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Article
Publication date: 25 April 2008

Kenneth W. Thomas, Gail Fann Thomas and Nancy Schaubhut

This study aims to provide a more detailed examination of the way conflict styles vary by organization level and gender.

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to provide a more detailed examination of the way conflict styles vary by organization level and gender.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors drew a stratified, random sample from a national database on the Thomas‐Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, selecting 200 fully‐employed men and 200 fully‐employed women at each of six organizational levels – from entry‐level positions to top executives. This design allowed them to test for linear and curvilinear relationships between style and organization level, as well as to compare gender differences in styles across organization levels.

Findings

Results showed moderate effect sizes for both organization level and gender, with negligible interaction effects. Assertiveness (competing and collaborating) increases monotonically at progressively higher organization levels, while unassertive styles (avoiding and accommodating) decrease. Compromising shows a curvilinear relationship to organization level, decreasing at both the highest and lowest levels. The strongest gender finding was that men score significantly higher on competing at all six organization levels. Thus, there was no evidence that conflict styles of men and women converge at higher organization levels.

Originality/value

The study provides a more detailed picture of conflict style differences by organization level and gender. Among other things, these differences suggest the usefulness of multiple sets of norms for conflict style instruments and the need for conflict training and team building to take into account the typical style patterns at a given organization level.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 16 October 2006

Susan Page Hocevar, Gail Fann Thomas and Erik Jansen

Recent events such as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 against the United States and the national disaster of Hurricane Katrina demonstrated the acute need for…

Abstract

Recent events such as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 against the United States and the national disaster of Hurricane Katrina demonstrated the acute need for interagency collaboration. Using a semi-inductive method, we conducted two studies with senior homeland security leaders to learn more about organizations’ collaborative capacity during the early planning stages. In study One, we used an interorganizational systems perspective to identify factors that create or deter effective collaboration. Study Two elicited vignettes from a second group of senior homeland security leaders to gain further insights into the ways in which their organizations are successfully building collaborative capacity.

Details

Innovation through Collaboration
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-331-0

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 16 October 2006

Abstract

Details

Innovation through Collaboration
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-331-0

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