4

Resolving Disputes

Conflict is the experience of opposing interests. People experience conflict when they are interdependent, need to share resources, and perceive opposing interests concerning how those resources should be distributed.1 Recall the example in Chapter One of the TNK-BP failed joint venture set up in 2003 between some Russian investors (AAR) and British Petroleum. In Chapter One we mentioned that the joint venture was plagued from the outset by “internal governance problems”—a euphemism for conflict. Expats dominated the management team and tried to impose BP's corporate culture on the joint venture. Within a year, over one-fifth of the Russian headquarters staff had left because of mutual distrust between expat and resident ...

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