
organizations, superior/subordinate conflict, sibling rivalries, divorce mediation,
doctor/patient conflict, or conflict between coaches and players.
Examine a particular aspect of conflict or negotiation: Image repair, conflict styles,
threats and promises, forgiveness, types of bargaining, culture and conflict,
argumentativeness/aggressiveness, bullying, the caucus, Alternative Dispute Resolution,
or the different sources of conflict.
Other topic areas are, of course, open to exploration.
Please discuss your topic with me prior to beginning your research. I want to make sure that you
are starting your research on a topic that will work for the class and assignment.
General Requirements
9-10 pages (Undergraduate)
12-14 pages (Graduate)
The paper will include an introduction that defines the central idea and previews your main
points.
The paper will include a body that reviews the relevant literature in an organized fashion and
provides numerous examples and narratives to support the research. Do not laundry list onearticle-or-book-after-another. Instead, organize the research by synthesizing the information into
two to five main ideas.
The paper must include a conclusion that discusses the implications of your research. Explain
how the research could help people improve their conflict management or bargaining skills.
The paper must conform to the APA (American Psychological Association) style format.
Learning Competencies
Research: Students will demonstrate strong research abilities by discovering and synthesizing
research from refereed publications.
Organization: Students will be able to synthesize information from a minimum of eight refereed
publications into a small number of coherent main ideas.
Structure: Students will be able to compose a coherent paper that includes an introduction,
body, and conclusion, with transitions between the main ideas in the body of the presentation.
Knowledge: Students will be able to explain specific research findings in their chosen area of
conflict or negotiation.
Conflict Styles
Conflict Styles Matrix
High
Concern
for
Personal
Goals
Competing
Collaborating
Compromising
Avoidance
Accommodation
Low
High
Concern for Other Person
Competition vs. Collaboration
• ½ leads to mutual agreement
• ½ leads to victory of competitive person
Advantages of Collaboration
• Improves task accomplishment over
accommodation and competing styles
• Superior to competitive style for managers
• Works best when:
– Both parties must work together in future
– Both parties are open minded
– Willing to ignore power differences
– Deal with conflict early before it escalates
Competition
• Works best when one best solution exists
or when person is involved in value
conflict
Suggestions
• Start out with collaborative style
• Use compromising and competition as fall-
back options in case collaboration fails
• Any tactic that openly deals with conflict is
superior to not dealing with the conflict
Negotiation and
Bargaining
A Training Program for the
Employees of AMI
Negotiation Defined
◼ Negotiation is Single Issue Numerical
Bargaining characterized by:
 Transaction
 Lack close, long-term relationship with other
 Limited resources
 Leading to compromise
Identifying Negotiation Situations
High
Perceived
Importance of
Relationship
Perceived Conflict Over Stakes
Balanced Concerns
Relationships
(Business partnership, joint
ventures, mergers)
(Marriage, friendship, work
teams)
Transactions
Unconscious
Negotiation
(Divorce, house sale, or
market transaction)
(Highway intersection)
Low
Low
Preparing to Negotiate
◼ Expectations
◼ Power: Bottom lines and BATNAs
◼ Positioning Theme
Set High But Reasonable
Expectations
Those who expect more
get more
◼ Select outcomes near the
high end of the range of
“fair and reasonable”
outcomes
◼ High expectations release
a psychological striving
mechanism

Low
High
Study Results
$10.00
$9.00
$8.00
$7.00
$6.00
$5.00
$4.00
$3.00
$2.00
$1.00
$0.00
Target
Results
Results
Target
Low
High
Power
◼ Power: Relative number of options outside
the negotiation
 The more options, the greater your power
 “Janie Rail” example
Bottom Line
◼ Natural pressure to get along
◼ Bottom Line: Lowest offer we will accept
 Protect you from accepting too low an offer
 What is the minimum offer I will accept
Bottom Line
◼ Asking $125,000 for your house
◼ Set bottom line at $118,000
◼ “What is the minimum offer I will accept?”
