In Living with Conflict: a Challenge to a Peace Church, Susan Robson explores the discomforts and denials that can arise when an organization committed to doing good suspects that it is not living up to its declared aims. In this case study of Quakers in the UK, the challenge of living constructively, despite ever-present conflicts in their own communities, come in for close scrutiny. Drawing on ideas from contemporary organizational theory, Robson's study points the way forward for this and other value-based organizations. Living with Conflict first compares the evolution of the Quaker peace testimony with the experience of other peaceful churches, both in their relationships to the wider world and how they handle congregational conflict. It then draws together analyses of conflict in small church congregations, looking at both the triggers and responses, past and present. This analysis describes the consequences of challenging community narratives and creating counter narratives, with many stories of conflict and interaction in different settings. Growth points in handling conflict in organizations are found in both secular and faith communities.
Students of peace and conflict studies, organizational studies and sociology of religion will find this study thought-provoking. But Living with Conflict is also for anyone who has ever joined a group or an organization that they thought welcoming and safe, working together for the common good, only to see it unravel into a flurry of acrimonious emails, slammed doors, tears, legal proceedings, and even tragedy.
Living with Conflict by Susan Robson was published by Scarecrow Press in November 2013 and is our 58345th best seller. The ISBN for Living with Conflict is 9780810886742.