image of The quick termination of verbal conflicts expressed through disagreement
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This paper considers verbal conflicts at the workplace and asks how team members negotiate conflict termination. Our corpus consists of meetings where computer scientists discuss the progress of projects they are working on, a context where conflict resolution is crucial for the continuation of work. Following the literature, we define conflicts as continued disagreement. The analysis focuses on conflict termination formats that show whether a conflict can be resolved as well as episode length and disagreement mitigation that indicate the severity of the conflict. Power relations among participants are also discussed. Our results show that most conflicts end after two or three disagreements. Among the termination formats, submission is the most frequent, followed by stand-off and compromise. We further show that participants minimize conflicts by concluding them as soon as someone indicates their unwillingness to concede, whereas the pattern of conflict minimization varies with the termination format that participants negotiate.


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