Organizational behavior researchers and academicians classify the process of solving a common pain or problem as “interpersonal conflict handling.” These researchers use a two-dimensional model to illustrate cooperativeness, the degree to which the group wants to satisfy the concerns of others in the group, and assertiveness, the degree to which members of the group want to satisfy their own concerns.
In their widely used textbook, Behavior in Organizations: An Experiential Approach, California Polytechnic State University professors of organization management Rami Shani, Dawn Chandler, Jean-Francois Coget, and James Lau state:
“The collaborating style is an assertive, cooperative mode that attempts to satisfy the concerns of both groups….Of the five styles, the collaborating style is the only one that fully represents a win-win orientation; the other styles represent various forms of a win-lose orientation” (emphasis added).
These experts conclude by starting, “Everyone can win … if they’re creative and seek out mutual gains.” The 8 elements of effective collaboration, detailed by Gov. Mike Leavitt and Rich McKeown in Finding Allies, Building Alliances, have a strong academic foundation and are aligned with the thinking of leading theoretical experts.