This paper reviews the human resource management literature on the management of workplace conflict. It suggests that workplace conflict is commonly viewed in the literature as a symptom of management failure: the notion that conflict may be intrinsic to the nature of work because employees and managers have hard-to-reconcile competing interests is given short-shrift. At the same time, the paper identifies important differences in the literature, which the authors call ‘pathways’, about the best methods to manage problems at the workplace. It is argued that four contrasting pathways can be detected in the literature with regard to how organizations approach workplace conflict management practices. Each pathway is examined fully and their respective strengths and weaknesses are assessed.
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- Queen's Management School - Senior Lecturer
- Centre for Not-For-Profit and Public-Sector Research