Conflict & Crisis Prevention

 

Today's workplace faces unprecedented challenges. Conflict and violence, arising from the accelerating pace of global economic change, the diversification of the workforce, the effects of business downturns and downsizing, and increasing stress on families, threaten employee and organizational well-being. In many workplaces, our research has shown,

"resentment routinely displaces cooperation and communication. Hostility surfaces as threats, intimidation, harassment, stalking and verbal degradation. Advanced information technology has brought with it anonymous cyberstalking, an electronic form of harassment. Some employees are chronically in conflict with supervisors and fellow workers, or bent on retaliating for discipline or perceived slights. Domestic abuse, as well as simmering ethnic linguistic and cultural rivalries, may disrupt the workplace. And workers sometimes become embroiled with non-employees, such as customers."

— From The Violence-Prone Workplace

Responding to these challenges, Workplace Solutions has marshaled a consortium of professionals skilled in conflict resolution, crisis management, and violence prevention. They have pooled their experience and insights in order to ensure safety and productivity in offices, factories, and schools.

Workplace Solutions fosters understanding of the sources of conflict on the job, extreme behavior, and organizational distress. Applying expertise drawn from a wide range of disciplines, it promotes policies and programs that address the root causes of conflict and aggression in a collaborative manner. Rather than focusing exclusively on the supposedly dysfunctional employee as the source of danger, we examine underlying factors in the workplace that may lead to extreme behavior, and we develop specific strategies for early intervention in situations, such as a climate of hostility, that could result in violence. The object is to transform a workplace from crisis-prone to crisis-prepared. As the nation confronts the phenomena of terrorism and excessive gun violence, consensus-based problem-solving promises heightened protection for the workplace.

Workplace Solutions is an independent, nonprofit organization, created with a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The foundation has expressed its interest in aiding organizations which “explore new ways of approaching contentious public policy issues through collaborative action that addresses the legitimate interests of all involved parties.” Workplace Solutions was among a select group of organizations that the foundation designated for support. The group also included Harvard University Law School, the Administrative Conference of the United States, and the American Arbitration Association.

Workplace Solutions has achieved a record of excellence in providing three principal services:

  • Training

  • Research

  • Consulting

For further details, please view the pages on the website that are devoted to these services.

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