This course explores how communication shapes our relationships, personal and professional effectiveness, and understanding of our social settings. It introduces communication theory with an emphasis on its practical application. Students begin to identify and develop their existing communication styles and skills in use, and describe areas for continued growth. Students also begin to develop assessment skills related to group dynamics and group communications. This course provides a foundation on which students will continue to build throughout the program.
Within an interdisciplinary model, this course is designed to help students learn about different genres of qualitative and quantitative research and the various issues in designing a research study. Students become familiar with the ontological, epistemological and methodological assumptions within both qualitative and quantitative paradigms. In addition, students will: identify and select a manageable research question and objectives; construct a research project design; collect, analyze and interpret data; and present findings.
This course is an introduction to the approach of Action Inquiry developed by Donald Schoen, Chris Argyris and William Torbert. Action inquiry is an approach that enables professionals to understand how they use their knowledge in practical situations and how they combine action and learning in a more effective way. Through greater awareness and reflection, students will be able to identify the knowledge that is embedded in the experience of their work so that they can improve their actions in a timely way, and achieve greater flexibility and conceptual innovation. The objective of the course is to introduce students to the approach and methods of action inquiry by raising their awareness between intention, strategy and outcomes in their practice.
This course introduces students to the foundation and theories of integral conflict analysis and engagement as well as the purpose, components and use of the integral model for analyzing conflicts.
This course presents a critical examination of contemporary approaches to negotiation and mediation. Theoretical and empirical aspects of strategies and processes of negotiation and mediation are explored, along with cases of both successful and unsuccessful negotiations and mediations. Roles, capacities and motivations of parties are discussed. Ethical issues and concerns in the practice of negotiation and mediation are analyzed.
A developmental approach to understanding conflict and “negotiating contested meanings” suggests that there are qualitatively different ways of constructing meaning in a conflict, and therefore, qualitatively different ways of responding, mediating, and resolving a conflict. In this course we will examine a diverse selection of adult developmental researchers and the models they have developed, seeking the linkages between the structures of adult development and the phenomenology of conflict. The individual’s identification, meaning-making, and response to conflict are related to his/her developmental “center of gravity”.
In this course, students will be introduced to consensus building decision processes, group process theories, and the skills needed to facilitate groups of all sizes in a wide variety of settings. Characteristics of consensus decision making and effective groups will be identified, and the role and function of a group facilitator will be defined. Consensus building processes, group development and formation will be examined, as will several group task and maintenance functions. Throughout this course there will be an emphasis on applying collaborative conflict management theory, strategies and processes.
This course has two distinct foci: an examination of how the organization of social and political institutions (structures) may create a system of winners and losers in which people become trapped in a particular social situation and how organizational systems exercise power in support of staff needs attainment, access to resources and inclusion in decision making. The course begins by introducing various theoretical contributions to our understanding of structures and systems, how and where conflict is built into the structures and systems, and various methods for diagnosing these issues.
This course examines the psychosocial development of culture, governed by a developmental logic and generally showing increasing differentiation, increasing complexity of organization, and qualitatively different modes of adaptation. For the practitioner this means being able to navigate among the culturally informed identities, meanings and ever-changing perceptions that influence the experience of conflict. Within this framework students will develop fluency with ways of naming, framing and supporting cross-cultural conflict transformation.