Conflict management books - hr for smes

The Books you need about Conflict management

Whether if you want it or not, as in life, a company will always have some kind of conflict to solve. Therefore, conflict management will always be a great skill to have.

There are plenty of definitions for what a conflict is, but I specially like the definition that explain conflict as:

A relationship between two or more individuals, who have a relationship of interdependency between them when it comes to achieving their objectives and who feel that there is a parcial or total incompatibility when it comes to achieving those objectives at the same time.

Being an expert in conflict resolution or conflict management is not easy, and it takes years of experience and plenty of information. Of course there are some gifted people who always avoid them and solve them as soon as they arise.

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However, not everyone is that lucky, so we wanted to provide you with a list of books that can help you in your path to know more about conflict resolution, specially when it comes to your company, providers and employees.


Active Listening

Written in 1957 by C.Rogers, is one of the basics for negotiation or any soft skill you really want to develop. If you have to chose only one book in this list, please read this one first!

The book is a therapeutic technique designed to promote positive change in the client, or anyone listening really.

Active listening is a communication technique used in counselling, training and conflict resolution. Of course, this requires the listener to feed back what they hear to the speaker. Doing this, by re-stating or paraphrasing what they have heard in their own words. Confirm what they have heard and also, to confirm the understanding of both parties.

The Mediation Process,

Written by C, Moore in 1995 gives the reader practical cases for conflict resolution, stating that not every conflict is prepared to be solved. To illustrate this, the author names this inmaturity point. Since this new terminology, we now say that Conflicts are resolve when they arrive to the maturity point.

The Art and Science of Negotiation,

Written by H, Raiffa in 1996. This book will help you whether you are selling a house, closing a business deal. It can also help you settling a divorce, arbitrating a labor dispute, or trying to hammer out an international treaty. Certainly, it will improve your negotiating skills. Although it is a sophisticated self-help book-directed to lawyers, business executives, etc.. Raiffa emphasizes problems and situations where, with the kinds of skills he aims to develop, disputants can achieve results that are beneficial to all parties concerned.

Intractable Conflict,

Written by Daniel Bar-Tal in 2000. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the dynamics of intractable conflicts. His original framework is supported by evidence from different disciplines, including empirical data and case studies.

The analysis starts on the premise that intractable conflicts share certain socio-psychological foundations. Despite differences in context and other characteristics, he describes a full cycle of intractable conflicts. As an example their outbreak, escalation and reconciliation through peace building.

His framework provides a broad theoretical view of the of the socio-psychological repertoire that develops in the course of long-term and violent conflicts, outlines the factors affecting its formation, demonstrates how it is maintained, points out its functions and describes its consequences. The book also elaborates on the contents, processes and other factors involved in the peace building process.

An Essay on Belief and Acceptance,

Jonathan Cohen in 1995. Cohen explores the often-overlooked tension between voluntariness and involuntariness in human cognition. He analyses if a jury’s verdict should declare what its members involuntarily believe or what they voluntarily accept? Or, if people must be taken to believe everything entailed by what they believe, or merely to accept everything entailed by what they accept? In brief, through the examination of these problems, the author sheds new light on issues of crucial importance in contemporary epistemology, philosophy of mind, and cognitive science.


R.Lweicki, D.M Saunders and J.W, Minton, Edited in 2009. Negotiation is a critical skill needed for effective management. Negotiation explores the major concepts and theories of the psychology of bargaining and negotiation, and the dynamics of interpersonal and intergroup conflict and its resolution. It is relevant to a broad spectrum of management students, not only human resource management or industrial relations candidates.

Please let us know if there is any other book that you think should be on this list so we can share it with our readers.

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