Toward a Theory of Managing Organizational Conflict

International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 13, No. 3, 2002

30 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2003


The management of organizational conflict involves the diagnosis of and intervention in affective and substantive conflicts at the interpersonal, intragroup, and intergroup levels and the styles (strategies) used to handle these conflicts. A diagnosis should indicate whether there is need for an intervention and the type of intervention needed. In general, an intervention is designed (a) to attain and maintain a moderate amount of substantive conflict in nonroutine tasks at various levels, (b) to reduce affective conflict at all levels, and (c) to enable the organizational members to select and use the appropriate styles of handling conflict so that various situations can be effectively dealt with. Organizational learning and effectiveness can be enhanced through an appropriate diagnosis of and process and structural interventions in conflict.

Keywords: Theory, Conflict Management, Effectiveness

JEL Classification: M10

Suggested Citation

Rahim, M. Afzalur, Toward a Theory of Managing Organizational Conflict. International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 13, No. 3, 2002, Available at SSRN: or

M. Afzalur Rahim (Contact Author)

Western Kentucky University ( email )

1 Big Red Way
Bowling Green, KY 42101-3576
United States

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