Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution

Organizational Conflict Management Sector

Draft Report for

the Committee on Credentials, Competencies, and Qualifications (3CQ)

Concerning Conflict Management System Design



Written by Organizational Conflict Management Sector members:

Leah Borsa, Stephen Cheung, John Conbere, Rick Linden, Ellen Kabcenell Wayne



July 1999







Outline of Contents

Page Topic



2 Preface

3 Introduction

5 Competencies Needed For the Conflict Management System Design Process

7 Commentary on Knowledge

8 Commentary on Abilities

11 Commentary on Values and Beliefs

13 For Organizations - What To Look For

16 For Practitioners - How To Demonstrate Ability

16 For Students - How To Gain Knowledge And Experience

Appendices

18 Conflict Management System Planning Model

19 Draft Statement on The Ethical Standards Of Professional Responsibility Of Conflict Management System Designers



20 Information on Contributors



Preface



As members of SPIDR's Organizational Conflict Management sector and practitioners interested in organizational responses to conflict, we see variations in organizational attitudes to conflict. Some organizations have begun to change by attempting to create collaborative systems to prevent and resolve workplace conflicts. Others have avoided dealing with conflict. The result of this avoidance has often led to unnecessary financial costs or harm to employee morale and productivity.



The members of this committee represent different disciplines but share a common concern. That concern is to identify and publicize the most effective methods through which organizations can design and implement appropriate conflict management systems.



Our concern comes from our belief that a well-designed conflict management system will improve the lives of all persons in the workplace (managers, teams, all who are employed), improve productivity, and lessen unnecessary litigation and grievances. Indeed, we are convinced that in the increasingly interdependent and collaborative modern workplace, conflict management is an essential component for success. We work from the premise that a conflict management system should aim to prevent and encourage the early resolution of conflict whenever possible. Finally we are convinced that the effects of a well designed conflict management system will reach beyond employees to improve relationships with those with whom the organization interacts - customers, patients, venders, students, parishioners etc.



We have observed organizations that have tried to implement conflict management systems and failed to achieve the outcome for which they hoped. We realize that such failures may inhibit the willingness of others to attempt to find ways to manage conflict within the workplace in a healthy and constructive manner. We have also seen organizations implement conflict management procedures which fail to address many workplace conflicts between employees, usually because they are designed only to respond to conflicts between employee and management or company and consumer. These organizations, too, may be disappointed that conflict management is less effective than they had hoped. Resolving workplace conflict among peers is as important as resolving conflict between employees and managers.

We seek to set out guidelines that will help make organizations aware of efforts they should undertake and skills and knowledge they will need if they want to develop and implement a complete and effective system. In doing so we also outline what is required of practitioners and students.



Organizational change calls upon many disciplines, including but not limited to law, organization development, organizational psychology, human resources, negotiation theory, and management. Grafted onto these disciplines are concepts about conflict resolution which have developed into theories over the past three decades. The knowledge and skills required for carrying out complex change work is more than can be expected of an individual. We therefore conclude that a single designer/implementer ought to be strong in some areas, but must also be aware of needs in all areas so that he or she can enlist a team (internal and/or external) capable of bringing the necessary knowledge and completing all of the critical tasks.

Our attempt then is to assist in identifying and further developing competencies required for the successful design and implementation of conflict management systems in organizations.



Introduction

We intend this work to be used by three key audiences:

· Organizational Leaders - people in organizations who wish to create or improve a conflict management system, or who wish to hire someone to do the work and thus who want to know what criteria they should look for as they decide whom to involve and/or hire;

· Practitioners - persons within and without organizations who desire to provide expertise in creating conflict management systems. Our goal is to identify the knowledge and skills which ought to be mastered and demonstrated by a person or team of persons that undertake this work; and

· Students - anyone learning the work of designing and implementing conflict management systems.

Some definitions

When we talk about an Organizational Conflict Management System, we are concerned with:



· Conflict - we intentionally use the term "conflict" as a descriptor, rather than "dispute," because conflict is the broader, more encompassing term. Conflict is defined by Rubin, Pruitt and Kim (1994)(1) as a "perceived divergence of interest, or a belief that the parties' current aspirations cannot be achieved simultaneously." Disputes, on the other hand, are manifest disagreements, often following legal or quasi-legal or otherwise confrontational procedures (such as complaints, charges, grievances, and lawsuits). Conflict embraces all the differences between persons, whether or not they become disputes.

