Date of Award

Spring 1993

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Augenstein, John

Second Advisor

Ivanoff, John

Third Advisor

Olsen, Gary


The topic of conflict management as a function of leadership has been of interest to this investigator for some time. As a practicing nurse and as a teacher of senior-level nursing students studying leadership, I was aware of how often conflictive situations could arise in the professional workplace as well as in daily life. When I was appointed to the position of dean of the faculty at a nursing college, I became aware of the conflict, or potential conflict, that this position dealt with. This heightened my interest in the topic and resulted in my wanting to delve deeper into the theory of conflict management, particularly conflict related to institutions of higher education and the position of academic dean. The purpose of this study was to determine which of the five generally accepted styles, or modes, of managing conflict -- integrating (collaborating), compromising, obliging (smoothing), dominating (forcing), or avoiding -- was the predominant style used by academic deans in baccalaureate or higher degree granting programs in the state of Wisconsin. One hundred fifty-four deans and their subordinates were surveyed, using a modified version of the Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory-II The subjects were also asked to evaluate the dean's effectiveness in managing conflict through the use of a global question developed by the investigator and a five-point Likert scale. Analysis of the data indicates that the integrating style is the predominant style of the deans in this study, followed closely by the compromising style, and that the deans are effective managers of conflict.



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