Conflict Resolution in the Workplace: What Will the Future Bring?



Collaborative processes to resolve conflict in the workplace have permeated organizations in North America over the past thirty years. Mediation and arbitration processes made the earliest inroads in organizations, joined more recently by conflict coaching and organizational ombudsry. Concurrently, law schools and other graduate schools expanded their alternative dispute resolution (ADR) offerings and conflict resolution programs. This article charts the trends in workplace conflict management and ADR education and proposes where the field may be heading in the coming years. The authors note growing demand for workplace mediation, coaching, and ombuds offices, and they call for broader adoption of integrated conflict management systems.