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Telfer Research Seminar Series - Wendi Adair Happier

Exploring Workplace Conflict Through the Eyes of Indigenous Employees: Holistic Relational Conflict Management as a Pathway to Reconciliation Work in Organizations

Date & Time

March 22, 2024


DMS 7170


Kathy Cunningham

***M.Sc. Students, this event can count towards one of the six mandatory Research Seminars Series needed to attend (MGT 6191/ MGT 6991 / MHS 6991).***

Wendi Adair, PhD

Conflict is ubiquitous in organizations, and how Indigenous employees experience conflict and prefer to manage it is of paramount concern for organizations on the path towards reconciliation. In the present research, we surveyed Indigenous employees to understand their workplace conflict management experiences and preferences. Qualitative data were coded by a mixed Indigenous and non-Indigenous team and results were shared in circle with a separate group of Indigenous employees in a process of collaborative interpretation and meaning making. Concepts from the sharing circle were further coded by two Indigenous authors using thematic and narrative analysis. Based on the knowledge shared by these two groups of Indigenous employees in public and private sectors, we offer insights and recommendations for conflict management practices in organizations. We discuss connections between a holistic conflict management approach, Indigenous worldviews, and principles of restorative justice. We propose that a holistic and relational approach to conflict management in organizations is one way of making space for Indigenous voices in Canadian organizations.

About the Speaker

Wendi L. Adair (Ph.D., Northwestern University) is Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Director of the Culture at Work Lab at University of Waterloo, Ontario. Wendi’s current research examines the impact Wendi Adair of culture on communication, for example what is said and what is not said, and interdependent work outcomes, such as communication effectiveness, conflict resolution, trust, and team performance. She also investigates culture and the self at work, examining identity threat in in EDI contexts and third culture in multicultural teams. Wendi is Co-PI for Indigenous Workways, a collaborative research project bringing Indigenous voices to the mainstream Canadian workplace and co-founder of icEdge, an assessment and training tool for effective communication in diverse workplaces. Wendi’s research appears in outlets including Journal of Applied Psychology, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology, and Academy of Management Discoveries. She has served as Associate Editor of Negotiation and Conflict Management Research and President of the International Association for Conflict Management. Her book, What isn’t being said: Culture and communication at work (Springer) is forthcoming in 2024.

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