MD-ICCCR Pre-Publication White Papers

Attracted to Peace

  • Coleman, P. T., Fisher, J., Chen-Carrel, A., Fry, D. P., Liebovitch, L. S., & Souillac, G. (working paper). Attracted to peace: Introducing a dual-systems model of the dynamics of sustaining peace.
Humans have a long history of studying war – and peacekeeping, peacemaking and peacebuilding in the context of war – which has left us with a rather nascent and distorted understanding of how societies sustain peace. This article builds on research on peaceful societies to offer a dual-systems model of the dynamics of sustaining peace – a particularly robust combination of violence preventive and peace-promotive properties – conceptualizing its core variables and offering a set of propositions specifying their relations. The model approaches sustainable peace in terms of two mostly independent attractor dynamics, or emergent, multiply-determined patterns that resist change – one characterized by destructive intergroup interactions and one by more peaceful relations. Ultimately, the model offers both a qualitative platform for visualizing the dynamic relations between a complex array of variables relevant to sustaining peace, as well as a framework for mathematical modeling, empirical testing, measurement and policy making.

Conflict, Culture, and Complexity

  • Chung, C., Coleman, P. T., Kim, R. & Gelfand, M. (Working paper). Conflict, culture and complexity: The effects of simple versus complex rules in negotiation
The purpose of this research was to study how differing degrees of complexity in cultural rules for conflict engagement in a professional domain affect negotiation processes and outcomes. Three studies are presented, which hypothesized that more complex rules would result in more constructive conflict dynamics, while simpler rules would have the reverse effect. By eliciting the implicit rules for a negotiation simulation (Study 1), Studies 2 and 3 were able to empirically examine the relationships of high- and low-complexity rules to both subjective and objective negotiation processes and outcomes. Results supported predictions. Implications and next steps are discussed.

IPT Study 5

  • Coleman, Peter T. (working paper). Implicit theories, interdependence, and power-sharing: Mindsets as barriers to empowerment.
Organizations world-wide are seeking to empower their employees in order to improve the pace and efficiency of problem-solving, increase job satisfaction and commitment, and better compete in a demanding global marketplace. In response, research on employee empowerment has proliferated. Despite this, there has been little detailed discussion of the problems employers experience implementing empowerment strategies, or the conditions which are necessary for such approaches to be successful. One central problem facing such initiatives is the unwillingness of those with power in organizations to share it. Resistance to empowerment from managers or supervisors may be due, in part, to the beliefs and assumptions about power and authority that they bring with them to their work, or that are unwittingly cultivated in many organizations . This article presents a model that depicts manager’s implicit theories of power in organizations as promoting a mindset within which interdependence between managers and employees is interpreted and acted upon. The model identifies two theories of organizational power that managers can hold: a limited power theory that portrays power as a scarce resource which triggers a competitive orientation, and an expandable-power theory that views power as an expandable resource and fosters a more cooperative orientation. Limited-power theories are hypothesized to be associated with less power-sharing (information sharing and support) than expandable power-theories. An experiment is presented which investigated the relationship of implicit power theories to perceptions of manager-employee interdependence and to managers’ willingness to share information with and offer support to employees.

Liberal-Conservative Optimality SJR

  • Chan, A, and Coleman, P. T. (working paper). Unpacking Liberalism and Conservatism: Exploring optimality effects of implicit political values on mitigating polarization.
Extreme forms of political polarization can impair societies’ capacities to respond to other major problems that arise. Psychology could play a central role in mitigating toxic polarization. Unfortunately, the way conservatism and liberalism are often conceptualized and measured in research tends to dichotomize the underlying values inherent to both ideologies, and so neglects configurations that may be more optimal and less susceptible to division. The current study uses survey data to unpack these value structures and examine the effects of more optimal combinations of them on mitigating polarization. Findings suggest that a more nuanced approach to understanding these ideologies can lead to a reduction in polarization and suggests that more balanced value orientations are associated with lower levels of political tribalism. The implications of this research for civic education and the framing of policies in the media are discussed.

Mining the Motives for Peace

  • Coleman, P. T., Moskowitz, H., Harel-Marian, T., El Zohm, N., Kaminskaia, J., Onufrey, S., & Braun, M. (working paper). Mining the motives for peace: Investigating distinct mind types for promoting peace in Israel-Palestine
Today, we know too little about peace. This is due to the fact that we tend to study war, terrorism, violence, aggression and conflict, and peace only in the context of these processes. Few scientists study peace directly. When motives for peace are studied they often suffer from normative and self-report biases that limit their predictive value. We employed an alternative method, Rule Development Experimentation (RDE), for identifying fundamental differences in the motivational mind-sets of people for promoting peace. A series of three pairs of iterative studies employing RDE conducted in Israel and the Palestinian territories are presented. Results indicate two basic motivational mind types for peace that are mirror-opposites of each other and, importantly, are equally shared by both Israelis and Palestinians.

Org Conflict Review

  • Coleman, P. T., Mazzaro, K., Redding, N., Ng, L. Straw, C., , Burke, W. W. (working paper). Systemic-level influences on organizational conflict processes: An empirical review, inventory and new directions.
Today, there is a considerable body of research on interpersonal and team level conflict in organizations, providing important insights that guide further research and practice. What is less clear however, is the extent to which higher-level systemic factors in organizations affect the probabilities of conflicts occurring in the first place, and the likelihood that they will escalate into more destructive dynamics when they do. While empirical findings on the effects of systemic variables on conflict dynamics in organizations are present, they lack coherence. To address this, we conducted a review of empirical studies on systemic level organization processes and conflict and employed a comprehensive organizational framework, the Burke-Litwin Model of Organizational Performance and Change, to frame the findings. Next, we translated these findings into an organizational conflict inventory for identifying and assessing relevant processes in organizations. This article presents our review and inventory, and concludes with a discussion of emerging trends for studying and working with systemic conflict at multiple levels within organizations.

Playing the Odds

  • Coleman, P. T., Redding, N., & Ng, L. (working paper). Playing the odds: A multi-level framework for addressing probabilities for intractable conflict at work.
Research has identified a variety of individual-level and organizational-level variables associated with constructive versus destructive patterns of organizational conflict. However, this multitude of variables represents something of an embarrassment of riches. Currently, there is no unifying framework for understanding how individual attributes and competencies and organizational structures and processes work in concert to affect the probabilities for destructive, enduring conflicts. Understanding the genesis, maintenance and transformation of conflict attractors in organizations requires more than an understanding of the individual and contextual factors involved, and must include their inter-relationships, the timescales in which they unfold, and the mechanisms that affect transmission of conflict dynamics from one level to another. This monograph presents such a framework, offering a comprehensive approach for conceptualizing and assessing conflict competencies and structures at multiple levels of organizations.


  • Coleman, P. T., Mazzaro, K., Redding, N., Ben-Yehuda, R., Burns, D., & Rothman, J. (working paper). Resonance in complex social systems: A summary and synthesis of the literature
In this paper we highlight the importance of the concept of resonance for facilitating constructive social change and peace. Despite its prevalence across disciplines, resonance has yet to be understood and operationalized in a manner that can usefully guide systemic social change. Today, its conceptualization, definition, component-parts, underlying dynamics, measurement and the conditions that foster and inhibit it have yet to be sufficiently specified. This paper summarizes some common themes in the disparate literatures on resonance, and offers a synthesis in the form of a framework for working with resonance to mobilize constructive change.
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