Carnegie Mellon University

Laurie Weingart

August 09, 2021

Laurie Weingart Receives “Most Influential Article” Award in Conflict Management by AOM

The Academy of Management has named the 2015 paper by Laurie Weingart, Richard M. and Margaret S. Cyert Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, titled, "The directness and oppositional intensity of conflict expression," as the recipient of the Conflict Management Division's Most Influential Article award published between 2013-2016.

The Conflict Management Division's Most Influential Article award is a prestigious designation, only given to one article each year and reflects the importance and influence of the published work. A committee of conflict management experts scanned the literature for all CM-related papers published between 2013-2016 and judged Weingart’s paper to be the most influential in light of its high quality, important findings, and many citations. 

The paper develops a framework that identifies the ways people communicate opposition to one another and its impact on disputant experiences and conflict escalation. The authors identify two fundamental aspects of conflict expression—its directness (level of ambiguity) and oppositional intensity (in terms of subversion and entrenchment) and demonstrates how directness and intensity, in combination, drive the actions and reactions of disputants. They explicate why high directness/low intensity conflict expressions, which includes debate and deliberation, results in a healthy mix of emotions and provides information that is likely to de-escalate conflict and allow for attempts at problem-solving and conflict resolution. 

Weingart’s research focuses on collaboration, conflict, and negotiation, with a focus on how differences across people (e.g., discipline, gender, culture) both help and hinder effective problem solving, innovation, and dispute resolution. She is best known for her groundbreaking research on effective group processes, conflict, and multi-party negotiation.

Collaboration and Conflict Research Lab

Weingart and her colleague, Taya Cohen, founded the Collaboration and Conflict Research Lab (CCRL) in 2020. Its mission strives to improve collaboration in organizations by advancing applied and basic research on conflict, negotiation, moral behavior, and gender and cultural differences.

“Many organizational failures and collaboration pitfalls stem from ineffective communication and problematic interpersonal interactions when disagreements and challenging circumstances arise,” Weingart states. “CCRL researchers from across Carnegie Mellon aim to uncover factors that facilitate versus hinder communication, negotiation, and cooperation in the workplace, with the goal of identifying strategies for managing and resolving conflicts so people can collaborate more effectively and productively.”

“The work that Laurie and her team produce is incredibly important for understanding how to create highly collaborative, highly productive businesses,” states Isabelle Bajeux, dean of the Tepper School. “This is yet another endorsement of the high quality of research coming out of Tepper, and it is wonderful to see her work and the work of her colleagues recognized by such a prestigious organization.”

To learn more about Weingart’s work or the Collaboration and Conflict Research Lab, visit our website.