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Conflict Resolution among Senior Leaders within the U.S. Military

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Technical Report

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Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States

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Conflict is prevalent within society and conflict management is challenging in any situation. Within the military, conflict brings some added considerations to that challenge. The Base Realignment of Closure BRAC process is one such example that drives conflict within the military. In the 2005 BRAC, medicine was directed to consolidate medical capability into a joint function at many locations. One of the directives was to realign the two major military medical centers in San Antonio Wilford Hall Medical Center WHMC and Brooke Army Medical Center BAMC. This paper assesses the application of negotiation concepts within a framework of organization change within the military. These concepts include the influence of organizational cultural on conflict resolution, dynamics of conflict resolution, and a model for negotiation strategies in the military. The importance of key elements during the negotiation process to include trust, information, power, and development of options will also be addressed. These concepts will be applied to the organizational change, in which, BRAC directed the realignment of WHMC and BAMC. Throughout the realignment between WHMC and BAMC, there were signification challenges to the resolution of this conflict to include parochial service-specific attitudes, trust issues, insistent negotiation strategies, and positional power struggles. This paper will provide the reader with a better understanding of how effective management techniques enhances organizational change or, conversely, how misapplication damages the process.

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