Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Second Advisor

Dr. Carol Sheffer

Third Advisor

Dr. Martha Smydra


Conflict management is a vital component of the manager's function. It is also assumed that men and women manage conflict differently, and therefore perform differently as managers. This assumption, along with many other sex-role stereotypes, has restricted the entrance of women into management, and especially into top level management.

This study investigated differences in the conflict management styles of men and women managers, and specifically of men and women administrators in 2-year colleges across the United States. It utilized the self-administered Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument to measure conflict management on five modes determined by the dimensions of cooperation and assertiveness. These modes are identified as competing, collaborating, compromising, avoiding, and accommodating.

The results of analysis of the data were inconclusive. No differences were found between men and women, or among levels of supervisory experience, or as a result of the interaction of these two variables. Nor was the conflict management style of women administrators found to relate to the proportion of administrative staff that is female.

Further research is recommended to address possible differences in conflict management style as a characteristic of level of authority.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access