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A Textbook Case of Integrative Space

Richards Randy photo

April 2016

Teaching Conflict Management courses for the St. Ambrose Master of Organizational Leadership program, Randy Richards '71, PhD, long has preached the value of finding the integrative space — that place where each party in a conflict is able to accomplish an important goal.

In mediating a deteriorating relationship between two longtime Quad Cities business partners several years ago, Richards literally found a textbook case of integrative space and managing conflict in the workplace and in business relationships. Some six years later the two parties, Estes Construction and Tri-City Electric Co., together are building schools, hospitals and other projects in Davenport and elsewhere, enlisting a collaborative relationship rebuilt around a willingness to work toward mutual success.

"Now they're being looked at as a best practices," Richards, who continues to work in the MOL program while also chairing the SAU Master of Business Administration program, recently told the Quad City Times. "They are doing something people are looking at globally." 

The successful conflict mediation indeed is being read about globally in Managing Inter-Organizational Relations, a textbook being sold around the world which includes a chapter on the Estes-Tri-City Electric solution co-written by Richards and a former student, Timo Braun.

Read the Times' story about this case of applying a classroom lesson to solve a real world problem.

Read a second story about how employees put theory into practice.

MORE LIKE THIS:College of Business, Master of Organizational Leadership

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