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Dispute Handling Capability: Morphology and Modalities — Development of a Model
Published in SAGE Publications
Volume: 32
Issue: 2
Pages: 183 - 202

Dispute handling capability is a critical resource in society given that disputes are an ever present reality in social, economic and political activity spheres. Over the years, there has been a surfeit of scholarly endeavour in the social sciences and in applied fields of research in understanding the morphology and substance of disputes. The main contribution of the current study to this genre of research would be to examine one important aspect of this area of research — dispute handling capability. The study has been carried out in the discovery mode and is an exploratory study since repeated literature searches before, during and after this study have yielded little information about this construct, although there is considerable work on disputes and dispute resolution. The study to conceptualize Dispute Handling Capability and propose its modalities, took a 3-phase approach. In Phase 1, relevant studies were scanned to gain some insights into the concept of dispute handling capability. Subsequently, in Phase 2, the study analysed 30 incidents from the Mahabharata. Incidents of disputes were outlined, described, analysed, and insights were drawn from them to further sharpen the understanding of the phenomenon and to generate items for its measurement. Armed with sharper understanding of dispute handling capability, in Phase 3, an interview checklist, was created and a connection was made with subjects through exploratory interviews. The study has identified the Morphology of Dispute Handling Capability (DHC) in terms of five dimensions — Artfulness, Diplomacy, Detachedness, Fair Mindedness and Sagacity. Further the study also tried to capture the modalities of DHC in terms of its correlates. The study suggests that socio-economic correlates in terms of age, work experience, gender, marital status, number of children, caste, education, family income, and personality type could be correlated with DHC. Among organizational correlates, organizational culture, presence of union, product type, organizational profile and organizational workforce profile could be correlated with DHC. Dispute Handling Training is also expected to be correlated with DHC. These correlates would help in understanding DHC modalities in the social and organizational spheres. The study is a pioneering endeavour to examine the concept of dispute handling capability (DHC) and to identify the socio-economic and organizational correlates of DHC. From the practitioner's point of view, the study will help in diagnosing DHC of individuals, which can form the basis of mentoring and coaching programmes designed to develop these capabilities in executives.

About the journal
JournalData powered by TypesetManagement and Labour Studies
PublisherData powered by TypesetSAGE Publications
Open AccessNo