Negotiation in social conflicts

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Directeur de la région Sud-Est de la SNCF

Seminar Business life | Friday March 9, 2001

The management of military operations is similar to that of social conflicts as Clausewitz put forward in his work The art of war, which may serve as a reference for anyone involved in a social conflict. Strikes, which are the ultimate expression of this type of conflict, are a violent means of regulating social relations within organisations. Is it not possible, however, to avoid such extreme actions which are so difficult both for the company, and for its managerial staff, trade unions, employees, and even its clients ? In reality, forces at work in the company, interactions which govern them and the prevailing political setting together determine sequences of events which make a strike an inevitable form of action. Drawing on his long experience in this area, Pierre Messulam shows that regulation without going too far is only possible if the protagonists are in control of the situation : this argues in favour of strong trade unionism. If, however, the strike has some merit, Messulam demonstrates a way to avoid some strikes occurring.

The entire article was written by:

Lucien CLAES

This session was published in issue n°34 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled La négociation sociale.

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