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The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice, 3rd Edition by Peter T. Coleman, Eric C. Marcus, Morton Deutsch

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CHAPTER FOUR

CONSTRUCTIVE CONTROVERSY

The Value of Intellectual Opposition

David W. Johnson

Roger T. Johnson

Dean Tjosvold

Since the general or prevailing opinion on any subject is rarely or never the whole truth, it is only by the collision of adverse opinion that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied.

—John Stuart Mill

An airline flight crew is taking its large passenger jet with over 150 people on board in for a landing. The instruments indicate the plane is still five thousand feet above the ground, and the pilot sees no reason to doubt their accuracy. The copilot thinks the instruments are malfunctioning and the plane is actually much lower. Will this disagreement endanger the passengers and crew by distracting the ...

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