BATNA
◼ Best Alternative to a Negotiated
Agreement
 Brainstorm a list of options to successful
negotiation
 Improve the most promising idea
 Convert into a workable plan
Use BATNA to Create Leverage
◼ Disclose a good BATNA to increase your
leverage
◼ Downplay the other person’s BATNA to
increase your leverage
Positioning Theme
◼ Crisp, memorable phrase that defines the
problem you are attempting to solve
 “Part-time America won’t work.”
 “We must restore competitive balance for the
sake of the fans.”
Stages of Negotiation
◼ Stage 1: Building Relationships
◼ Stage 2: Exchange Information
◼ Stage 3: Opening and Making
Concessions
◼ Stage 4: Closing the Deal
Stage 1: Building Relationships
◼ The Similarity Principle: We trust those
who appear familiar, who act like us, share
our interests
 Armand Hammer
 Steve Ross
◼ Similarities don’t have to go deep
◼ Doesn’t matter that both sides know what
you’re doing
Percentage of Negotiations that
Ended in Stalemate
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
No Rapport
Rapport
Stage 2: Exchanging Information
◼ Gather information about the other’s goals,
interests, perceptions
◼ Rule: Never respond in such a way that
you increase their expectations
 Do not reveal desperation
 Do not reveal too much emotional
commitment to their offers
Skilled Negotiators Listen Well
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Skilled
Unskilled
Signaling Expectations and
Leverage
◼ Weak Hand
 Emphasize minimizing risk
 Emphasize minimizing expense
 Emphasize comfort with status quo
 Stress gains from cooperation
 Appeal to sympathy
Signaling Expectations and
Leverage
◼ Strong Hand
 Make confident demands and credible threats
 Reveal your BATNA and its strength
 Downplay other’s BATNA
◼ Indicate you intend to be flexible to build goodwill
Stage 3: Opening and Making
Concessions
◼ Never make the first
concession
 You may accidentally
make a low-ball offer
◼ Open optimistically
Open With High Expectations
◼ The Contrast Principle: They feel relief that
final deal is not as bad as your opening
offer
Concessions
◼ Conserve concessions, later is better than
early
◼ Concede on minor points first
◼ Tit-for-tat concessions are not necessary
◼ Demand to get something for everything
you concede
Stage 4: Closing the Deal
◼ Deals are close when
both parties believe
the other has made
all concessions
possible
Stage 4: Closing Deals
◼ The Scarcity Effect: The more scarce we
think something is becoming, more
motivated to pursue it
 Translates into more concessions
 Push panic button
Stage 4: Closing Deals
◼ The Loss Aversion
Effect: Avoid
accepting loss when
already invested
 Amusement park
 After time in
negotiations, reluctant
to admit failure
 Over committed to
finishing
Soft Closing Techniques
◼ Make requests for closure
◼ Ask them about the problem
◼ Ask them to write up memorandum of
agreement
◼ Emphasize loss of benefits
◼ Split the difference on final issues
Hard Closing Techniques
◼ Impose deadlines
◼ The buyer’s crunch
◼ Take-it-or-leave-it

Conflicts That Can’t Be Resolved


Conflicts That Can’t Be Resolved
By Irving Kristol
September 5, 1997
AEI Website
Also printed in The Wall Street Journal, same date
Three more bombs went off in Jerusalem yesterday, killing at least six people and injuring more
than 165. The Islamic terrorist group Hamas claimed responsibility. Back in Washington, the
Clinton administration uttered the usual platitudes and talked of postponing Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright’s planned peace mission to the Middle East next week. But already the
administration is pondering ways to save the “peace process.”
Peace processes are proliferating all over the world, along with the violence that gave birth to
them. There is the Middle East peace process, of course, but peace processes are also at work
in the Cyprus conflict between Greeks and Turks, the Northern Ireland conflict between
Catholics and Protestants, the Korean conflict between Communists and non-Communists, the
Bosnian conflict between just about everyone, and in many other conflicts around the globe. Nor
are they limited to international conflicts. In the California Legislature a bill has been proposed
authorizing a Peace Process Task Force to oversee truces in gang warfare.