· Organizations - any sort of organization, including government, industrial, educational, ecclesiastical, not-for-profit, and so on. Organizations are self-identified, and conscious of being an organization.

· System - holistic and integrative, incorporates all aspects of an organization. To be effective, a conflict management system must be integrated into larger system.



· The process of design and implementation - a four step process, including the needs assessment; the planning and system design; the implementation of a working system; and the evaluation of the system both for improvement and to demonstrate effectiveness. Note that the process does not end - it is in a continual state of monitoring and improvement.

· Conflict Management System Designer - by this we mean the person or group that assists with or leads the design and implementation of a conflict management system or processes in an organization.



· Interest-based - in general we use "interest-based" to refer to processes in which the persons involved are encouraged to participate in a manner intended to empower them to identify and articulate their needs and desires, and which then work to satisfy these interests to the extent possible. (2)

· Rights-based - processes in which decisions about how to resolve conflict are made by deciding who is "right", typically on the basis of laws, rules or regulations rather than on the basis of the interests of those involved in the conflict.



· Power-based - processes in which someone is coerced to do something she or her would otherwise not so.

· Interest-based conflict management process - ones in which the parties directly involved (or their representatives) make decisions, with commitment to meeting the interests of each party. Principled negotiation and mediation are commonly used interest based processes.

· Participative design process - one in which participants are able to have a part in the shaping of the final product, and in deciding on what the final product will be. We use this term to mean what Costantino and Merchant called "interest-based design" and what Slaiku and Hasson call "using the mediation model to build consensus among decision makers and users"(3) .

· The conflict management system design process - Design incorporates all 4 steps illustrated below. The design process ought to be led by a team of persons, usually comprised of persons who are internal and external to the organization, and who together bring to the process the knowledge, abilities and knowledge required. We emphasize that the process is on-going. Organizations are dynamic, ever changing, and so conflict management systems must continually monitor and adapt.

1. Needs Assessment 2. Strategy,

(Problem identification) Action planning

4. Monitoring, 3. Implementation

Evaluation

Competencies needed for the Conflict Management System Design process



We have listed what we believe a) a design/implementation team ought to know, b) the abilities the team should possess, and c) the values and beliefs that are necessary for successful design and implementation work.





Knowledge



1. Understand the laws and regulations that have an impact on conflict management and on organizational functioning in areas related to conflict management.

2. Understand the organizational change process.



3. Understand the design and practice of training in the workplace, including adult learning theory.



4. Understand conflict resolution theory, principles and methods, particularly as they apply to the various conflict resolution mechanisms typically part of conflict management systems.

5. Be aware of current best practices in conflict management.



Abilities



1. Ability to manage organizational change.

2. Ability to conduct needs assessment (i.e. to discern the nature of the organizational needs).

3. Ability to design and conduct adult training.



4. Ability to design and conduct evaluation of program implementation.



5. Ability to facilitate groups and build consensus.



6. Ability to design a conflict management system (or to lead the design process).



7. Ability to work collaboratively.



8. Ability to assess the decision-making centers in an organization and to gain the support and cooperation of the key decision makers.



9. Ability to mediate, or to use a mediative process within groups.



10. Ability to design and implement communication strategies within organizations.



11. Ability to understand the culture of an organization and to work appropriately in the context of that culture.



12. Ability to identify and incorporate reinforcement mechanisms into the change process.



13. Ability to relate to and identify diverse groups of persons -- in the broadest sense of diversity. This includes race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, upbringing, class, occupation… etc. etc.



14. Ability to identify interest-based, rights-based and power-based processes which are in place at the time of the system design, and to integrate these into a conflict management system in an appropriate manner.



Values and Beliefs

We believe:



1. Conflict is inevitable and usually can be resolved constructively.

2. The use of a participative process for system design, where possible, is superior in its effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction for the parties involved.



3. Interest-based processes and rights-based processes need to be included in conflict management systems.



4. Interpersonal relationships are important in the workplace.



5. Leaders need to model the practices they want others to carry out.



6. The process of organizational change may present challenges and risks, but it can also provide a unique opportunity for building collaborative strength and a healthier, more participatory work environment.



