Change, Conflict and Community

1st Edition

Challenging Thought and Action

Print ISBN: 9780750681940
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 14th August 2008
Page Count: 288


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The cost to business of unresolved conflicts is high; tribunals, loss of productivity, resignations and damaged reputations are serious consequences for all concerned. With increased organizational change in the form of changes in leadership, restructuring, downsizing, matrix management, mergers, acquisitions and systems changes comes increased political activity and the potential for either increased learning and growth or tension and unproductive conflict.

Change agents, HR practitioners and managers need to be skilled at empowering others to use or resolve conflict effectively for a more productive working environment and greater employee satisfaction. Change, Conflict and Community takes readers through the essential theory and hands-on practice of working with change and conflict by considering:

  • How we can increase our understanding of the tensions that often exist when change is ever present in the organization
  • How to work more effectively with the dynamic relationship between change and conflict
  • How the idea of “community” can help us to work with the energy of change and human interaction

Barbara Kenton is a freelance consultant and Director of WHooSH Whole Systems Health. She is an experienced consultant, mediator, facilitator, coach and trainer with over 25 years' experience as a manager and development specialist working with individuals, teams and organizations both in the UK and internationally. She has published a number of articles on the role of the internal consultant and challenges facing those in HR. She is a qualified workplace and community mediator.

Suzanne Penn is an independent consultant, facilitator and coach with 20 years' experience in the HR and Organization Development field. She has worked as an internal and an external practitioner across all sectors and industries in the UK, main

Key Features

  • Examines how the concept of organizations as communities can impact positively on the energy of change and human interaction
  • Covers the challenging topic of dispute resolution through practical case study examples
  • Includes all the essential theory and hands-on practice of working with change and conflict


HR OD and change practitioners; internal and external HR consultants.

Table of Contents

List of Figures List of Tables Foreword Acknowledgements Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Making sense of change Chapter 3: Pattern past Chapter 4: Change and conflict – a chicken and egg debate? Chapter 5: Resolving conflicts Chapter 6: From conflict to collaboration Chapter 7: Learning through change Chapter 8: Energising the organisation Chapter 9: Holistically healthy organisations Chapter 10:The bigger picture: community Introduction to Case Studies Case studies

  1. Affinity Sutton
  2. Portsmouth NHS Trust
  3. Red Bee
  4. Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service
  5. O2 – “A better place”
  6. Organisational health from a Gestalt perspective
  7. A change agent’s story


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Seeing conflict and change as a source for learning might sound nice, but is hard to accept in the realities of our professional lives. Understanding change and how we deal with change on an individual and organisation level, is an important topic for managers, professionals and especially those of us who work in the area of learning and people development. I recommend this book to anyone who is as curious to improve our contribution to individual and organizational development Klaas Wassens, Director Executive Education & Development, RSM Erasmus University We cannot eradicate conflict and we cannot make change painless, but we can learn how to use natural tensions more constructively. This book offers new insights on the human side of change and helps business practitioners to understand that managing change is more than re-engineering a business process. Diane Moody, Head of Leadership and Change, ING Group