So many “peace processes” and so little peace! What’s going on?
Well, what’s going on is the familiar story of a social science theory being promoted to
politicians who find it an attractive and easy option. The theory in question is “conflict
resolution,” by now a venerable department of social psychology with some thousands of
“experts” who are happy to sell their services to foundations, government agencies or troubled
nations. Our State Department is thoroughly under the sway of this theory — aren’t diplomats by
training experts at conflict resolution? — and so is the United States Institute of Peace, whose
latest bulletin features a summary of a speech by Joseph Duffy, director of the U.S. information
Agency. It reads: “The new information technologies are transforming international relations,
opening up new possibilities for conflict prevention, management and resolution.”
Just how these technologies are to perform this task we are not told, nor is there any hint of why
they do not seem to be working effectively in all those peace processes under way. But the
basic idea of a “peace process” as a most desirable alternative to violent conflict is very
attractive to these enchanted by the therapeutic approach to all of life’s problems. It is equally
attractive to political leaders who perceive it as a way of “doing something nice” without really
doing anything.
Still, it is hard to find a peace process that has accomplished anything, anywhere. That is
because “conflict resolution” is itself a rather pompous, high-sounding theory with a very skimpy,
simple-minded psychological basis. The axiom of this theory is that harmony among human
beings is more natural than conflict — no original sin here! — and that if only we can get the
parties in conflict to talk to one another, the level of “mistrust” will decline and mutual
understanding increase, until at some point the conflict itself will subside. It is thinkable that
such an approach to marriage counseling might in some cases be productive, but its extension
to the level of statecraft, or to any conflict between collective entities, is an extreme case of
academic hubris.
When collective entities clash, it is usually because their interests are at odds. Mediation may in
some instances be helpful. But mediation and conflict resolution are two different things. Conflict
resolution focuses on the psychological attitudes prevalent within the two entities, and tries to
reform them. Mediation focuses on the interests at issue, tries to envisage a settlement
minimally satisfactory to both parties, and then aims to persuade them to move to such a
settlement. A crucial difference between mediation and conflict resolution is that the former has
a compromise as its limited goal, where the latter has “better trust and understanding” as its
goal, on the assumption that this will inevitably mark the end of conflict and the advent of pacific
harmony.
Mediation played an important role in bringing the recent United Parcel Service strike to an end.
One doubts very much that it resulted in “better trust and understanding” on either side. But the
sphere of conflict was limited at the outset — UPS did not wish to break the Teamsters union,
and the union had no desire to destroy UPS. A mediator in such a situation operates within a
fairly well-defined realm of possibilities, and hopes to nudge the contestants toward a realization
of one of these possibilities.
The reason the “peace process” gets nowhere in places like Northern Ireland and Cyprus is that
no mediator can envisage an end situation satisfactory to both parties. An expert in conflict
resolution can easily and always envisage a radical reformation of feelings, attitudes and
sentiments in the populations involved, so that the problem, as it were, resolves itself.
Unfortunately, he is not in possession of a therapy to create such a miracle.
The best publicized “peace process,” of course, is directed at Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs
in the Middle East. In this process, our State Department plays a crucial but muddled role. It is
in part a cool mediator, in part a fuzzy therapist in conflict resolution. Its step-by-step approach
is justified in terms of “building mutual trust,” but the nature and direction of these steps strongly
suggests that the department does indeed have an end in view. Unfortunately, it is not an end
ever likely to be acceptable to either Jews or Arabs, which is why it is best obscured by conflictresolution rhetoric.
It seems clear to any attentive observer that the “final solution” the State Department has in
mind is that Israel should return to its 1968 borders (perhaps with minor revisions) and the
Palestinians should have their own state on the West Bank. The tip-off came when the
Netanyahu government “leaked” a proposed map of the West Bank, based on something like a
50-50 partition. It was the first time an Israeli government ever publicly contemplated such a
partition, and a mediator, playing his traditional role, would have explored whatever possibilities
were inherent in this move. There is little doubt that the terms of any such partition were
negotiable. But the State Department never discussed this idea with the Arabs or the Israelis. It
simply ignored it as a distraction from the “peace process.”
