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Article

Robert J. Robinson and Raymond A. Friedman

Misunderstanding, or misconstrual, is a major exacerbating factor in conflict escalation and an impediment to negotiation and resolution. Laboratory work has identified…

Abstract

Misunderstanding, or misconstrual, is a major exacerbating factor in conflict escalation and an impediment to negotiation and resolution. Laboratory work has identified characteristic errors of construal which partisans make in assessing the views of their opponents. This paper examined whether these same phenomena could be observed in a traditional real‐world conflict, that between trade unions and management. In two studies, union representatives and managers reacted first (in Study 1) to an actual contract negotiation that the two sides were involved with, and then to a hypothetical unjust act. Results revealed that the two sides indeed display many characteristic errors of construal. Specifically, union representatives underestimated management concern for harmful acts against workers, or management's sincere wish to negotiate in good faith within financial constraints, and were generally highly suspicious of management motives and intentions toward workers. Managers saw union representatives as unreasonable, and greatly overestimated union militancy and unwillingness to accept extenuating circumstances. Negotiations will be greatly improved if such misconstruals can be exposed and debunked prior to, or during negotiations.

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International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article

Robert J. Robinson

After the Mandela government took power in 1994 in South Africa, one of its highest priorities was providing power to the impoverished rural areas, and particularly the…

Abstract

After the Mandela government took power in 1994 in South Africa, one of its highest priorities was providing power to the impoverished rural areas, and particularly the infrastructure‐poor black “townships.” In addition to a scarcity of resources, multiple stake‐holders with very different agendas were integrally a part of the decision‐making process. To this extent, what happened with the electricity industry is a metaphor for the multiple issues—social, economic, and political—which had to be negotiated by the new society. The multiple stake‐holders were brought together in a “Forum,” a non‐regulatory advisory body which was designed to specifically include all relevant interested parties in an open (“transparent”) problem‐solving process. This forum system was extensively used in the 18–24 months immediately before and after the 1994 elections to deal with a host of issues. The National Electricity Forum (NELF) was one of the earliest and most successful of these forums. This case reviews the build‐up to the 1994 elections, describes how the forum process worked, and outlines its structure.

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International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article

Raymond A. Friedman and Robert J. Robinson

Current research on justice has found that perceptions of injustice are reduced when harm‐doers provide an explanation or “account” of their actions. We question whether…

Abstract

Current research on justice has found that perceptions of injustice are reduced when harm‐doers provide an explanation or “account” of their actions. We question whether these findings generalize to everyone in organizations. In particular, we predict that responses to unjust acts and social accounts about them will differ for those in organizations who have less power and for those who are “in‐group” to the victim. We test this prediction by replicating Bies and Shapiro's study of causal accounts, using union subjects as well as managerial subjects, and constructing a scenario in which the victim is a worker and another in which the victim is a manager. As expected, union subjects were more angry about unjust acts than were managers. Counter to our expectations, all subjects perceived an act to be more unjust when the victim was a worker than when the victim was a manager. As in previous studies, an account reduced feelings of injustice, except in one situation: among those of lower power (union reps) who evaluated acts that hurt members of their own group (i.e., a worker), an account did not reduce their sense of injustice for the victim, even though it did reduce blame at the harm‐doer.

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International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article

Dacher Keltner and Robert J. Robinson

There is a tendency for opposing partisans to ideological disputes to imagine that their opponents are extremist, biased, and in diametric opposition to themselves. The…

Abstract

There is a tendency for opposing partisans to ideological disputes to imagine that their opponents are extremist, biased, and in diametric opposition to themselves. The current investigation examined the role of these imagined ideological differences in face‐to‐face negotiations. Experiment 1 examined the problems that develop when negotiators attend to irrelevant ideological differences. Dyads who were made aware of political differences, even imagined ones (i.e., their political views were actually similar), required more time to allocate hypothetical funds and perceived their partner less favorably than did dyads who were unaware of their political differences. Experiments 2 and 3 tested the hypothesis that ideological opponents who acquire accurate information about their counterpart's beliefs (thus reducing the effects of imagined ideological differences) will have more successful negotiations. Opposing partisans to abortion (Experiment 2) and the death penalty (Experiment 3) reached more comprehensive, integrative agreements and perceived each other more favorably when they disclosed their own views to each other before negotiating. The relevance of these findings to other mediation techniques and real world conflicts was discussed.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Book part

Paul A. Pautler

The Bureau of Economics in the Federal Trade Commission has a three-part role in the Agency and the strength of its functions changed over time depending on the…

