Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Dr. Janet Hankin


This study examined empirically women’s interpersonal workplace conflict management styles. This study’s purpose was to add to the knowledge base of women and conflict management. The research question was to determine whether social characteristics such as feminism, race, age, single head of household status, religion, and social class explain differences in conflict management among women. Research Hypotheses 1 through 6 were that significant differences based on feminism, age, race, single head of household, social class, and religion would be found among the study’s respondents in their choice of five styles of conflict management. Research Hypothesis 7 was that feminism would increase the amount of explained variance of the above socio-demographic model. A questionnaire composed of self-report responses on conflict management styles, feminist attitudes, and social demographics was administered to a sample consisting of three hundred and thirty-one women who represent a variety of socio-demographic groups in the Southeastern Michigan area. The mean age of the sample was 34.5 years, 26% were African-Americans, 42% identified themselves as working class and 26% were single heads of households. Rahim’s ROCI-II (Form C, 1983) Conflict Inventory-II was used to measure conflict management styles, and feminist orientation was measured by Morgan’s Liberal Feminist Attitude and Ideology Scale (1996). In the Rahim inventory the respondents were asked to respond to two conflict scenarios, one a female/female conflict and the other a female/male conflict. The bivariate and multivariate analyses showed limited support for the research hypotheses. The findings revealed significant effects for 1) feminism on the Integrating, Avoiding, and Obliging Conflict Management Styles; 2) age on Compromising, Dominating, and Avoiding Styles in the female/female conflict and the Obliging Style in the female/male conflict scenario; 3) African-Americans on the Compromising Style in the female/female conflict scenario and Caucasians on the Compromising Style in the female/female conflict scenario, and the Avoiding and Obliging Styles in both the conflict scenarios. No support was found for the single head of household, social class, and religion hypotheses. Finally, the findings supported the hypothesis that feminism would increase the explained variance of the socio-demographic model on the Avoiding, Integrating, and Obliging Conflict Management Styles.