Product Cover Image

Personal Conflict Management: Theory and Practice, CourseSmart eTextbook

By Suzanne J. McCorkle, Melanie J. Reese

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jun 19, 2009

More Product Info


Personal Conflict Management utilizes a modernized theory/skill approach to interpersonal conflict, placing equal emphasis on the theoretical and practical.


Supporting the notion that there is not one correct approach to conflict management, and utilizing the authors’ shared experiences as mediators and organizational facilitators, this text demonstrates the value of collaborative models for resolving conflict and the necessity and benefits in understanding competitive approaches. Through the inclusion of both competitive and cooperative theories, the authors present contrasting perspectives of conflict management.


Beginning with an introduction to conflict, the text examines the major approaches and theories of conflict management. Following a discussion of the causes and variables which exist within conflicts, the skills necessary for conflict management are analyzed, including listening, the ability to seek information, the importance of understanding personality types and behavior patters, negotiation, and conflict assessment. The final two sections of the text take the reader beyond the basics, exploring the difficulties encountered in conflict management, the aftermath to a conflict, and conflicts in context, applying the theoretical concepts to everyday situations.


Written in an academic yet reader-friendly style, this textbook is enjoyable and thought-provoking for both students and instructors. Case studies, examples, essay suggestions, discussion questions, etc support an interactive environment that optimizes learning opportunities. Instructors will find these features useful in the development of classroom discussions and assignments, while students will benefit from the opportunity to examine their own conflict behavior and enhance their skills in conflict management. 

Table of Contents

Section I: Interpersonal Conflict Causes and Patterns


Chapter 1: Conflict in Everyday Life

Why Study Conflict

General Assumptions about Interpersonal Conflict

Beneficial Aspects of Interpersonal Conflict

Defining Interpersonal Conflict

Interpersonal Conflict is Different from Argument


Chapter 2: Major Approaches to Conflict Management

The Purpose of Theory

Nature vs. Nurture

Communication Theory

Theories Influencing Conflict Management Studies  

Emerging Theories


Chapter 3: Competitive and Cooperative Approaches

The Competitive Approach

The Cooperative Approach

When Worlds Collide

Supportive and Defensive Climates


Chapter 4: Causes of Conflict

Conflict Topics are Not Necessarily Conflict Causes

Conflict Behaviors Are Motivated by Reasons that Make Sense

Conflict Behaviors are Learned

Goal Interference Causes Conflict

Perception Patterns Affect How Goals Are Interpreted

Goals are Dynamic

Skills to Enhance Goals Analysis and Development


Chapter 5: Interpersonal Conflict Variables

Variables in Interpersonal Conflict

Conflict Management Variables

Sources of Conflict Patterns


Section II: Conflict Management Skills


Chapter 6: Listening and Seeking Information

An Introduction to Listening

Types of Listening

Effective Listening Skills for Conflict Managers


Chapter 7: Styles and Behavior Patterns

What is Style?

Personality Styles

Conflict Management Styles

Communication Behaviors that Affect Conflict Management

Emotional Intelligence

Functional vs. Dysfunctional Styles


Chapter 8: Negotiation

The Worlds of Negotiation

Competitive Negotiation

Cooperative Negotiation

Moving from Competitive to Collaborative

Additional Negotiation Variables


Chapter 9: Conflict Assessment

Understanding Conflict from the Inside Out

Conflict Assessment: First Level Tools

Conflict Assessment: Comprehensive Conflict Checklist

Concept-Based Analysis Tools

Creating an Analysis Tool

Transformation is the Key


Section III: Beyond the Basics


Chapter 10: Difficult People and Bullies

An Overview of Difficult Encounters

Critical Lessons About Difficult Encounters

Specific Difficult Encounters

Bullying and Violence


Chapter 11: Moving Beyond Self Help

Approaches to Solving Conflict

Conflict Coaching

Third Party Resolution Processes


Mediator Responsibilities

Mediator Approaches

The Balanced Model of Mediation


Chapter 12: Managing the Aftermath: Anger, Apology, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation






Section IV: Conflict in Context


Chapter 13: Family Communication and Conflict

The Family as a Communication System

What is a Family?

Satisfaction in Marriages and Families

Conflict in the Family

Conflict Management Skills for Families


Chapter 14: Conflict at the Workplace

The Workplace is a Unique Context

Workplace Communication

The Nature of Groups

Conflict in the Work Setting

Preventing and Managing Conflict at Work

Group Conflict

Conflict Management Systems


Chapter 15: Conflict and Society

Politics as Personal

Values, Beliefs, and Attitudes

Identify (Face) Threats


Means of Managing Social Conflict

Strategies of Group Movements

Reframing Social Conflict



A: A Six Step Method for Managing the Difficult Person Encounter

B: The University Chain of Command

C.: The Meeting Manager

S Essential Skills to Prevent and Moderate Conflict

D: A Lifetime of Predictable Conflicts

E: Sample Mediation Case

F: Media and Family Conflict





Purchase Info ?

With CourseSmart eTextbooks and eResources, you save up to 60% off the price of new print textbooks, and can switch between studying online or offline to suit your needs.

Once you have purchased your eTextbooks and added them to your CourseSmart bookshelf, you can access them anytime, anywhere.

Buy Access

Personal Conflict Management: Theory and Practice, CourseSmart eTextbook
Format: Safari Book

$38.99 | ISBN-13: 978-0-205-65919-7