Managing Opposing Viewpoints

Academic Leader

Within any organization there are viewpoints that are seemingly irreconcilable. In an academic department it could be opposing views on the direction the department should take, which programs to emphasize, or the appropriate use of instructional technology. People often hold opposing views on such issues, and one view may not be more correct than another. To deal with these types of differences, Daniel Pesut, professor in the School of Nursing at Indiana University, recommends using an approach that recognizes that not all opposing viewpoints are problems to be solved; they are polarities to be managed. In an interview with Academic Leader, Pesut made the distinction between conflicts and polarities and offers some ideas on how to use this approach.†

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