This course addresses the issue of conflict from two positions: (1) through an examination of the causes, processes, costs, and benefits of social conflict; and (2) by offering methods for conflict resolution. From a management perspective, the role of conflict in organizations will be approached by studying management structures and organizational hierarchies for the ways they produce various types of conflict. Using sociological theory and research, this course will address the relationship of social issues--e.g., difference and inequality, power and corruption-- to organizational and institutional conflict. Understanding that conflict can signal either a disruption in the operation of an organization or an opportunity for change and growth, this course will provide students with a broad-based perspective for making conflict an asset organizationally and interpersonally. The latter part of the semester will be devoted to methods for conflict resolution, including 25 hours of coursework needed for conflict mediation certification through a variety of certification options. Students will have the foundation to pursue an apprenticeship with a conflict mediation or dispute resolution center.
WST 332: Conflict Management and Mediation