Conflict is always present in the management of school districts, and the way that school leaders handle that conflict is a crucial component to the organizational culture and success. This study was designed to determine what differences existed in the ways that Suburban Illinois Public School Top Management Team members handled conflict. Participants were given a brief demographic survey and the Thomas-Kilmann MODE instrument, which scores participants levels of preference for five distinct conflict styles: Competing, Collaborating, Compromising, Accommodating and Avoiding. The independent variables of job category, years of experience in school leadership and gender were used to assess any differences among the population.
Public School Top Management Team members from the six collar counties surrounding Chicago, Illinois were solicited, from which six hundred fifty-five (655) invitations were sent out. One hundred ninety-four (194) responses were received, yielding a response rate of 29.67%.
The results of the study showed that women top management team members preferred the mode of compromising more than their male peers. Data also showed that the top management team members with 11–15 years of experience in school leadership preferred Compromising significantly less than their colleagues with less than 5 years of experience and those with more than 21 years of experience. Compromising was the only conflict style to yield any results of significance.
Despite the significant findings within this population, the mean scores for this population did not fall into any significant range when compared with a larger national population. This suggests that Illinois Suburban Public School Top Management Team members may have differences, but those differences are similar to those that exist in other sectors.
This study adds to the breadth of knowledge about conflict management and school leadership. These findings will assist school districts as they assemble their top management teams to lead the future of their districts.
|Advisor:||Saban, Joseph, Jacobson, John|
|Commitee:||Cooper, G. Robb, Jacoby, Michael|
|School:||Northern Illinois University|
|Department:||Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, School administration|
|Keywords:||Conflict management, Educational leadership, Top management teams|
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