OVERVIEW Your ability to properly analyze and respond in a conflict-related situation is foundational to your success in personal and professional life. This brief is designed to hel
Your ability to properly analyze and respond in a conflict-related situation is foundational to
your success in personal and professional life.
This brief is designed to help you refine the art of communicating to maximize impact,
professionalism and constructive outcomes by considering the possibilities of “conflict
The integration of form and content is the same as in the first brief; it will push you to research
thoroughly and write for brevity and impact. However, the content of this assignment will
challenge you to consider the intersection of conflict, communication and technology for
practical, yet transformative outcomes.
You have been reading the Fisher & Ury book, and now you need to read Ledarach’s book and
watch his lecture. Once you have completed those things, then read the case study called The
Water Problem. Then apply what you’ve learned from the Fisher and Ury book and the Lederach
book to synthesize a strategic recommendation to solve the problem between the three groups.
The goal of this paper is to see if you can apply ideas from this class to a real-life problem
1. Length of assignment: 1000 words
2. Content of assignment. The Conflict Brief is to include the following components.
a. Cover Page (not included in word count)
b. Executive Summary that serves as a preview to the content found in the brief (250
words). An Executive Summary is NOT an academic abstract. The Executive
Summary previews the brief by giving away the key insights or findings in the
brief. Think of this as a one-page cheat sheet or as the “spoiler alert,” providing
the audience with the main ideas clearly stated in an easy-to-read format. Follow
the details below to prepare this part of your brief.
c. Professional, thoughtfully analyzed response to the case study (750 words)
i. This analysis includes the following sections
1. Two ideas from Fisher and Ury (you choose)
2. Two ideas from Lederach (you choose)
3. A suggested resolution to the problem
4. A biblical integration section
d. Reference page (not included in word count)
3. Format of assignment: Follow APA Style, paying close attention to the formatting of in-
text citations, the reference list and headings. Creative business formatting as found in
Word templates is permitted if APA style is adhered to in in-text citations and references.
Use of first person is NOT permitted in this assignment.
4. Number of citations: 5
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5. You should include ideas and concepts from two journal articles at various points in your
paper. These are not tied to any specific section, but should be included as a way to shore
up a particular point, or help to bring extra clarity to a point you are making.
6. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years, unless citing
classic, philosophical, literary or historical and theoretical information or research.
Acceptable sources include course materials, and scholarly peer-reviewed sources, and
the Bible. Two of the sources will be books we used in this class, and two must be
from scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles.
Here’s how to prepare an Executive Summary.
● ASK YOURSELF: If my target audience could only read this one page to understand my
brief, what do they need to know? By the time the reader finishes the Executive
Summary, they should be able to:
○ State the main idea.
○ Clearly identify the key insights or significant points made in your brief.
○ Accurately recap the next steps based on your findings.
● WHAT TO INCLUDE: Follow these guidelines to ensure that the content is complete.
○ Clear statement of purpose. This is your thesis (your WHY) for the brief.
○ Key insights. Be specific, not vague. Share your findings here.
○ Next steps. Be specific. List what you’ve learned that’s relevant to your audience.
○ Concise writing. Stay focused and on point with your content.
○ Professional language. Write for your audience. Aim to be clear, not clever.
○ Easy-to-read formatting. Use bullet points to emphasize key ideas.
○ APA citations. Use APA style if source support is provided.
● MORE ON HOW TO WRITE AN EXECUTIVE SUMMARY. Use the general structural
recommendations in these sources for additional insight into how to prepare an Executive
Summary. These are only guides. Emulate aspects of these sources that help you frame
your brief well. You can find links to these articles on the Brief Assignment pages under
GOOD STYLISTIC APPROACH: This will help you think through how to be
compelling in this part of your brief.
GOOD GENERAL OVERVIEW: This will help you think through how to format for
GOOD ACADEMIC ABSTRACT vs. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY REVIEW: This will
help you avoid writing the more traditional academic abstract, which serves a similar
function in scholarly papers/publications.
Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool.
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THE WATER PROBLEM CASE STUDY
A group of summer homeowners in the high mountains of Colorado faces an ongoing problem
with their water well, which keeps testing as polluted, thus making it necessary for the residents
to boil or buy their water. Recently, some of the elected officials of the volunteer board
authorized a road to be built so heavy equipment could reach the wellhead and the well could be
dug out and rebuilt. The road was built through wetlands, which raised some federal legal
problems, and through a pristine meadow cherished by some of the residents as a quiet, beautiful
spot at the end of the property. The road goes through commonly owned property, skirting the
edge of privately-owned lots. Three factions formed, and full-scale conflict has erupted, with
letters, private conversations, procedural challenges, content arguments, relationship destruction,
and face-saving struggles going on at a high level of intensity. Thirty-five or so families are
involved. The homeowners are a long-standing group of friends and acquaintances who have
considerable monetary and emotional investment in the property along with dramatically
different ecological, political, financial, and community values.
1. The “water first” group: This group consists primarily of engineers, scientists, builders, and
practical people who are sick and tired of dealing with a half-solution to the water problem year
after year. They want to get a new well, install purification systems if they are needed, and assess
the membership for what is required. They rely on scientific studies of the water quality as a
database. In their view, the road was simply a means to an important end. They are convinced
that their mandate was clear: to provide potable water for the group. They can’t understand the
outrage of the second group. Many members of this group have volunteered countless hours
through the years for the practical maintenance of the roads, water system, fences, and governing
system. This group is concerned with content goals and face-saving. They argue that the content
goals are the most important and that they did what they had to do (face-saving).
2. The “road has to go” group: This group consists of a few older homeowners and their adult
children. The view of this group is that environmental concerns are primary. They will not
tolerate compromise about the sensitive wetlands along the stream and feel outraged at what they
perceive as the destruction of the most beautiful area of common property. They think the board
acted without proper authorization by the membership and feel strongly that not only should the
road never have been built but that it must be taken out and the area reclaimed. They prefer any
solution, including boiling water for drinking, to the degradation of the environment. Many of
this group will be second-generation homeowners when they inherit the property from their
parents. However, these group members have no vote in the association, since only property
owners can vote. This group as a whole is concerned about appropriate process and has strongly
held content goals.
3. The “we simply have to live with it” group: This group sees itself as the middle group be-
tween two extremes. Many of these people feel disappointed or angry about the gravel road and
the fact that the water problem still is not solved. They want to support the elected board but
don’t like all the conflict and alienation in what used to be a very close and friendly group, which
had potlucks, birthday celebrations, and outings together. Now that the road is in, they think it
should be accepted and used to solve the water problem. This group is concerned with
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relationships and face-saving for the board. They keep their private opinions, whatever they
might be, to themselves. They look to the future
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