Commentary on the Knowledge



1. Understand the laws and regulations that have an impact on conflict management and on organizational functioning in areas related to conflict management.



The relevant laws and regulations will depend on the jurisdiction (city, county, state, province, country, etc.) in which an organization functions, and on the persons who will use the system. Possible users include: employees and internal groups, clients or customers, vendors and/or competitors. Conflict management systems must be consistent with controlling legal frameworks



2. Understand the organizational change process.

The field of Organization Development focuses on the theory and practice of managing organizational change. The process includes contracting, needs assessment, the actual change process, and monitoring and evaluation which in turn lead to further change.



3. Understand the design and practice of training in the workplace, including adult learning theory.

An essential component of organizational change is the effective use of training. Training adults in the workplace involves expertise about how to assess needs, design and deliver training, and evaluate effectiveness. Poor training can sabotage organizational change efforts.

4. Understand conflict resolution theory, principles and methods, particularly as they apply to the various possible conflict resolution mechanisms which are typically part of conflict management systems.



Over the past two decades a growing amount of theory about conflict has been developed. Designers must understand this theory and keep up with new developments.



5. Be aware of current conflict management best practices.

Along with theory about conflict resolution, we expect conflict management system designers to keep up with the latest developments in systems design, i.e. with what is, and is not, working.



Commentary on Abilities



1. Ability to manage organizational change.

Organizational change is a difficult process to manage well. People and organizations tend to resist change. Understanding the culture of an organization, gaining the support and encouragement of organizational leaders, gaining the knowledge and participation of the majority of members of the organization, helping to identify the possible obstacles to change, ensuring that training is available to the organization, and creating systems to monitor and evaluate the change process are all aspects of managing organizational change. While we expect that the task is usually best performed by a team, the awareness of the components is absolutely essential for anyone in the position of managing organizational change.



2. Ability to conduct needs assessment.



Needs assessment, i.e. the process of accurately determining the nature of the problem an organization is having and describing its existing conflict processes, is an essential first step in organizational change. This leads to discerning what skills people need to be trained to do, and what other changes are necessary to achieve the goals of the change effort. Part of needs assessment is diagnosis of formal and informal structures within the organization, significant relationships among persons and groups, reward systems in place, and the style(s) of the leaders



3. Ability to design and conduct adult training.



Change efforts frequently call for participants to learn new concepts or skills. Training adults involves its own skills set. We believe that training ought to incorporate the concepts of adult learning theory. Also training should routinely be assessed to determine what is working well, and what needs improving.



4. Ability to design and conduct evaluation of program implementation.

Well designed systems incorporate processes to monitor and adjust them as needed. This is best practice. When monitoring and evaluation are built into a system from the beginning, the system works better because it picks up problems that can be corrected or processes that can be improved.



5. Ability to facilitate groups and build consensus.



Good facilitation and consensus building skills are critical for including stakeholders as partners in the design process as well as ways for a designer to model interest-based processes. Such modeling is particularly important for participants who doubt the value of interest-based processes. These participants often need to experience the effectiveness of these processes during the design of a conflict management system in order to accept and become advocates for that system once it is implemented.

6. Ability to design a conflict management system (or to lead the design process).



Experience has shown that a design process which is highly participative, allowing participants to share in contributions and decisions, has the best chance of being integrated into an organization. Designers should therefore use such processes whenever possible and should involve the organization and various stakeholders in the design process to the greatest possible extent.



7. Ability to work collaboratively.



The way one works teaches as much as anything else one does. Because creating conflict management systems has the potential to challenge some deep beliefs about conflict and appropriate conflict behavior, the designers must "walk the talk". The teaching about the new system begins when the designers start the needs assessment process, not when the formal training begins.



8. Ability to assess the primary decision-making centers in an organization and to gain the support and cooperation of key decision-makers.

Two critical elements of successful design work are: grass roots participation and strong leadership support. Thus the designer needs to be able to ensure that key decision-makers are supportive and actively cooperating when needed.



9. Ability to mediate, or to use a mediative process within groups.



Many persons in our cultures have been taught that the most effective and appropriate decision-making processes are rights-based, in which leaders make all major decisions because of the belief that their managerial or legal expertise will enable them to make the best decisions. As described above, however, experience and research suggest that organizational change frequently is more successful if conducted in an interest-based manner. Designers should be experienced in managing an interest-based process including mediation processes and to overcome the belief that rights-based decisions are the best and most effective way to design a system.



