Workplace incivility and conflict management styles of community college leaders in the nine mega states

by Bartlett, Michelle Elizabeth, Ph.D., CLEMSON UNIVERSITY, 2009, 265 pages; 3355130


The purpose of the study was to examine the conflict management styles and perceived levels of workplace incivility of community college senior level administrators in the nine mega-states. Six research questions guided the study. Research question one described the self reported conflict management styles of the participants. Research question two described the participants‘ perceptions of workplace incivility. Research question three examined if relationships existed between conflict management styles and demographic variables. Research question four examined if relationships existed between workplace incivility and demographic variables. Research question five examined if relationships existed between workplace incivility and conflict management styles. Research question six explored if conflict management styles and/or demographic variables could explain any amount of variance of workplace incivility.

The methodology implemented was a non-experimental survey research design. A random proportional cluster sample of community college senior-level administrators selected from the nine mega-states was used for the study. The Uncivil Workplace Behavior Questionnaire (UWBQ) and the Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory-II (ROCI-II) were used for the web-based survey to collect data. Data were collected in three waves yielding a total of 176 responses giving a 26.3 % response rate.

Preliminary data analysis was done to address missing data, detect outliers, test assumptions (linearity, constant variance of the error terms, independence, and normality) and test for non-response bias. Exploratory factor analysis was done to ensure the instruments factored into the appropriate constructs with the specific population. Lastly, reliability for the instruments were reported using Cronbach‘s alpha.

Data analysis techniques included computation of means, standard deviations, frequencies, and percents for the descriptive data. Pearson‘s Product Moment (interval data), Point-Biserial (nominal dichotomous data), and Kendall‘s Tau (ordinal data) were used for correlations. Step-wise multiple regression and hierarchical regression analysis were used to examine if demographics and conflict management styles could explain workplace incivility.

Findings indicated that community college senior-level administrators prefer the integrating conflict management style, followed by obliging, avoiding, compromising and dominating. Further, participants reported a perceived low level of workplace incivility. Correlations indicated that as hostility, exclusionary behavior, and overall incivility increased, the integrating conflict management style decreased. Gender, age, and education level had no significant relationships with any of the five conflict management styles. As work experience increased, obliging, dominating, and avoiding conflict management styles increased. Overall, workplace incivility had no significant relationships with the demographic variables. A hierarchical stepwise regression showed that integrating, obliging (step 1), work experience (step 2), gender (step 3), and race (step 4) could be used to explain 10.3% of the variance of workplace incivility.

AdviserFrankie K. Williams
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsCommunity college education; Higher education
Publication Number3355130

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