Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis & Resolution


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Dustin D. Berna

Second Advisor

Neil H. Katz

Third Advisor

Judith McKay


Conflict Resolution in the Workplace, Cost of Neglect & Mismanagement, Organizational Conflict, Peace & Conflict Studies, Workplace Conflict


AbstractWorkplace conflict has become part of our everyday work life for many years, from retail shops to office buildings, and it can occur for many different reasons. Research has shown that employees spend most of their lifetime in the workplace and that unsolved conflict is one of the costliest aspects of an organization. These conflicts should be addressed and resolved promptly by management. With the rise of workplace conflict, the literature suggests that a more powerful attack to resolve that conflict is warranted. This Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) study explored the experiences of workers and the effect the conflict had on the employee. The theoretical frameworks applied in this study are systems theory and organizational culture theory. The critical research questions set out to answer were to identify the impact on the participants and how they made sense of the workplace conflict within their organization. This dissertation outlines a qualitative framework with open-ended questions based on original data collected through interviews with current organizational employees. The participants were the key areas of emphasis in structuring this study. Fourteen participants from one organization were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. The main objective was to highlight the importance of addressing workplace conflict. The results revealed there are areas of opportunity to enhance management training.