10. Ability to design and implement communication strategies within organizations.



Open communication is essential to interest-based processes. The designer must be aware of the communication needs and of ways to get those needs met. This is especially so in organizations in which employees or managers do not have high levels of trust.



11. Ability to understand the culture of an organization.



Each organizational culture is different, and the differences may result in differently designed conflict management systems. Systems that conflict with organizational culture generally will not be accepted and well-used in the long run. The designer needs to be able to understand the culture of an organization and then work within the boundaries of that culture.







12. Ability to identify and incorporate reinforcement mechanisms into the change process.



Designing a system is only part of the work. Getting people to use the system is another major task. Helping to identify and incorporate appropriate reward systems to reinforce new behaviors in conflict can be extremely important. Integrating skills and expectations about managing conflict can be included in the performance appraisal system.



13. Ability to relate to and identify diverse groups of persons -- in the broadest sense of diversity. This includes race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, upbringing, class, occupation… etc. etc.



Since organizations are becoming increasingly diverse, the ability to interact effectively and respectfully with persons from diverse backgrounds is essential. Further, the sensitivity to diversity is necessary to create conflict management systems which will be able to be safely used by all persons.

14. Ability to identify interest-based, rights-based and power-based processes which are in place at the time of the system design, and to integrate these into a conflict management system in an appropriate manner.



Since systems design work takes place either in an organization which has a history or processes (typically power-based and rights-based, and sometimes interest-based), one must identify the formal and informal practices that have been in place and integrate these into the new system in an appropriate manner. This implies that there are appropriate uses of each process, which we affirm.







Commentary on Values and Beliefs

We believe:



1. Conflict is inevitable and can be resolved constructively.



Conflict itself is a neutral event - it is neither good nor bad. Many people claim to agree with this proposition, but when conflict becomes difficult a belief emerges that conflict somehow is wrong and someone ought to be blamed or punished. Often this attitude is coupled with a deep belief that "real conflict" must conclude with "a winner and a loser". Changing the "win/lose-conflict will lead to blaming" mindset is part of the difficult work in conflict management system design.



A corollary of the belief that conflict is inevitable: We believe that conflict management systems are vibrant and dynamic processes which are ever changing and ever adaptive. This belief is illustrated on the process chart (see page 4) as the cyclic nature of the process, with monitoring and evaluation leading to new needs assessment, etc.



2. The use of a participative process for system design, where possible, is superior in its effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction for the parties involved.



If one is to assist an organization to design a conflict management system, the designer must be able to "walk the talk" of interest-based processes. A designer who presents her or himself as "the expert who will dispense the solution to an organization's conflict problems" will not be able to model a process which will engage members in the major organizational change which a conflict management system involves. In addition, as noted above, when one is working with people who do not believe in the value of interest-based processes, one has to be able to respond to the resistance with knowledge and experience. For example, we have seen instances in which conflict management systems have been designed well on paper, but the process left out some key decision-makers in the organization. Because of the failure to include these personnel, the resulting systems were not well used.



All of this is not to say that an interest-based process is always possible. We are saying designers must be able to work in a participatory manner when it is appropriate to do so.



3. Interest-based processes and rights-based processes need to be included in conflict management systems.

A well-designed conflict management system will have both interest-based and rights-options. Individuals with conflicts should be able to choose the methods of conflict resolution they believe will be most effective. We affirm that there are times when rights-based methods for resolving conflict will be the best method. However, conflict management systems in which interest-based options are not present are too limiting to be considered best practice.









4. Interpersonal relationships are important in the workplace.



Organizations are relying increasingly on teams and the exchange of information to function. From the organizational point of view, interpersonal relationships which are healthy and open will increase productivity. When interpersonal relationships are not fostered in an organization more and more employees are finding other employment, resorting to litigation and/or not working to their full capacity. Conflict management systems should be designed, to the extent possible, to encourage the development and maintenance of healthy and openly communicative interpersonal relationships.



5. Leaders need to model the practices they want others to carry out.



In the end, the goal of a conflict management system, especially one which emphasizes prevention and early resolution of conflicts, involves getting people to behave differently. Changing conflict behavior will be threatening for a large number of people. Thus part of the task of getting a conflict management system to work is getting people to take risks by responding differently in conflict. Experience has shown that it is far less likely that people will take such risks if leaders are not modeling the kinds of behavior they are asking employees to practice.



