Date of Award

1-1-2013

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Leadership and Policies

Sub-Department

Educational Administration

First Advisor

Edward P Cox

Abstract

Using a mixed-methods design, this study examined conflict management styles of elementary school principals in South Carolina and the relationship of conflict management style and school climate. The Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory-II,

Form B, which identifies five styles of managing conflict, was used to determine principal conflict management style preferences. Eight indicators on the South Carolina school report cards were used to measure school climate. Seven principals were interviewed to obtain additional information on conflict management style preferences. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the Spearman's rho statistic. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed to provide qualitative data. Principals in the study strongly preferred the Integrating conflict management style. No significant correlation was found to exist between principal conflict management style and school climate indicators. The interviews extended the understanding of principal conflict management practices. Principals linked trust, listening, addressing conflict issues promptly and directly, and self-knowledge to effective conflict management practices.

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