Unit #7: CLASS PROJECT
Reading Assignment: Hocker, Joyce and William Wilmont, "Comprehensive
Assessment Guides," Interpersonal Conflict, William. C. Brown
Publishers, Dubuque, Iowa, 1985, pp. 149-156.
The first step toward dealing successfully with conflict is to understand
the conflict situation. A very useful strategy for doing this involves preparation
of a conflict map. Perhaps the best currently available article describing
this mapping process is the chapter in Hockner and Wilmont's book which
we have assigned. It should be very helpful in completing the class project.
Writing Assignment (To be submitted for evaluation):
Unit #7: CLASS PROJECT- 34%
The final component of the course is a major class project that asks you to apply the general ideas that you have learned to a real world conflict. Here you have three choices. You can apply the ideas learned in the class to an actual conflict in which you are involved and then report the results. (How well did things work or not work? Why?) The second possibility is for you to systematically observe an ongoing conflict in your community, reporting how the conflict is being handled and the results of that approach. You should also make recommendations suggesting more constructive ways of handling the issue. Finally, you can do an in-depth case study based upon library research addressing the same basic questions.
Regardless of which option you choose, you need to begin your report with a conflict map identifying the issues, the stakeholders, and other important information. For more information on how to prepare these maps see the chapter from the Hockner and Wilmont book included in the readings.
As a further guide you should consider addressing the following questions. These questions are based upon the topics raised in the Burgess article on constructive confrontation which you read for Unit #4. You can refer to this article for a more complete discussion of the meaning of the terms. In considering these questions, please feel free to disregard those that are not applicable or, even, very important. Concentrate your efforts on those important aspects of the conflict that really seem to be making a difference.
- What are the core issues?
- Who are the parties?
- What, if any, framing problems have arisen? How might they be limited?
- What, if any, fact-finding problems have arisen? How might they be limited?
- What, if any, procedural problems have arisen? How might they be limited?
- What, if any, misunderstandings have arisen? How might they be limited?
- Has escalation emerged as a problem? How might it be limited?
- What alternatives to a negotiated agreement do the parties think that they have?
- What efforts are the parties making to persuade their opponents to change their mind?
- What negotiation efforts are being pursued? Could be pursued?
- How do you thank that the conflict could be handled more constructively?
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