Effectiveness of Conglomerated Conflict Behavior by Dutch Peacekeepers
27 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2004
Date Written: June 15, 2004
The present study explores the theory of conglomerate conflict behavior (Van de Vliert, 1997). This theory presumes that conflict behaviors should not be studied as if independent, but as 'gestalts', that is, in relation to each other. Behavioral conglomerates vary in the specific combinations of the amount of each behavioral style, and the interrelations of these styles. Specific combinations of styles are more effective than other combinations. Survey data on five conflict styles were collected from Dutch military peacekeepers (N=828). Using cluster analysis, two different patterns of conflict handling were identified. The first pattern was characterized by cooperative behavior, combining problem solving with compromising and accommodating. The second pattern was characterized by strongly assertive behavior, combining forcing with problem solving. These patterns show meaningful relations with determinants of conflict behavior, such as interdependence between parties, and level of escalation. In line with the theory of conglomerated conflict behavior, the pattern with a dominant use of both forcing and problem solving appeared to be most effective. This study illustrates the relevance of analyzing conflict behaviors at conglomerate level, for professional practice, training and conflict research.
Keywords: Conglomerate conflict behavior, peacekeeping, effectiveness
JEL Classification: D74
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation