Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning


The purpose of this study was to determine possible relationships between the self-reported leadership styles and conflict management techniques of a selected group of hospital middle management personnel. The major question studied was: Are there relationships between the self-reported leadership styles as measured by the Hersey and Blanchard LEAD-Self Instrument and the self-reported conflict management techniques as measured by the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument among supervisors in selected health care institutions in North Dakota as reported by sex, age, level of education, years in current supervisory position, total years in supervisory positions, number of subordinates supervised, and hours of management training completed? The sample was comprised of 156 department heads/cost center managers from the eight largest hospitals in North Dakota.

The results of the study demonstrated that High Task and High Relationship was the dominant leadership style reported by the majority of respondents. The most frequently used supporting style was that of High Relationship and Low Task. Respondents indicated the use of Compromising as their most frequently utilized mode of handling conflict. The second most frequently used technique was that of Collaborating, although Avoiding was used almost as frequently as Collaborating.

There were no significant differences between self-reported leadership styles on the basis of the seven variables studied. There were significant differences between conflict management techniques when the two variables of sex and age were considered. Females tended to use the Compromising mode more frequently than males. More females than males used the Competing mode and more males than females used the Accommodating mode. More respondents 35 years of age or under used the Competing mode. More respondents between 36 and 45 years of age used the Compromising mode. More respondents 46 years of age or above used the Collaborating mode. Respondents between the ages of 36 and 45 tended to use the Avoiding mode less frequently and the Accommodating more frequently than those in the other two age categories.

Hospital administrators should conduct more in-depth assessments of the conflict management techniques of middle managers through validation of these behaviors by superordinates and subordinates; develop training programs to deal with common causes of conflict and appropriate strategies for dealing with them; and emphasize to managers the consequences of the use of Avoidance, Accommodation, and Compromising as primary conflict management techniques.