Understanding workplace conflict and its management in the context of COVID-19

Julian Teicher, Bernadine Van Gramberg, Greg J. Bamber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Arguably, the COVID-19 pandemic was responsible for accelerating and
bringing to the fore a range of emerging (largely individual) disputes between
workers and their employers over issues such as remote working, electronic
surveillance, blurring of work/family boundaries, worker resignations, and
health and safety. This has been a global phenomenon that has been
accompanied by an unusual intrusion into workplaces by governments
seeking public health solutions to curb the pandemic but at the same time
regulating employment arrangements. The pandemic thus offers a rare
opportunity to explore conflict through the viewpoints of those most
affected by the changes. We examine the changing pattern of workplace
conflict and its management since the onset of COVID -19 in a contextually
sensitive manner by adopting neopluralism as an overarching frame of
reference, supplemented by using unitarism and pluralism as lenses through
which to consider conflict and its management. We use the concepts of
agonism and antagonism to provide insights into phenomena such as the
Great Resignation. In considering the changing contours of workplace
conflict, we posit that the way in which conflict is perceived is an important
prerequisite to understanding how it is manifested and how it is likely to
be managed. This is especially important for employers and workers and
their representatives as we consider the post-pandemic future of work in an
age of remote working and health issues (along with pervasive use of artificial
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Evolution of Workplace Dispute Resolution
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Perspectives
EditorsAriel C Avgar, Deborah Hann, J. Ryan Lamare , David Nash
Place of PublicationChampaign IL USA
PublisherLabor and Employment Relations Association
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9780913447277
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventThe Labor and Employment Relations Association Annual Meeting: Presidential Luncheon - Detroit, United States of America
Duration: 3 Jun 2023 → …
Conference number: 75

Publication series

NameLabor and Employment Relations Association Series


ConferenceThe Labor and Employment Relations Association Annual Meeting
Abbreviated titleLERA
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
Period3/06/23 → …
Internet address


  • CoVID-19
  • workplace conflict
  • Health and safety
  • neopluralism
  • frames of reference
  • unitarism
  • pluralism
  • agonism
  • antagonism
  • Great Resignation
  • future of work
  • artificial intelligence

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