Fixing relationships through joint action

By Robert E. Kaplan
Center for Creative Leadership


When a work relationship comes down with a problem, why is it so uncommon for the parties affected to talk the problem through? Why do the people so much prefer to swallow their discontent or ventilate it to friends instead of taking it to the source? Why is confronting relationship problems as aversive a task for managers as giving a performance appraisal to a marginally performing subordinate? The answers are not as simple as the questions may imply, and this paper is devoted to explaining why people in organizations avoid their interpersonal problems and how confrontation can be used to repair work relationships.


Kaplan, R. E. (1983). Fixing relationships through joint action (Technical Report No. 24). Center for Creative Leadership.

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