6. The process of organizational change may present challenges and risks, but it can also provide a unique opportunity for building collaborative strength and a healthier, more participatory work environment.

Organizational change is difficult. Organizations resist and try to maintain their original condition. Today's work climate calls for more collaboration and more employee empowerment. Organizations that can rise to the challenge of change can be stronger and more productive, retaining employees for longer periods of time and avoiding the strains of unmanaged conflict and the unnecessary costs of litigation.



For Organizational Leaders: what to look for



Organization of all kinds can benefit from the prevention and early resolution of conflict. The following factors are important for the successful development of a conflict management system:



1. Is the organization ready to seriously consider change? More often than not pain is the fulcrum that levers an organization towards creating or improving a conflict management system. Leaders with creative vision can move an organization, but we believe that pain is more often the impetus for change.

2. Are leaders ready to listen? If not, then the change effort s much more likely to achieve moderate results which may, in the long run, be ignored.



3. Do you have the right people to assist in designing and implementing a conflict management system? Rarely will this be a single individual, because of the wide-ranging nature of the knowledge and skills required. Those persons leading the effort can be internal staff, external consultants or a mixture of both. The need is for the team collectively to have the knowledge and skills listed above. A checklist for evaluating consultants is included in the appendix.

In order for an organization to be able to make informed decisions about conflict management systems, someone in the organization ought:



· To recognize the potential value of designing and implementing a conflict management system.



· To be aware of the knowledge and skills required to design and implement a conflict management system.



· To know how to find people who have the knowledge, skills, and experience designing and implementing a conflict management system.































Checklist for Evaluating Consultants



When looking for a consultant, internal or external, look for demonstration of the following knowledge, skills and abilities. We recommend that you consider training and experience, as well as the project proposal and interviews. Consultants need not be expert in each area, but they ought to be familiar with each, and also be to provide a design team with experts who will supplement their own knowledge and abilities.



Does a consultant have the relevant knowledge? Specifically, does the consultant:

1. Understand the laws and regulations that have an impact on conflict management and on organizational functioning in areas related to conflict management in your organization?

2. Understand the organizational change process?

3. Understand enough about the design and practice of training for adults to insure that training which comes as a part of designing or implementing the conflict management system meets the standards of best practice?



4. Understand conflict resolution theory, principles and methods, particularly as they apply to possible methods which might be appropriate for your organization?

5. Know of recent conflict management best practices (i.e. keep up with developments in conflict management)?

Does the consultant have the relevant skills? Specifically, can the consultant:



1. Lead the organizational change process?

2. Conduct needs assessment (i.e. discern the nature of the organizational needs)?

3. Design and conduct adult training?



4. Design and conduct evaluation of program implementation?



5. Facilitate groups?



6. Design a conflict management system (or to lead the design process)?



7. Work collaboratively (or in an interest-based manner)?



8. Assess the decision-making centers in an organization and gain the support and cooperation of the key decision makers?



9. Mediate conflicts, or to use a mediative process within groups?



10. Design and implement communication strategies within organizations?



11. Adapt or tailor the conflict management system design process to the culture and needs of your organization?



12. Model the behaviors about conflict which the consultant asks others to emulate?



13. Identify and incorporate into the change process appropriate and effective elements of reinforcement (e.g. rewards, performance appraisal)?



Does the consultant bring to the design process conviction that conflict management is important, and passion for the work? Specifically, does the consultant believe:

1. That conflict can be resolved constructively (at least more often than not)?

2. In the importance and advantages/benefits of interest-based or collaborative process?



3. That interest-based processes need to be emphasized in conflict management, and that design through an interest-based process is superior in its effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction for the parties involved?



4. That interpersonal relationships are important in the workplace?



5. That leaders need to model the practices they want others to carry out?



6. That while the process of organizational change may present challenges and risks, it can also provide a unique opportunity for building collaborative strength and a healthier, more participatory work environment?









































For practitioners - how to demonstrate ability



There are several abilities that need to be demonstrated for a practitioner to become recognized as having expertise in designing and implementing a conflict management systems.



Practitioners are encouraged to review the "Checklist for evaluating consultants" in the appendices, and to make sure that proposals, resumes and/or vitas contain the pertinent information.

