Conflict, Negotiation, and Collaboration

Friday, October 28, 2005, 10:30-4:00
Arthur Levitt Executive Seminar Room
New York State City/County Management Association
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
University at Albany, SUNY

Critical to the success of local government leaders is the ability to develop collaborative arrangements with multiple parties -- even in the context of existing and escalating conflicts -- and to negotiate mutual agreements.

Conflict is an expression of dissatisfaction or disagreement with an interaction, process, product, or service.  Negotiation is an interpersonal decision-making process by which two or more people agree how to allocate scarce resources.  Collaboration is a process through which parties who see different aspects of a problem can constructively explore their difference and search for solutions that go beyond their own limited vision of what is possible.* 

In this session we will explore responses to organizational and multiparty conflict through conflict management systems, negotiation, and collaboration. 


Sandy Schuman has been helping organizations work more effectively to solve complex problems and make critical decisions for more than thirty years. He facilitates problem-solving and decision-making processes for a wide variety of public management and policy issues and provides training in group facilitation, decision making, systems thinking, conflict management systems, public involvement, information management, and organizational storytelling. Sandy is a Research Associate of the Center for Policy Research, University at Albany, SUNY and president of Executive Decision Services LLC. He moderates the Electronic Discussion on Group Facilitation and is the Editor of The IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation, Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal, and the forthcoming book, Creating a Culture of Collaboration. He is qualified on the US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution National Roster of Environmental Dispute Resolution and Consensus Building Professionals and Sub-Roster of Transportation Mediators and Facilitators and the US Postal Service Roster of REDRESS® Mediators.

Sandy gained extensive experience in local, state and federal government while working with the New York State Energy Office and New York State Sea Grant/ Cooperative Extension. Sandy holds a PhD in organization behavior from the University at Albany, SUNY, where he also earned his MPA, and a BS in natural resources management from Cornell University.


Costantino, C. A. and Merchant, C. S. (1995).  Designing Conflict Management Systems: A Guide to Creating Productive and Healthy Organizations.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass, p. 4.

Thompson, L. L. (2001).  The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator, Second Edition.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, p. 2. 

Gray, B. (1989).  Collaborating: Finding Common Ground for Multiparty Problems.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, p. 5.