NOTES ON CONFLICT ESCALATION

Gregg Walker
Department of Speech Communication
Oregon State University

Conflict Escalation

Patterns and Cycles in Conflict More on URPs . . . Conflict Cycles (from R. Lulofs, Conflict: From Theory to Action, 1994) Negative Conflict Cycles Avoidance Cycle Avoidance Cycle (you add the arrows)
                         We think of conflict as bad

We handle                                                     We get nervous
it badly                                                            about a conflict
                                                                         we are having

     The conflict gets out                         We avoid it as
     of control and must be                      long as possible
     confronted

Chilling Effect

Chilling Effect (you add the arrows)
                                                          Decreased level
Feeling the conflict                            of communication
is not worth the effort
                                                                       Decreased
Fear of the effects                                        commitment
of conflict on the
relationship
                                                                             End of the
                                                                            relationship
Competitive Escalation Competitive Escalation: Three models Competitive Escalation (you add the arrows)
                                        One party “wins”
Win-lose                                                            Unresolved
orientation                                                        conflict

Face issue                     Another                     More baggage
suppressed                   grievance
                                                                     Perception of
    Face threat                                            conflict and its
                       Escalation via                          issues
                      “always”/”never”

Trained Incapacities

Trained Incapacities: Four Types Confronting Escalation