This paper is your chance to
apply the ideas we talk about to an organizational
conflict that you have been involved in. Choose
a conflict or “fight” you had recently as part of your
membership in a workplace or other
organization. It is preferable to choose
one that was frustrating and/or that failed to solve
the problem at hand. Organize the
paper into the following sections, using the
following section headings, exactly as they appear
I. The Conflict: Explain what the conflict
was about. Although this is the section of the
paper that will appear first, it’s actually the
section that you should write last, as explained below
Approach: Was the conflict handled in
a distributive or integrative manner? What
specific things that the parties did or said lead you
to this conclusion? If distributive, how could
the parties have handled this conflict in an
Positions and Interests: What were
each side’s positions and interests? What
specific things could they have done to integrate
their interests? Would this have been desirable
or not? Why?
Third-Party Intervention: Did any third-parties
attempt to intervene in the conflict? Who were
they? Were they managers, "unofficial
peacekeepers," or outsiders? What did they try
to do in their intervention? Which, if any, of
the behaviors associated with manager-intervenors
(handout in class) or of "unofficial peacemakers"
(Kolb, as discussed in class) did they engage
in? On balance, did they make the situation
better or worse? Why? If none, would a
third-party have helped? Why or why not?
Your goal is to demonstrate that you understand and
can apply these concepts
. As with the
first two response papers, generalizations will not lead
to good papers. Support any assertion you make with a
specific example from your interaction. When I read the
paper I should be able to "see" the communication
interaction to which you're referring. Try to
remember exactly what people said and did as best you
The best papers
will also be grammatically correct, and free of
spelling and punctuation errors.
The essay should be between three and five pages in
length. It should be typed (double spaced,
margins of 1" all around, font no larger than
12). It should also be stapled.
Hints for success for this paper:
•Make sure you do
everything called for in these directions.
•Don’t wait to do this!
Take your time, and use the services of the Writing Center if you
•You are encouraged to
show me a draft in person and to ask questions about
this assignment either in person or via e-mail.rs.
One additional hint for success: You might
find it helpful to write Sections II through IV
before you write your description of the conflict in
Section I, even though the description will appear
first in the final draft of your paper. That
way, you need only include in the description those
facts that are necessary to your reader’s
understanding of your answers to the questions.
required to produce a communication major portfolio,
this paper can serve as evidence under for the
learning objectives "Be able to articulately explain
communication concepts and theories relevant to your
major" and "Be able to explain, evaluate and apply the
processes involved in productive conflict."
© 2001-2016 Irwin Mallin
15 November 2016