For students - how to gain knowledge and experience



How does one learn the knowledge and skills listed above, and how does one gain experience?



A careful inventory of one's knowledge and skills is the starting point. One can use the lists above to assess where one stands.



Gaining experience can be challenging. Few organizations choose to be test sites for people to practice new skills, at least not if there is no back-up to ensure a reasonable level of quality. Thus we recommend a mentoring program be explored as a means of providing SPIDR members with experience. This would include:



· finding persons who are experienced in designing and implementing conflict management systems who would be willing to take on the role of mentor,

· publicizing the opportunity for mentoring, and



· matching persons interested in mentoring with mentors.



We define a "mentor" as one who guides by sharing knowledge from experience. There are various methods for mentoring people. We expect that each has value, and the key for a student may be to have a deliberate agreement to be assisted in one of these ways. Methods include:



· Work as an apprentice. This means one works directly under the guidance of someone experienced in designing and implementing a conflict management system.

· Have an on-going arrangement to work under the advice of someone experienced in designing and implementing a conflict management system. This might include receiving instruction, and direction as one works.



· Have an on-going arrangement with someone experienced in designing and implementing a conflict management systems who will give feed-back on work-in-progress and/or to be a resource who can be called upon as needed.



· Work on a team with more experienced practitioners.





Appendices:



1. Conflict Management System planning model

2. Draft Statement on the Ethical Standards of Professional Responsibility of Conflict Management System Designers



3. Contributors















































































Conflict Management System Planning Model

(Used by the Canadian Department of National Defense - DND)



Phase 1: Identify and Describe Problems and Needs

Gather information about DND and its organization. (This will include such things as: base/wing structure at pilot sites; relationships between military/civilian; mechanisms for disseminating information; enough knowledge of structure to ensure program is supported)

Gather information about conflict management problems in DND. This will be used as part of the needs analysis and will also provide the baseline data for program monitoring and evaluation.

Prepare an inventory of existing and proposed mechanisms of conflict management within DND

Prepare a conflict management needs assessment

Product: DND Conflict Management Needs Assessment



Phase 2: Develop an Action Plan (in this case, for the pilot projects)

In the specified locations, need to define the units and structures within which the pilot projects will be implemented

Select the individuals who will be involved in the planning and implementation of the pilot projects

Pilot system design - need to select the specific program structures and methods to be used

Determine the goals and objectives of the program

Based on training needs, set training program standards

Prepare a work plan

Product: Action Plan for Each of the Pilot Sites



Phase 3: Carry Out the Action Plan

Obtain support for the program. An important component of this will be the communication plan.

Conduct training for those selected at each pilot site

Establish operating procedures at each pilot site. This will include developing a system describing how individuals can access the program

Deliver the program

Product: Implemented Program



Phase 4: Monitor and Evaluate the Program

Monitor the program's implementation

Evaluate the program's impact

Write an evaluation report

Product: Information to determine whether the program has been properly implemented, if it should continue, and how it should change.









SPIDR- Organizational Conflict Management Sector



Draft Statement on the Ethical Standards of Professional Responsibility

of Conflict Management System Designers*



SPIDR Members and Associates are involved, among other initiatives, in designing conflict management systems for organizations. The Organizational Conflict Management Sector of SPIDR proposes the following as general guidelines for the ethical standards of professional responsibility of system designers.



Systems designers have a duty to the clients, to the profession, and to themselves to be diligent, to act in good faith, and not seek to advance their own interests at the expense of the client. Designers should only accept responsibility where they have sufficient knowledge regarding the design and subject matter to be effective and efficient.



Systems design practitioners are to conduct themselves in a professional manner and to demonstrate a high level of competency in their work, as discussed in greater detail below. Systems designers are to demonstrate honesty, integrity, and the exercise of good judgement in their work. Further, systems designers are to exhibit an open and unbiased approach to the clients and other stakeholder groups. Systems designers are to maintain information about the client in confidence, unless directed otherwise.

Practitioners are also responsible to explain their role and basis of compensation, fees, and charges at the outset of the project. They are to keep their clients regularly informed of developments and challenges throughout the duration of the initiative. As systems design generally entails a team approach, practitioners have an obligation to work together collaboratively and keep each other informed throughout the duration of the project.



