Conflict Resolution | Online Conflict Resolution Course Arts and Science Online

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Conflict Resolution

EMPR 220/3.0

This course overviews the nature of conflict in the workplace. Specifically, it examines the complex role that conflict resolution plays at all levels of the Canadian workplace and in the determination of terms and conditions of employment, including collective bargaining.

Learning Outcomes

After completing EMPR 220, students will be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast the processes affecting conflict and the implications of these processes in understanding and managing conflict
  2. Analyze and evaluate the characteristics of Canada’s employment relations system that shape the processes and outcomes of conflict resolution mechanisms
  3. Describe the varied approaches to resolving conflict in a non-union setting
  4. Identify and explain specific negotiation styles, including the context and purpose in which they are used
  5. Illustrate the impact of positive workplace relationships on the negotiation of agreements
  6. Identify and explain how the various types of conflict management or dispute resolution mechanisms are used in unionized settings
  7. Collaborate, communicate and negotiate with peers to produce a joint outcome


This course examines the complex role that conflict resolution plays at all levels of the Canadian workplace in the determination of terms and conditions of employment, including collective bargaining, and in clarifying the rights of workers and employers.

Employment relationships in Canada are at times characterized by both conflict and cooperation. Processes and mechanisms have been developed to effectively address disputes when they arise, in both union and non-unionized work settings. These processes are utilized in negotiating terms and conditions of employment, in administering collective agreements, and in resolving the appropriate application of statute or employment policy.

Course themes will be introduced over three, four week segments and will cover:

  • conflict and cooperation in work and employment relations
  • conflict resolution in non-unionized workplaces
  • conflict management in unionized workplaces


Topics at a Glance

Week 1

Fundamentals of Conflict and Conflict Resolution

Week 2

Conflict and the Canadian Employment System

Week 3

The Negotiating Process: Style and Substance

Week 4


Week 5

Building Positive Employer/Employee Relations

Week 6

Statutory Structure of the Non-Union Workplace and Dispute Resolution

Week 7

Processes and Principles Applied to Conflict Resolution in Non-Union Workplaces

Week 8


Week 9

The Collective Agreement: Construct and Administration

Week 10

Conflict management in Unionized Workplaces

Week 11

Grievance, Arbitration and Third Party Resolution

Week 12



Fall 2019
Course Dates: 
Sept 5 - Nov 29, 2019
Exam Dates: 
Dec 4 - 19, 2019




Professor John Staple (

Instructor message

I have been involved in education and employment relations for nearly 45 years. During that time, I have come to appreciate the value and the necessity of processes that lead to the management and resolution of conflict. The Canadian Labour Relations System was structured with heavy reliance on a diversity of dispute resolution processes. EMPR 220 will build upon a theoretical base from which conflict resolution in employment relations can be examined in detail. Because of its very nature, this course cuts across a variety of disciplines and will be of interest and use to students in many different fields.

I currently live in St. John's, NL. I have enjoyed a long and interesting relationship with Queen's University and look forward to continuing that relationship as instructor for EMPR 220.

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend approximately 10 hours a week (120 hours per term) in study, listening and online activity for this course.

Students should be aware of and plan for specific timed activities associated with the course, specifically those connected with a mock negotiation exercise in which all students are required to participate synchronously. Please check the Timeline in the course for details.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

  • Laptop or Desktop computer purchased within the last 5 years. (mobile devices are not supported)
  • Windows Vista SP2/Mac OSX 10.9 or higher
  • Up to date versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. Please note that Google Chrome is not recommended for use in our courses.
  • Most recent version of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash

 See also Getting Started.


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
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Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.