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Organizational Innovators: A Study of Workplace Intra-Employee Conflict Management Strategies

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[Excerpt] Whilst the issue of intra-employee conflict is clearly one that impacts today’s organization, it is less clear how this conflict is addressed and resolved in contemporary workplaces. Previous research has often treated workplace conflict as homogeonous, but it is important that different conflicts should be treated separately (Jehn and Bendersky 2003). The purpose of this article is to contribute to our understanding of the management of conflict in the workplace by examining this under-researched form of conflict and perhaps more importantly how organizations address this prevalent form of workplace dispute, if they do so at all. Soecifically, by examining the diffusion of policies that address intra-employee conflict within Wales we aim to reveal the antecedents of this emerging form of conflict resolution. The article also considers which type of policies these organizations are using to address this form of conflict. A review of intra-employee conflict resolution mechanisms is important because whilst there is an understanding of the nature of intra-employee conflict itself and also the impact of such conflict on workplace practices, there is little systematic knowledge of the manner in which such conflict is addressed in organizations. Thus, the following research questions are considered: Who are the firms which introduce intra-employee of conflict management policies? What practices are being used to address intra-employee conflict? The article finds that there are particular types of firms often with a distinctive HR approach, which can be considered ‘organizational innovators’ in this area. The research also observes that organizations seem to adopt policies to address intra-employee conflict to fit in with a broader high performance or even unitarist approach to the management of HR.

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conflict management; intra-employee conflict; conflict resolution


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conference papers and proceedings

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