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Conflict Management and Resolution in Intercultural Business Environment

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Course type:
Elective course
4 year, 2 module


Course Syllabus


Conflicts are everyday occurrences in people's lives, social groups and international relations. In all historic times, in all cultures, groups and countries, the quest for peace has been ongoing. Costs incurred because of conflicts are very high: human suffering, economic losses and moral degradation. The efforts made by humankind to live in peace give us insight to accomplish real results, transform conflicts and manage them positively. This course in conflictology presents empirical knowledge and insight on conflict resolution, transformation, mediation and management, for conflicts of all importance, be they interpersonal, intercultural or global, as well as helps to give future professionals knowledge and build skills in conflict management.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Learning Objectives • to acquaint students with the subject, categorical system, the basic theoretical and practical problems of modern conflict resolution • to learn how to apply conflict management skills in practice.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Knowledge of current theories of conflictology, the nature of conflict as special characteristics of social interaction, the main forms of conflict management
  • Ability to recognize typical conflict situations, as well as the specificity of their occurrence in the course of their professional activity as specialists in intercultural communication
  • Skills in performing primary analysis and interpretation of culture’s actions in a conflict situation
  • Ability to recognize typical conflict situations, as well as the specificity of their occurrence in the course of their professional activity as specialists in intercultural communication
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Topic 1. Introduction to Course.
    To get acquainted with the Course Objectives, Outcomes, Reading List, Grading System
  • Topic 2. The Nature of Conflict & Conflict Escalation.
    The notion and definition of conflict. Object, subject and structure of conflict. Classification (typology) of conflict.
  • Topic 3. Perspectives on Conflict Sources.
    Sources, causes and objectives of conflict. The concept of objective and subjective reasons. Spatial, temporal and social boundaries of the conflict as a specific changing conditions of its occurrence. Process and the dynamics of the conflict. Functions of the conflict and their dual character. Assessment of positive and negative effects of conflict.
  • Topic 4. Warning and Forecasting Conflict.
    The Role of Information in predicting conflict. Stages and methods of predicting the conflict. The concept maps of the conflict, its structural elements (H. Cornelius, S. Fair). Conditions of conflict prevention. Technology to prevent conflict.
  • Topic 5. Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, and Group conflicts: typology and specific forms of development.
    Concept and the main types of interpersonal conflict. Causes and sources of intrapersonal conflicts and forms of their manifestation. Consequences. The role of conflict in the formation and development of personality. Factors and indicators of intrapersonal conflict. The concept of frustration and its role in conflict. Factors and mechanism for resolving personal conflict. Exploring the role of emotion in conflict transformation (Jameson, 2009). The concept, types and causes of interpersonal conflict. Managing interpersonal conflicts. Interpersonal conflicts and their specificity. Specificity of individual behavior in the conflict. Areas of manifestations of interpersonal conflict and their specificity. Mobbing in social interaction. Group conflict and its variants: "identity group" and "group -group". Causes of group conflicts and their classification. Ways to manage group conflict. Consequences of the conflict in the group. Forms of intergroup conflict: discussions, strikes, rallies, meetings, demonstrations, meetings of leaders.
  • Topic 6. Behavioral styles in conflict.
    Strategy for the conduct of parties to the conflict. The concept of style of conflict behavior. Characteristics of the main styles of behavior in conflict situations: Confrontation (rivalry, domination), avoidance (avoidance, withdrawal), the adaptation (assignment), compromise and cooperation. Situation and the factors helping to select the style of behavior in specific situations. Specificity and limits of use of existing styles of behavior in the conflict.
  • Topic 7. Conflict management: stages, forms of intervention.
    Theoretical foundations of conflict management. Management and resolution of social crises and conflicts: the definition of basic concepts - regulation, resolution, management, prevention, minimization of impacts. Compromise and consensus. Integrative solution to the modern way of conflict resolution. Factors for choice of strategy "win win". Third Party Intervention.
  • Topic 8. Power & Identity.
    Silence and the dynamics of power. Voice and silence in organizations
  • Topic 9. The negotiation process.
    The negotiation process as a form of conflict management. Types and kinds of negotiations. Direct negotiations (Dzh.Porter): concept, content, procedure. Factors determining the possibility of negotiations. The main stages of the negotiation process (V. Mastenbruk). Errors of the negotiation process: organizational, behavioral, and communication. Basic principles of effective discussions. Negotiating styles. The influence of national cultural and personal factors on the negotiation process. Methods of identifying and neutralizing manipulative techniques in the negotiations.
  • Topic 10. Negotiation Activity & Reflection.
    Negotiation Reaction
  • Topic 11. Mediation as a form of conflict management.
    The concept of mediation. Factors to choose the form of mediation in the conflict. Mediation (mediation) as a way of resolving conflicts. Advantages and disadvantages of mediation. Types of mediation. Principles and rules of mediation. Function of a mediator (an intermediary). Stages of mediation. Requirements for the mediator. Ethical problems of mediation. Mediation in modern Russia.
  • Topic 12. Mediation Activity & Reflection.
    Mediation Reaction
  • Topic 13. Forgiveness & Reconciliation.
    Moral foundations of forgiving in the workplace.
  • Topic 14. The influence of culture on conflict resolution.
    Genesis of intercultural conflicts; importance of understanding cultural differences; analysis of the dynamics of intercultural interactions; frameworks and barriers present in intercultural interactions.
  • Topic 15. Final Class.
    Final Projects
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Participation
    Participation grades will be based on a combination of teacher’s evaluation of your in-class participation which requires doing the assigned home reading as well as a series of randomly assigned in class writing exercises that ask you to reflect on the given problem. Not blocking, cannot be resat.
  • non-blocking Graded papers
    Conflict Analysis Paper, Mediation Activity & Reaction Paper, Negotiation Activity & Reaction Paper.
  • non-blocking Group Presentations
    Presentations will be assigned according to the topic discussed. Not blocking, cannot be resat.
  • non-blocking Final project
    Groups will be created based on the context of interest (i.e., family, groups, organization, community, international, etc.) Groups will choose a conflict case that they believe requires instant resolution and explore how the conflict is being managed and/or how it should be managed and make an oral presentation to the class. Not blocking, cannot be resat.
  • non-blocking Exam
    The exam will be held in the written format during the exam week. The exam will comprise five questions. Sample exam questions: 1) What are the major characteristics of the main styles of behavior in conflict situations? 2) Which ethical problems does mediation face? 3) What is the influence of national cultural and personal factors on the negotiation process?
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.4 * Exam + 0.1 * Final project + 0.2 * Graded papers + 0.1 * Group Presentations + 0.2 * Participation


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Brubaker, D., Noble, C., Fincher, R., Park, S. K., & Press, S. (2014). Conflict Resolution in the Workplace: What Will the Future Bring? Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 31(4), 357–386. https://doi.org/10.1002/crq.21104

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Stephan Proksch. (2016). Conflict Management. Springer. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.b.spr.mgmtpr.978.3.319.31885.1