Managing Conflict in the Workplace

Subject MKTG20010 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2 X 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: 36 hours per week

325-101 Managing and Leading Organisations OR 100-188 Philosophy, Politics and Economics OR 166-101 Australian Politics OR 102-110 Contesting Australia OR 325-201 Organisational Behaviour.

Corequisites: 325-201 Organisational Behaviour
Recommended Background Knowledge: Please refer to Prerequisites and Corequisites.
Non Allowed Subjects: Students cannot gain credit for both 325-308 Industrial Relations and 325-231 Managing Conflict in the Workplace
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements for this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Assoc Prof Michelle Brown


Commerce Student Centre
Upper Ground Floor
ICT Building
111 Barry Street
The University of Melbourne

Tel: +61 3 8344 5317
Toll Free: 1800 666 300
Fax: +61 3 9347 3986

Subject Overview: We begin our examination of conflict in the workplace by identifying the many forms that conflict can take. We review the costs and benefits of different forms of conflict for those involved and the wider community. We then turn our attention to an investigation of why conflict occurs from the perspective of the key workplace participants – employees, unions and managers. We compare and contrast a range of conflict resolution techniques ranging from individual approaches such as open door policies through to formal conciliation and arbitration systems. We investigate the outcomes of a conflict resolution process, including processes subsequent interpretation and enforcement. Students will be provided with an opportunity to evaluate contemporary debates in conflict management through the use of exercises and case studies.

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Apply theories of the employment relationship to explain the development of conflict in the workplace;
  • Describe forms of conflict;
  • Analyse the role of employees, unions and managers in the development and resolution of conflict;
  • Analyse conflict resolution techniques;
  • Explain the processes for the interpretation and enforcement of the outcomes of a dispute resolution process;
  • Analyse current issues in employment relations.
Assessment: A 2-hour examination (60%) and assignment(s) totalling not more than 4000 words (40%).
Prescribed Texts:

Bray, M., Waring, P. and Cooper, R. (2009).

Employment Relations; Theory and Practice, McGraw Hill: Sydney
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: • High level of development: oral communication; written communication; application of theory to practice; interpretation and analysis; critical thinking; synthesis of data and other information; accessing data and other information from a range of sources; receptiveness to alternative ideas.
• Moderate level of development: problem solving; evaluation of data and other information.
• Some level of development: collaborative learning; statistical reasoning; use of computer software.

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