But it is extremely doubtful that Israeli public opinion, whatever Israeli party is in office, will ever
accept the State Department’s ideal solution. It would pose too many obvious problems for
Israel’s military security. The only reason the Arabs launched their war in 1968 was because
Israel’s geography — with the middle of the country only 13 miles wide — made it seem so
vulnerable. Israelis have no desire to return too that status quo.
The Arabs would surely be happy to accept the State Department’s goal — but for how long?
The Palestinian media, and Palestinian leaders speaking to their own people in their own media,
have given clear signals that their goals have a further reach: sharp limits on Israeli immigration,
return of an unspecified number of Arab refugees, even the dismantling of a specifically Jewish
state. The State Department is dismissive of such rhetoric, since it would render hopeless the
dream of an eventual “conflict resolution.” But there is plenty of evidence that the Palestinians
are not so dismissive, which is why the State Department has never asked the Palestinian
leaders explicitly to disavow such an agenda. And neither are the Israelis, listening to this
rhetoric on Arab radio and reading it in Arab newspapers, so dismissive. How can they be?
The only reason the Mideast “peace process” gathers so much attention is because of American
leverage over Israel, which has produced results. In fact, these results only reveal the “peace
process” to be another name for an appeasement process, whereby Israel makes concessions
and Arabs simply demand more. But that cannot go on much longer, as Israeli patience has
pretty much reached the end of its tether. The Mideast “peace process” is fated to end in a
stalemate, just like the Northern Ireland, Cyprus and all the other “peace processes.”
Perhaps this will persuade the State Department there really is a difference between the art of
diplomatic mediation and the social science of “conflict resolution.” On the other hand, perhaps
not.
Mr. Kristol , an American Enterprise Institute fellow, coedits The Public Interest and publishes
The National Interest.
Two Kinds of Agreement
Consensual Agreement: Shared interpretation of an event, activity, proposal, or person.
Similar to the term “mutual understanding” from the WSJ article.
The bank attempted to communicate its interpretation of customers and selling through a series
of video tape vignettes. These portrayals implied that customers were fraught with financial
problems and naïve about bank services created to solve these problems. In one vignette, for
example, a family was talking in their living room about a recent overdraft charge at the bank.
The family consisted of father, mother, a son in his mid-201, and his fiancée. The father was
quite upset about the overdraft charge:
Father: I was at the bank this afternoon to check out that overdraft charge we got—we
have never had an overdraft charge. But after I complained to the teller, he told me
about his overdraft protection plan that they have. Now he really solved a problem for
me.
Fiancée: That’s the kind of serve we’ve been looking for all day.
Mother: Well, if you ask me, that young man at the bank did you a big favor. That’s what
real service is!
Father: You bet it is. I honestly didn’t know they offered that service.
Mother: It makes me wonder how many other services we don’t know about.
This story frames the customer as convenience seeking, but naïve about bank services. The
tape implies that lack of information prevents customers from consciously shopping for bank
services, but that customers would become conscious shoppers if they had the proper
information.
On the basis of the frame of customer naïveté, the tape then frames sales as purely informative
talk that makes customers aware of bank services. In the middle of the above vignette, the
narrator broke in to emphasize that selling is equivalent to providing information.
Narrator: [speaking to her trainees on the video tape] You aren’t here just to handle
transactions. You sell services crucial to our bank. You are the leading edge of our sales
team.
Trainee: I was just trying to help Mr. Jones. I didn’t know I was the leading edge of a
sales team.
Narrator: [Sales] is a perfectly natural thing to do if you want to help somebody. . .First
though, we are all in agreement that making a sale is helping a customer.
