The Nature of Adaptivity: A Theoretical Discussion
16 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2009 Last revised: 11 Nov 2009
Date Written: June 15, 2009
The ability to adapt and maintain behavioral flexibility in conflict situations may be a key way to avoid destructive interpersonal conflicts and ensure the greatest individual satisfaction with conflict processes and outcomes. Adaptivity is implicit in many theoretical discussions but is rarely refined and operationalized. This paper seeks to move towards this goal, providing a theoretical discussion of the nature of adaptivity, what specifically the construct is, and what its antecedents may be. This discussion is guided by, and integrated with, concepts and propositions from a current line of dynamical research looking at the interplay of power and interdependence in conflict situations (Coleman, Bui-Wrzosinska, & Nowak, 2008). The paper explores how an individual may be adaptive in situations of varying power asymmetries and types of goal interdependence and presents key outcomes for this theory.
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