Conflict management style dissertation

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Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

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The influence of culture on conflict management styles and willingness to use mediation: A comparative study of African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans (Jamaicans) in South Florida


Claudette Powell-Bennett, Nova Southeastern University Follow

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation – NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis & Resolution


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Claire M. Rice

Second Advisor

Neil Katz

Third Advisor

Elena Bastidas


Conflict management style preference and use of mediation within the Black population in the United States (US) is not well understood. The purpose of this study is to find out if there is a significant difference in conflict management style preference and use of mediation by African Americans and Afro-Caribbean (Jamaicans) living in the United States. Based on Hofstede’s theory of individualism-collectivism cultural orientation, the US culture emphasizes individualism while Jamaica’s culture emphasizes collectivism. Responses were collected from 108 African American and Jamaican respondents anonymously, of which 96 were deemed usable. The Rahim (1983) Organizational Conflict Management Style Inventory was used to collect data on the five styles and was analyzed with the appropriate statistic test. A thematic analysis was used to analyze the text-based data gathered from the two open-ended questions at the end of the survey. The thematic analysis revealed two major themes: personal and workplace relationship conflict situations. It is recommended that future study includes three groups of Blacks instead of two groups. The preferred conflict management style from the combined group result is the compromising style. A significant difference was found in the obliging and compromising conflict management styles between African Americans and Jamaicans. No significant difference was found between the groups’ conflict management style and willingness to use mediation. The open-ended questions and individual textual description of conflict experience and willingness to use mediation were used to clarify the quantitative results and provide a better understanding of the similarities and differences among people of African descent from different cultural orientations.


Available for download on Sunday, November 04, 2018

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Since May 08, 2018





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