5th Edition

Managing Conflict in Organizations

By M. Afzalur Rahim Copyright 2023
    342 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    342 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Managing Conflict in Organizations introduces the origins, forms, benefits, and consequences of organizational conflict to students and practitioners and teaches how best to manage conflict to achieve productive outcomes. Conflict has benefits: it may lead to solutions to problems, creativity, and innovation. In contrast, little or no conflict in organizations may lead to stagnation, poor decisions, and ineffectiveness.

    This book is a vigorous analysis of the rational application of conflict theory in organizations for organizational behavior students, as well as practitioners looking to practice constructive conflict management in their work. This fifth edition has been thoroughly updated to reflect the latest research in the field and explains the effect that research has on practice, with an expanded range of practical examples and cases.

    It covers emergent topics such as:

    • Differentials in conflict management styles across generations
    • Technology and its effect on conflict style changes
    • Cross-cultural studies and diversity

    This text is a valuable resource for students, instructors, and researchers in human resource management and organizational behavior, and a practical handbook for practitioners that manage (or manage upward) their colleagues.



    1 Social Conflict Construct

    Contributions from Various Disciplines

    Organizational Conflict

    2 Nature of Conflict

    Defining Conflict

    Threshold and Grey-Zone Conflicts

    Conflict and Competition

    Classifying Conflict

    Styles of Handling Interpersonal Conflict

    3 Organizational Learning and Effectiveness

    Nature of Organizational Learning

    Types of Learning

    Nature of Organizational Effectiveness

    Characteristics of the Old Paradigm

    Problem Solving

    Conflict Management in the New Paradigm

    4 Conflict-Management Design

    Nature of Conflict Management

    Contingency Approach

    Conflict Management Process

    5 Intrapersonal Conflict

    Types of Intrapersonal Conflict


    Role Conflict

    Role Ambiguity

    A Model of Role Conflict and Ambiguity

    Consequences of Role Conflict

    Managing Intrapersonal Conflict

    6 Interpersonal Conflict

    Prisoner's Dilemma

    A Model of Conflict

    Consequences of Interpersonal Conflict


    Managing Interpersonal Conflict

    Conflict- Management Styles in a Global Setting

    7 Intragroup Conflict

    Types of Groups

    Effects of Intragroup Conflict

    Managing Intragroup Conflict

    8 Intergroup Conflict

    Dynamics of Intergroup Conflict

    Effects of Intergroup Conflict

    Managing Intergroup Conflict


    9 Ethics and Morality

    Ethics and Morality Defined

    Behavioral Perspectives for Conflict Management

    Ethical Evaluation of Conflict Management

    Ethics and Leadership Structure

    Four Methods of Discourse

    General Appropriateness of the Methods

    Practical Methods and Conflict Management Styles

    Stages of Moral Development

    Empirical Study on Stages and Styles

    10 The Measurement of Conflict

    Development of the ROCI– I

    Development of the ROCI– II

    Sample Items of the ROCI– I and ROCI– II

    New Measurements Scales that are being Developed

    11 Epilogue

    A Design for Managing Conflict

    Appendix A: Cases

    Case 1: Allen Manufacturing Corporation

    Case 2: New Employee at the Credit Union

    Case 3: Minnis Service

    Case 4: The Hormel Strike at Austin, Minnesota

    Appendix B: Exercises

    Exercise 1: Contract Building

    Exercise 2: Technique of Role Analysis

    Exercise 3: Job Design

    Exercise 4: Transactional Analysis

    Exercise 5: Managing Interpersonal Conflict

    Exercise 6: Team Building

    Exercise 7: Intergroup Problem Solving

    Exercise 8: Organizational Mirroring

    Exercise 9: Analysis of Task Interdependence


    Author Index

    Subject Index


    M. Afzalur Rahim (Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh) is a University Distinguished Professor of Management, emeritus, and Hays Watkins Research Fellow, Western Kentucky University. He is also the Founding Editor of Applied Management Journal (formerly Current Topics in Management) and is the founder of the International Journal of Organizational Analysis, International Journal of Conflict Management, International Association for Conflict Management, International Association for Applied Management (formerly International Conference on Advances in Management), and Bangladesh Academy of Business Administration. Dr. Rahim has 25 edited books and five for which he is the sole author. He has published 75 journal articles, 53 book chapters, and presented over 100 papers at various conferences. The published works involve 70 different coauthors. He has also produced onemanuals and 16 measurement instruments. In the organizational sciences Dr. Rahim has over 16,900 Google citations. His articles were published, among others, in the Academy of Management Journal, Intelligence, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, and Multivariate Behavioral Research. His current research interests are in the areas of cross-cultural conflict management, leaders’ emotional, cultural, and social intelligence.