April 25, 2014

Conflict Between Persons: The Origins of Leadership

Providence IV

Friday, April 25 2:00-3:15                                                          Providence IV  

Conflict Between Persons:  The Origins of Leadership

Sponsor:           Short Course
Presenter:         Dr. Ronald C. Arnett, Duquesne University
                          Leeanne M. Bell McManus, Stevenson University
                          Amanda G. McKendree, University of Notre Dame
                          Susan Carr, Duquesne University

This short course will identify different frameworks for teaching conflict communication and reflect on a new approach grounded in the connection between communication, conflict, ethics, and leadership.  The facilitators view communication and conflict as a form of existential schooling for leadership that requires an ironic sense of moral height—a willingness to enter the fray of everyday disagreement, not in hopes of winning conflicts, but from the importance of what we can and should learn from one another.  Participants will navigate the various questions that emerge when teaching conflict communication, connecting the stability of traditional perspectives with an alternative engagement grounded in leadership.

Conflict Between Persons:  The Origins of Leadership
Short Course Syllabus
Ronald C. Arnett (Duquesne University), Leeanne M. Bell McManus (Stevenson University), Amanda G. McKendree (University of Notre Dame), Susan Carr (Duquesne University)
Learning Goals:

Participants in this short course will identify different frameworks for teaching conflict communication and reflect on the pragmatic interplay among communication, conflict, ethics, and leadership.  Specifically, participants will:

  • Compare different approaches to conflict communication;
  • Articulate assumptions underlying different approaches to conflict communication;
  • Describe a conflict approach for leadership;
  • Identify the necessary resources for the teaching of communication and conflict.

In addition, participants will receive Conflict Between Persons:  The Origins of Leadership (Arnett, McManus, and McKendree)

Course Rationale:
This short course frames the connection between communication and conflict in two distinct ways. First, communication and conflict is a form of everyday education that is pragmatically necessary for future leadership.This perspective acknowledges the reality of diverse and competing versions of what we deem “good” or ethical. Second, this work assumes an ethical bias in the doing and understanding of communication and conflict. This work asserts that leadership requires bringing forth moral height to a given communicative context; responsibility and leadership invites an “enlarged mentality” (Arendt, 1968, p. 79; Kant, 1792) within a communicative context. Communication and conflict is a basiceducation context from which leadership emerges and within which leadership assumes responsibility within conflictual communicative environments.Leadership within a conflict setting begins as one ceases to lament the reality of conflict and recognizes its value for one’s own education and the edification of a given organization.

Conflict emerges when ethical differences between and among persons highlight differing and at times contrasting goods.Ethical differences alert us to what “matters” (Cooren, 2010, p. 3). Conflict reminds us about what matters to us and others. Thegreater the ethical weight of difference, the greater the conflict dispute. We examine the reality of ethics as the generator of conflict. Such a recognition is the beginning of communicative leaership and the possibility of creative learning and direction.

Arendt, H. (1968). Men in dark times. New York:  Harcourt Brace & Co.
Cooren, F. (2010). Action and agency in dialogue. Amsterdam: John Benjamin Publishing.
Kant, I.(2006). Critique of the power of judgment.  (P. Guyer, Ed. & Trans.).  New
York:  Cambridge UP.  (Original work published 1792)

Please contact the course instructors with any questions.
Ronald C. Arnett,
Leeanne M. Bell McManus,
Amanda G. McKendree,
Susan Carr,


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