In the early 1970s, communication scholars entered the field of conflict theory, dissatisfied by ways previous scholars had treated interactants as solely rational and strategic, communication as binary (communicate or not communicate), and conflict as necessarily destructive. Two implicit assumptions made it impossible to reveal the process or function of communication in conflict: that conflict results from insufficient or ineffective communication and that cooperation is inherently superior. Communication theorists, rather, espoused a view of conflict as an inevitable and necessary social process that when managed well contributes to creativity, cohesiveness, relational growth, and productivity. Most communication theorists prefer the term conflict management to conflict resolution because the former suggests an ongoing communication process focusing attention on interaction, whereas the latter suggests episodes that must be dealt with as they occur, focusing attention on the discrete content of each episode. The title of a widely cited book, Working Through Conflict, captures the essence of communication theorists’ presumptions about conflict communication. Not only do individuals communicate to “work through” conflicts; they also accomplish work “through conflict.” This entry reviews conceptual issues in the development of communication conflict theory, overviews early models that form the foundation of contemporary communication conflict theory, and summarizes four continuing traditions of communication conflict theory. A great deal of the information herein is drawn from the 2006 Handbook of Conflict Communication.

Littlejohn, Stephen W and Karen A.Floss. (2009). Encyclopedia of Communication Theory.USA:SAGE.233

Penanggungjawab naskah :

Gayes Mahestu
Edwina Ayu Kustiawan