The theme of this keynote address is conceptual puzzles raised by empirical research on conflict management and resolution. Three types of puzzles are highlighted: those that deal with processes, identities, and situations. The process puzzles include some counter‐intuitive implications of negotiating strategies and interaction process dynamics. The identity puzzles include the ways in which identity is negotiated, perceptions of ingroups and outgroups, and the connection between loyalty to groups and collective action. The situation puzzles address attribution issues, the distinction between passive actors and active agents, and the role of history. An attempt is then made to juxtapose the puzzles toward a larger conception of a field that emphasizes change in the phenomena we analyze in research and shape through practice. A number of these ideas are found also in the research of previous IACM lifetime award recipients, with whom connections are made.
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