Complaint handling on the shop floor : cooperative relationships and open-minded strategies

Dean William TJOSVOLD, Motohiro MORISHIMA, James A. BELSHEIM

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


This article focuses on the conflict-handling strategies for the conflicts between management and workforce. This article has presented a study which used the theory of cooperation and competition and recent research on open-minded interaction to specify conditions under which management and employees discuss their conflicts flexibly to develop mutually beneficial solutions. This theory of cooperative and competitive goal interdependence proposes the conditions under which protagonists engage in flexible, open-minded strategies that result in integrated solutions. The relationship between protagonists, in particular how they believe their goals are related, very much affects their interaction and, consequently. the probability of mutually beneficial solutions. According to this theory, conflict involves incompatible behaviors in that one person's behavior is interfering with, blocking, or in some other way making another's less effective. The study presented, has demonstrated empirically the utility of the theory of cooperation and competition to understand the critical practical industrial relations issues of complaint handling. It extended the theory and identifies practical ways to manage the industrial relations issue of informal grievance handling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-68
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Conflict Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999


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