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Journal cover: International Journal of Conflict Management

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Online from: 1990

Subject Area: Management Science/Management Studies

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Competitive and cooperative conflict communication climates: The influence of ombuds processes on trust and commitment to the organization


Document Information:
Title:Competitive and cooperative conflict communication climates: The influence of ombuds processes on trust and commitment to the organization
Author(s):Tyler R. Harrison, (Department of Communication, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA), Marya L. Doerfel, (Department of Communication, School of Information and Library Studies, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA)
Citation:Tyler R. Harrison, Marya L. Doerfel, (2006) "Competitive and cooperative conflict communication climates: The influence of ombuds processes on trust and commitment to the organization", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 17 Iss: 2, pp.129 - 153
Keywords:Conflict, Ombudsman, Trust
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/10444060610736611 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:

Purpose – This paper seeks to explore the role of ombuds processes on commitment and trust to the organization.

Design/methodology/approach – This research is framed by and builds on theories about cooperation-competition, procedural justice, and third party intervention (ombudsman processes) in managing organizational relationships. Data for this study come from semi-structured longitudinal interviews with 45 participants (138 interviews total) during active pursuit of a grievance through the ombuds process.

Findings – Organizational commitment and trust are fluid processes created through symbolic interaction with organizational actors. Interaction with these actors, over time, influences commitment to the organization.

Research limitations/implications – This study reports on the perspective of the person pursuing the grievance through one ombuds office. Future research should explore perspectives of both parties and in different organizational contexts.

Practical implications – The use of ombuds processes to manage conflicts may restore trust and commitment in the organization. Key to this is the use of processes that demonstrate fair procedures and effective communication by high status organizations actors.

Originality/value – This paper provides new insight into the effects of conflict and conflict management in organizations and is of value to organizational leaders, managers, ombudspersons, and other conflict management specialists.



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