Trust and managing conflict : partners in developing organizations

Dean William TJOSVOLD, Man Kei, Paulina WAN, Moureen M.L. TANG

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Although conflict and trust have often been considered incompatible, recent studies indicate that managing conflict cooperatively and trust can reinforce each other. This chapter uses recent research to understand how cooperative goals strengthen trust and how trust promotes open-minded discussions that help protagonists resolve their conflicts constructively. These open-minded discussions very much contribute to making industrial relations practices effective. Trust is defined as expectations that another person will promote one’s goals. Cooperative goals strengthen trust as collaborators understand that they can promote their own goals by helping others reach their goals. Trust is critical for fostering open-minded discussions that result in strengthened relationships and mutually beneficial resolutions. In contrast, competitive goals are a basis for suspicious expectations that fosters closed-minded interaction that in turn results in fragmented relationships and deadlock or imposed decisions. Considerable research identifies various strategies that managers and employees have to develop cooperative goals, trust, and open-minded discussions. Then they are empowered to manage their conflicts directly and constructively with each other as they resolve their grievances, negotiate compensation, and in other ways strengthen the work relationships between employees and managers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBuilding Trust and Constructive Conflict Management in Organizations
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9783319314730
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


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