Navigating disruption, crisis, and conflict are normal challenges in community organisations. Things go awry, from time to time, with people, relationships, and whole group dynamics. It doesn’t make it any easier or less painful, however, to know you are not the first person or organisation to come across a difficult individual or experience a schism.

Megan and Kath have both researched these hard to manage—and hard on people—conflict situations, which may include rifts between factions in an organisation; exclusion, bullying and incivility; “sticky situations” with volunteers; power plays; or perceived threats to an organisation’s identity or future existence.

This webinar will be a chance to be introduced to their research, ask questions, and perhaps reframe a seemingly stuck situation—from the present or the past—or to strengthen your organisation’s capacity to manage the inevitable incidence of conflict in the future.

This webinar was presented by Dr Megan Paull and Dr Katherine Sugars from Murdoch University.

Watch the webinar on YouTube.


About the presenters

Dr Katherine Sugars

Katherine’s work and volunteer experience in nonprofit organisations is based on her commitment to community organising, and to valuing the knowledge and agency of people in civil society. She teaches in Murdoch University’s Business School and collaborates on research in her role as Honorary Research Associate. Katherine also consults in the area of her doctoral research—The Lived Experience of Schism in Nonprofit Organisations—on understanding the social dynamics of group conflict. Her focus is building resilience to disruptions induced by or manifesting as leadership or power issues, identity transformation, factionalisation, and conflict threatening relationships, group effectiveness, and potentially organisations.

Dr Megan Paull

Megan Paull has been working with and researching community organisations for over twenty-five years. Her work with volunteer-involving organisations often includes dealing with tricky situations and she runs interactive workshops on Dealing with difficult volunteers and Valuing volunteer managers. An active volunteer herself, Megan’s approach is to draw on the experience in the room to create safe spaces for conversations about difficult topics, and to assist participants to develop strategies for managing their way through the challenges which emerge. Megan teaches and researches at Murdoch Business School in the area of nonprofit management and leadership.

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