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A Culture of Conflict

Lewis, Dianne S., French, Erica L., & Steane, Peter (1996) A Culture of Conflict. [Working Paper]

Abstract

While some conflict in organisations may be a healthy incentive for action and competition, conflict that becomes the dominant feature of the organisation's culture is damaging. In non-profits it cripples the organisation's ability to function because the organisation is unable to set goals or to present a coherent, united front when applying for government grants.

Research theory in management and non-profits discusses the need for consonance, but our research demonstrates that some community organisations do not fit the model presented in the literature.

The paper presents the results of a consultancy engaged in by the authors between December 1994 and August 1995 with a small, church-based, non-profit organisation. The organisation works in an environment where there is a need for unity, but our research found conflict between the volunteers and the paid workers, and among the volunteers themselves. Conflict, which had become the over-riding consideration in all decisions, was paralysing the organisation.

The paper gives some background to the organisation and the context in which it operates, describes the nature of the consultancy and the findings, and explains the recommendations we made to the organisation.

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ID Code: 12034
Item Type: Working Paper
Additional Information: Paper presented at 1996 ANZTSR Conference, University of Victoria, Wellington, New Zealand, 3-5 July.
Keywords: nonprofit organisation, volunteer, conflict, organisational culture, governance
ISBN: 1864351195
ISSN: 1037-1516
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Business and Management not elsewhere classified (150399)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Social and Community Psychology (170113)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1996 QUT
Deposited On: 17 Jan 2008
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2013 22:39

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