In this dialogue, the narrator emphasized that making a sale is equivalent to “helping a
customer” and was, therefore, “a perfectly natural thing to do.” This was an attempt to reduce
teller anxiety about the intrusiveness of selling by framing customers as naïve and sales as
informative rather than persuasive talk.
If the organization was to reduce the conflict about the intrusiveness of selling, the tellers had to
adopt the company’s beliefs that customers are naïve and that selling is informative talk rather
than intrusive pushing.
Contractual Agreement: An implicit or explicit exchange between people. It occurs when one
person’s ability to perform a pleasurable act depends on someone else’s willingness to concede
something. Furthermore, the first person’s concession has the function of eliciting the other
person’s concession.
1
2
Person A
Person B
Write a Book
A1
Print a Book
B1
A2
Royalties
B2
Profit
= Concession
= Pleasurable act
= “is followed by”
At the bank:
Tellers
Sell Services
A1
A2
$10.00 an hour
Bank
Pay Salaries
B1
B2
Increased Sales
To continue receiving their salary, tellers complied as best they could, with the sales quotas.

Conflicts That Can’t Be Resolved


Conflicts That Can’t Be Resolved
By Irving Kristol
September 5, 1997
AEI Website
Also printed in The Wall Street Journal, same date
Three more bombs went off in Jerusalem yesterday, killing at least six people and injuring more
than 165. The Islamic terrorist group Hamas claimed responsibility. Back in Washington, the
Clinton administration uttered the usual platitudes and talked of postponing Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright’s planned peace mission to the Middle East next week. But already the
administration is pondering ways to save the “peace process.”
Peace processes are proliferating all over the world, along with the violence that gave birth to
them. There is the Middle East peace process, of course, but peace processes are also at work
in the Cyprus conflict between Greeks and Turks, the Northern Ireland conflict between
Catholics and Protestants, the Korean conflict between Communists and non-Communists, the
Bosnian conflict between just about everyone, and in many other conflicts around the globe. Nor
are they limited to international conflicts. In the California Legislature a bill has been proposed
authorizing a Peace Process Task Force to oversee truces in gang warfare.
So many “peace processes” and so little peace! What’s going on?
Well, what’s going on is the familiar story of a social science theory being promoted to
politicians who find it an attractive and easy option. The theory in question is “conflict
resolution,” by now a venerable department of social psychology with some thousands of
“experts” who are happy to sell their services to foundations, government agencies or troubled
nations. Our State Department is thoroughly under the sway of this theory — aren’t diplomats by
training experts at conflict resolution? — and so is the United States Institute of Peace, whose
latest bulletin features a summary of a speech by Joseph Duffy, director of the U.S. information
Agency. It reads: “The new information technologies are transforming international relations,
opening up new possibilities for conflict prevention, management and resolution.”
Just how these technologies are to perform this task we are not told, nor is there any hint of why
they do not seem to be working effectively in all those peace processes under way. But the
basic idea of a “peace process” as a most desirable alternative to violent conflict is very
attractive to these enchanted by the therapeutic approach to all of life’s problems. It is equally
attractive to political leaders who perceive it as a way of “doing something nice” without really
doing anything.
Still, it is hard to find a peace process that has accomplished anything, anywhere. That is
because “conflict resolution” is itself a rather pompous, high-sounding theory with a very skimpy,
simple-minded psychological basis. The axiom of this theory is that harmony among human
beings is more natural than conflict — no original sin here! — and that if only we can get the
parties in conflict to talk to one another, the level of “mistrust” will decline and mutual
understanding increase, until at some point the conflict itself will subside. It is thinkable that
such an approach to marriage counseling might in some cases be productive, but its extension
to the level of statecraft, or to any conflict between collective entities, is an extreme case of
academic hubris.
