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Research explores the management of workplace conflict

Ensuring business have conflict resolution systems in place is an important aid to productivity, according to research paper led by Plymouth University academic.

Professor Richard Saundry, from the Plymouth Graduate School of Management, has led a study into workplace conflict, recently published by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas). 

The research explores the management of conflict in British workplaces, questioning whether front-line managers have the skills and confidence to resolve difficult HR issues effectively and at an early stage. The report was based on focus groups and interviews involving over 150 managers, HR practitioners, union representatives and employment lawyers. 

Dr Richard Saundry, Associate Professor in HR and Leadership Studies at the Plymouth Graduate School of Management, led the four-year study. He said: 
“While conflict often used to be dealt with by HR departments, increasingly responsibility has been shifted onto front-line managers and unfortunately, this part of their job is often not recognised. Organisations need to focus on rebuilding the relationships in workplaces which provide channels through which conflict can be minimised and resolved, and crucially to recognise that doing so is central to the well-being and performance of their employees.” 
The full report is available from the Acas website.

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