Every organization generates chronic conflicts, and mediators are increasingly being asked to resolve these conflicts, provide conflict coaching, assist with organizational change, and redesign the systems, structures, relationships, processes, and "conflict cultures" that contribute to costly, chronic, and intractable conflicts.
As a result of the pandemic, increasing demands for diversity, and significant economic, political, and environmental upheaval, organizations are experiencing rapid shifts and deep transformations in the nature and experience of work, and the expectations of employees, customers, and society as a whole. These shifts are generating new and systemic forms of conflict that present fresh challenges and opportunities for mediators, coaches, consultants, and conflict resolvers everywhere.
This book was designed to assist aspiring mediators and organizational leaders in developing skills in conflict resolution and systems design, and to aid schools, community groups, small businesses, non-profits, corporations, labor unions, social justice organizations, government agencies, and political advocacy groups, as well as couples and families, in preventing and resolving conflicts, and reducing their costs. It is based on the lectures and accompanying materials for a course the authors designed and teach at Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, in Malibu, California. The course provides practical frameworks for analyzing and mediating the emotional, interpersonal, and systemic sources of organizational conflict in public and private sector organizations, including corporations, government agencies, nonprofits, work teams, and family businesses. It assists participants in becoming organizational mediators and conflict coaches, and in developing and expanding their capacity to use facilitation, group dialogue, conflict resolution systems design, management theory, leadership and structural dynamics to resolve workplace conflicts. It helps mediators identify preventative and transformational opportunities and discover how to use conflicts to encourage systemic improvement, personal growth, organization learning, strategic change, emotional healing, forgiveness, and transformation.