Abstract

The Bureau of Economics in the Federal Trade Commission has a three-part role in the Agency and the strength of its functions changed over time depending on the preferences and ideology of the FTC’s leaders, developments in the field of economics, and the tenor of the times. The over-riding current role is to provide well considered, unbiased economic advice regarding antitrust and consumer protection law enforcement cases to the legal staff and the Commission. The second role, which long ago was primary, is to provide reports on investigations of various industries to the public and public officials. This role was more recently called research or “policy R&D”. A third role is to advocate for competition and markets both domestically and internationally. As a practical matter, the provision of economic advice to the FTC and to the legal staff has required that the economists wear “two hats,” helping the legal staff investigate cases and provide evidence to support law enforcement cases while also providing advice to the legal bureaus and to the Commission on which cases to pursue (thus providing “a second set of eyes” to evaluate cases). There is sometimes a tension in those functions because building a case is not the same as evaluating a case. Economists and the Bureau of Economics have provided such services to the FTC for over 100 years proving that a sub-organization can survive while playing roles that sometimes conflict. Such a life is not, however, always easy or fun.

Details

Healthcare Antitrust, Settlements, and the Federal Trade Commission
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-599-9

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Article

Stuart Hannabuss

The management of children′s literature is a search for value andsuitability. Effective policies in library and educational work arebased firmly on knowledge of materials…

Abstract

The management of children′s literature is a search for value and suitability. Effective policies in library and educational work are based firmly on knowledge of materials, and on the bibliographical and critical frame within which the materials appear and might best be selected. Boundaries, like those between quality and popular books, and between children′s and adult materials, present important challenges for selection, and implicit in this process are professional acumen and judgement. Yet also there are attitudes and systems of values, which can powerfully influence selection on grounds of morality and good taste. To guard against undue subjectivity, the knowledge frame should acknowledge the relevance of social and experiential context for all reading materials, how readers think as well as how they read, and what explicit and implicit agendas the authors have. The good professional takes all these factors on board.

Details

Library Management, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article

Laurie Larwood, Sergei Rodkin and Dean Judson

The need to maintain up-to-date technological skills despite an aging workforce makes it imperative that organizations increasingly focus on retraining older employees…

Abstract

The need to maintain up-to-date technological skills despite an aging workforce makes it imperative that organizations increasingly focus on retraining older employees. This article develops an adult career model based on the acquisition of technological skills and gradual skill obsolescence. The model suggests the importance of retraining and provides practical implications to the development of retraining programs. Suggestions for future research are also offered.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 4 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article

D.P. O'Brien

In 1933 two books on competitive structure were published. One, extracted from a Harvard PhD filed six years earlier, dealt with the workings of the competitive process…

Abstract

In 1933 two books on competitive structure were published. One, extracted from a Harvard PhD filed six years earlier, dealt with the workings of the competitive process. Seeking not to supplant, but to supplement Marshall, this book by E. H. Chamberlin focused on an effort involving the use of a diagrammatic apparatus to highlight certain fundamental relationships between variables in the competitive process. It did not analyse real firms but nor did it attempt to pretend that such were irrelevant, and to concentrate on positions of competitive equilibrium only. It dealt with problems of arrival at equilibrium, false trading, and a whole variety of issues relevant to an actual competitive process. Supervised by Allyn Young, it drew on a wide range of references and showed evidence of the kind of thorough scholarly preparation which has always been characteristic of the best American PhDs.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

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Book part

Kristie M. Young, William W. Stammerjohan, Rebecca J. Bennett and Andrea R. Drake

Psychological contracts represent unofficial or informal expectations that an individual holds, most commonly applied to an employer–employee relationship. Understanding…

Abstract

Psychological contracts represent unofficial or informal expectations that an individual holds, most commonly applied to an employer–employee relationship. Understanding psychological contracts helps explain the consequences of unmet expectations, including increased budgetary slack and reduced audit quality. This chapter reviews and synthesizes accounting behavioral research that discusses psychological contracts and that was published in academic and practitioner journals in the areas of financial accounting, management accounting, auditing, taxes, non-profit organizations, accounting education, and the accounting profession itself. Despite the prevalence of psychological contracts in the workplace and the applicability to behavioral research, accounting literature remains limited regarding applications of psychological contracts. This chapter aggregates research across all areas of accounting to provide suggestions for use of psychological contracts in future research and thus create a connected research stream.

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Article

Paul Nieuwenhuysen

The following bibliography focuses mainly on programs which can run on IBM microcomputers and compatibles under the operating system PC DOS/MS DOS, and which can be used…

Abstract

The following bibliography focuses mainly on programs which can run on IBM microcomputers and compatibles under the operating system PC DOS/MS DOS, and which can be used in online information and documentation work. They fall into the following categories:

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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