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Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution

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Malibu Campus

Two Week Format: Block 5

July 10 - 12 and 17 - 19, 2014

Thursdays and Fridays 6:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Saturdays 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Communication and Conflict

Prerequisite: LAW 1302 Psychology of Conflict

Based on communication studies, this course examines the vehicle of communication in the context of conflict, both in the courtroom and as part of various alternative dispute resolution processes and other conflict-driven interactions. It builds on basic conflict theory covered in Psychology of Conflict while narrowing its focus to findings related to communication. Concepts explored include the following: basic principles and assumptions of a range of communication theories; influence, persuasion, rhetoric, dialogue, narrative paradigm, and linguistics; nonverbal communication, listening skills, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP); perception and perceptual distortion; power, threat, and facesaving; argumentation vs. aggression; group dynamics and differences in interpersonal, intra-group, inter-group, and organizational contexts; and the effect of third party interventions. The course includes at least one self-assessment instrument to enhance student awareness of individual differences in conflict communication styles.

Robert C. Chandler is Professor of Communication and Director of the Nicholson School of Communication at the University of Central Florida. He is the former Chair of the Communication Division at the Center for Communication and Business at Pepperdine University. Dr. Chandler is a scholarly subject matter expert in communication theory; interpersonal communication relationships; communication and conflict processes; conflict management; as well as organizational and business communication. He is nationally recognized as a leading authority in social scientific analysis of human communication interaction, including psycho-metric measures of cognitive comprehension and understanding changes during stressful contexts. Professor Chandler is an internationally recognized communication researcher and scholar with more than 100 academic and professional papers presented and has authored more than 50 academic and professional publications, and he is also the author or co-author of eight books.

Jennifer Sandoval brings her experience as a mediator, project manager, trainer and consultant to her position as an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida. Dr. Sandoval earned a master's degree at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine School of Law and a doctorate in communication at the University of New Mexico. Her research focuses on the communicative elements involved in the intersection of identity, culture, gender and health policy. Currently, she is continuing to investigate these elements in the context of fertility tourism- specifically international surrogacy in India. She also continues work with community based-participatory research projects focusing on conflict and health interventions in underserved and underrepresented populations. Dr. Sandoval has published this research with her colleagues in journals such as Health Education Research, Communication Monographs and the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication.

Cross-Cultural Conflict and Dispute Resolution

This course surveys the impact that cultural differences, stereotypes and attributions have on key dispute resolution processes, and on conflict generally. It is designed to build theoretical knowledge, to equip students with an analytical framework useful in determining suitable dispute resolution processes, and to instill practical skills and strategies to enhance effectiveness in cross-cultural contexts. Cultural differences in language, customs, values, legal systems and world-views are examined along various dimensions: orientation towards the individual or the collective community; importance of career success over quality of life; deference to authority; long vs. short term orientation; extent to which expectations for behavior are implicit or express; perceptions of time and personal space; and aversion to risk.

Grant Ackerman is a Professor of Management at Columbia Business School. His teaching emphasis is on Executive Leadership, Collaborative Leadership Models and Cross-Cultural Issues in Management. He previous served with Educational Services Exchange with China, Inc. (ESEC) as Director of the Institute for International Trade, and as Academic Director and then Associate Dean for Executive Education at Columbia Business School, and Coordinator of the Team Leadership Program at Columbia Business School's Professional Development Center. He has extensive experience in organizational consulting and has provided educational programs or consultations for such companies as Avon, Banker's Trust, Coca-Cola, Deloitte, Ford Motors, Sampoerna (Indonesia), GE Credit Corporation, Lend Lease Americas, Time Warner, and World Vision, USA. He received his B.A. in Foreign Service and International Relations with a Certificate in Russian Area Studies from The Pennsylvania State University, a J.D. from The University of Pittsburgh and his M.B.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University.