When collective entities clash, it is usually because their interests are at odds. Mediation may in
some instances be helpful. But mediation and conflict resolution are two different things. Conflict
resolution focuses on the psychological attitudes prevalent within the two entities, and tries to
reform them. Mediation focuses on the interests at issue, tries to envisage a settlement
minimally satisfactory to both parties, and then aims to persuade them to move to such a
settlement. A crucial difference between mediation and conflict resolution is that the former has
a compromise as its limited goal, where the latter has “better trust and understanding” as its
goal, on the assumption that this will inevitably mark the end of conflict and the advent of pacific
harmony.
Mediation played an important role in bringing the recent United Parcel Service strike to an end.
One doubts very much that it resulted in “better trust and understanding” on either side. But the
sphere of conflict was limited at the outset — UPS did not wish to break the Teamsters union,
and the union had no desire to destroy UPS. A mediator in such a situation operates within a
fairly well-defined realm of possibilities, and hopes to nudge the contestants toward a realization
of one of these possibilities.
The reason the “peace process” gets nowhere in places like Northern Ireland and Cyprus is that
no mediator can envisage an end situation satisfactory to both parties. An expert in conflict
resolution can easily and always envisage a radical reformation of feelings, attitudes and
sentiments in the populations involved, so that the problem, as it were, resolves itself.
Unfortunately, he is not in possession of a therapy to create such a miracle.
The best publicized “peace process,” of course, is directed at Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs
in the Middle East. In this process, our State Department plays a crucial but muddled role. It is
in part a cool mediator, in part a fuzzy therapist in conflict resolution. Its step-by-step approach
is justified in terms of “building mutual trust,” but the nature and direction of these steps strongly
suggests that the department does indeed have an end in view. Unfortunately, it is not an end
ever likely to be acceptable to either Jews or Arabs, which is why it is best obscured by conflictresolution rhetoric.
It seems clear to any attentive observer that the “final solution” the State Department has in
mind is that Israel should return to its 1968 borders (perhaps with minor revisions) and the
Palestinians should have their own state on the West Bank. The tip-off came when the
Netanyahu government “leaked” a proposed map of the West Bank, based on something like a
50-50 partition. It was the first time an Israeli government ever publicly contemplated such a
partition, and a mediator, playing his traditional role, would have explored whatever possibilities
were inherent in this move. There is little doubt that the terms of any such partition were
negotiable. But the State Department never discussed this idea with the Arabs or the Israelis. It
simply ignored it as a distraction from the “peace process.”
But it is extremely doubtful that Israeli public opinion, whatever Israeli party is in office, will ever
accept the State Department’s ideal solution. It would pose too many obvious problems for
Israel’s military security. The only reason the Arabs launched their war in 1968 was because
Israel’s geography — with the middle of the country only 13 miles wide — made it seem so
vulnerable. Israelis have no desire to return too that status quo.
The Arabs would surely be happy to accept the State Department’s goal — but for how long?
The Palestinian media, and Palestinian leaders speaking to their own people in their own media,
have given clear signals that their goals have a further reach: sharp limits on Israeli immigration,
return of an unspecified number of Arab refugees, even the dismantling of a specifically Jewish
state. The State Department is dismissive of such rhetoric, since it would render hopeless the
dream of an eventual “conflict resolution.” But there is plenty of evidence that the Palestinians
are not so dismissive, which is why the State Department has never asked the Palestinian
leaders explicitly to disavow such an agenda. And neither are the Israelis, listening to this
rhetoric on Arab radio and reading it in Arab newspapers, so dismissive. How can they be?
The only reason the Mideast “peace process” gathers so much attention is because of American
leverage over Israel, which has produced results. In fact, these results only reveal the “peace
process” to be another name for an appeasement process, whereby Israel makes concessions
and Arabs simply demand more. But that cannot go on much longer, as Israeli patience has
pretty much reached the end of its tether. The Mideast “peace process” is fated to end in a
stalemate, just like the Northern Ireland, Cyprus and all the other “peace processes.”
Perhaps this will persuade the State Department there really is a difference between the art of
diplomatic mediation and the social science of “conflict resolution.” On the other hand, perhaps
not.
Mr. Kristol , an American Enterprise Institute fellow, coedits The Public Interest and publishes
The National Interest.

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