As the SPIDR Ethical Standards of Professional Responsibility states, "All advertising must honestly represent the services to be rendered. No claims of specific results or promises that imply favor of one side over another for the purpose of obtaining business should be made. No commissions, rebates, or other similar forms of remuneration should be given or received by a neutral for the referral of clients."



Finally, system design practitioners have a responsibility to maintain and improve their professional knowledge and skills. More experienced practitioners should participate in mentoring new practitioners in the field and engage in efforts to educate the public about the value and use of conflict management system design. Where appropriate, practitioners should provide pro bono services.





* based in part on SPIDR's Ethical Standards of Professional Responsibility









Contributors to this document



The committee is composed of members of the Organizational Conflict Management Sector of SPIDR.



Leah Borsa is a consultant in conflict management systems design (CMSD). Since receiving her Masters of Arts in Public Policy and Public Administration in Montreal, Canada, Leah has provided expertise and strategic advice in CMSD to organizations. Leah is currently serving as Project Manager for the dispute resolution (DR) system implementation at the Parks Canada Agency, and recently wrote a best practices study for the Department of National Defense/ Canadian Forces (DND/CF) featuring DR initiatives at 20 Canadian Federal Government organizations. Telephone: (613) 241-5566. E-mail: leah_borsa@pch.gc.ca.



Stephen Cheung. is a consultant in organizational development and structuring based on conflict management, a facilitator, arbitrator and mediator as well as an instructor in conflict management and dispute resolution. He obtained LL.B. (Hons) and LLM, degrees from the University of London and engaged in postgraduate studies at The University of Michigan and Harvard University. He holds Chartered Mediator (C.Med.) and Chartered Arbitrator (C.Arb.) designations from the Arbitration and Mediation Institute of Canada, and appointment of Chartered Arbitrator (Registered Arbitrator) from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of London, England; of which he is also a Fellow. (FCIArb). He holds Adjunct Faculty appointments with the University of Windsor and Wayne State University teaching conflict management, dispute resolution and law. He is President of Conflict Management Consultants, Inc, which provides full conflict management and dispute resolution services. He is also a lawyer and practices business and tax law with his own firm, Cheung & Associates. He is a member of the Bars of Ontario and Manitoba; and the Law Societies of England and Wales and Hong Kong. Address: Suite 468, 1720 Howard Avenue, Windsor, Ontario, N8X 5A6. Telephone: (519) 977-5100. Fax: (519) 253-6161. E-mail: scheung@conflictmanagement.com.

John Conbere is an organization development consultant who specializes in transforming conflict in organizations. He works with staff in conflict, mediates, trains mediators and helps organizations shape their conflict management systems. Conbere earned an M.Div. from Episcopal Divinity School, and an M.Ed. (Training and Development) from the University of Minnesota. He is an adjunct faculty member of the University of Minnesota in the Human Resources Development department. Address: John Conbere & Associates, Inc., 12633 Parkwood Drive, Burnsville, MN 55337. Telephone: (612)-894-7919. Fax: (612) 890-1677.

E-mail: jconbere@ix.netcom.com.



Rick Linden is Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean of Arts at the University of Manitoba. As a reserve Major-General he has been involved in the implementation of a conflict management program in the Canadian Armed Forces. He has Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Washington and has received training in negotiation at the Harvard Law School. Address: University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3T 2N2. Telephone: (204) 474-8457. E-mail: rlinden@cc.umanitoba.ca.





Ellen Kabcenell Wayne is an organizational consultant, mediator and facilitator in the Washington, DC area. She received a J.D. from the University of North Carolina and practiced employment discrimination law extensively prior to earning an M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. Her practice includes advising organizations on conflict management issues and evaluating programs. Address; 804 Beverley Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302. Telephone: (703) 683-6030. E-mail: E.K.Wayne@worldnet.net.

1. 1 Jeffrey Z. Rubin, Dean G. Pruitt, & Sung Hee Kim. Social Conflict. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1994.

2. 2 The language of interest-based, rights-based and power-based is taken from Getting Disputes Resolved, William L. Ury, Jeanne M. Brett & Stephen B. Goldberg. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass. 1988.

3. 3 Cathy A. Costantino & Christina Sickles Merchant. Designing Conflict Management Systems. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 1996. Karl A. Slaiku & Ralph H. Hasson. Controlling the Costs of conflict. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 1998.