(What does a) Conflict Researcher (do)

elements of systemic change


When introducing myself, for example in an academic event or to a newly met colleague, I like to start by saying that I am a conflict researcher.

“Nice to meet you, I’m Paula Rossi and I am a conflict researcher at the University of Tampere, Faculty of Management.”

And, after this a need to explain arises: Yes, I study conflicts in the context of work, and no, I am not interested in finding ways to better resolve or even avoid conflicts. Nor am I thinking that this is even possible.

Instead of giving advises about resolving, avoiding or using conflicts at the workplace, I am interested in and studying the role of conflicts in the processes of development.

To clarify my approach, I am not seeing conflicts as something that needs to be dealt with or tamed, I am addressing them as something that has the potentiality for novelty to emerge. This novelty might be about the development of public services. Or, like in this post, conflicting definitions of (and ideas about) conflict might produce new understanding, which builds on the different thoughts and interpretations people have about conflicts.

I welcome you to join me to explore the concept, idea and possibilities of conflicts in the upcoming posts of this research blog called Conflict Stories. This is the very first post of the blog. Later on I will, for example, introduce interesting research, and comment on the topics related to the theme. I would also be happy to share writings from people interested in conflicts and built thoughts on that discussion, so if you feel the urge to say something, or suggest a topic for a post, please contact me.


The writer, Paula Rossi, is extremely interested in the complexity of everyday work, interaction, leadership, leadership psychology, and studying experiences. She works as a conflict researcher, doctoral researcher and university teacher at the University of Tampere, Faculty of Management. Also a passionate amateur photographer.


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