Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Jeffrey Prinster

Abstract

An important challenge facing humanity today is to determine how to resolve intractable conflicts. Intractable conflicts are intensely violent conflicts that are difficult to resolve and last at least one generation. The purpose of this study was to explore the themes leaders used in resolving intractable conflicts by writing peace agreements, which achieved at least a ninety percent implementation rating by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. The research questions focused on the distribution of societal themes defined by Bar-Tal as present within societies experiencing an intractable conflict. This study used a multicase study approach and a directed content analysis of the narratives, chosen because the study began with an existing concept as a guide for determining initial codes. A categorization matrix was developed based on the existing concept and expanded to include one new category not initially included. The texts were coded by hand and the data were interpreted to reveal the findings, which show that the distribution of themes within narratives of the peace accords contained themes supported by Bar-Tal's research as being functional in transitioning a society out of conflict and absent themes found as being dysfunctional in helping societies make this transition. Second, interpretation of the findings confirmed that knowledge found in transformational leadership literature extends knowledge of narratives of peace accords. A new model of peacemaking emerged from these findings entitled the peace accords transformational leadership model. If leaders understood how to craft narratives of peace, then positive social change would result from a quicker end to violent conflicts and lasting peace for the societies suffering within them.