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Culture and Conflict Management

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1 Culture and Conflict Management

2 Definitions of Culture
“Particular practices and values common to a population living in a given setting” (Ross) “Complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, laws, customs. . .acquired by man as a member of society” (Tylor) “Derivative of experience, more of less organized, learned or created by individuals of a population, including those images. . . and their interpretations, from past generations, contemporaries, or formed by themselves” (Schwartz)

3 Organizational Culture (Schein)
Patterns of behavior Guided by deep, shared beliefs about what is right what works Created by people working together who solve two types of problems: survival and working together Influenced or imposed by the founding leader

4 Symbols as Culture Symbols embody an organization’s culture- the interwoven pattern of beliefs. Values, practices, and artifacts that define for members who they are and how they are to do things.

5 Culture Questions Is culture causal vs adaptive, situational, flexible, unequally distributed ? (Avruch) Can culture be used as an analytic framework? Do other needs override cultural responses?

6 Definitions of Conflict
Objectivist: “struggle over values and claims to scarce status, power, and resources in which the aims. . .are to neutralize, injure, or eliminate the opponents” (Cosner) Subjectivist: “Perceived divergence of interest or belief that parties’ current aspirations cannot be achieved simultaneously” (Pruitt) Functional: resolve divergent dualisms, bring about unity (Simmel)

7 Origins of Conflict Inherent (Hobbes) to the individual
Contingent on factors outside the person

8 Origins of Conflict Interactionist
Human beings have needs, needs will be pursued by all means available, but the social setting limits the degree to which they are satisfied and the means by which they are satisfied (Burton) Eight needs: response, security, recognition, stimulation, distributive justice, meaning, rationality, control

9 Origins of Conflict Social Constructionist
Conflict is a socially constructed cultural event; conflict emerges through an interactive process based on the search for and creation of shared meaning; individual common sense and accumulated experience are the basis of how they create and respond to conflict; culture is rooted in shared knowledge and schemes (Lederach)

10 Implications for Conflict Management

11 Culture Frameworks Matter
Individualistic/independent vs Collective/interdependent Ethos (Hofstede) Low context vs high context communication (Hall) Monochronistic (one thing and one person at a time; addressing immediate issues and moving on; haste) vs polychronistic (handle several tasks in parallel; pervasive sense of the past; steadiness) sense of time (Hall) Low vs high context negotiating style ( man determines his own environment for his own purposes vs man adjusts himself to it; negotiation as end vs episode in long-term relationship) (Kinhide) From Cohen, Negotiating across Cultures

12 Beyond Culture ? Problem-Solving Workshops (Burton)
Getting to Yes: Interest-Based Negotiation (Fisher and Ury)

13 From Cultures Elicitive Training vs Prescriptive Training (Lederach)
“Aimed at discovery, creation, and solidification of models that emerge from the resources present and respond to needs in that context” Real life stories

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