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Good Conflict, Bad Conflict

Most people recognize conflict based in personality differences or communication problems. It is harder to identify conflict based in organizational structure, group culture and impinging outside forces. Part of what makes these other sources of conflict difficult to identify is the fact that they are expressed by people while engaging with one another, and perhaps misunderstanding each other. In an essay on the Alban Institute website, David R. Brubaker explores the various causes of conflict, points out the benefits conflict can bring to an organization, explores the notion of an “optimum level of conflict” and suggests that leaders model an appropriate conflict culture. Following the essay are suggested resources for a better understanding of conflict and how to harness it for the benefit of your organization.

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