Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

School

Leadership

Committee Chair

Dr. H. Quincy Brown

Committee Chair School

Leadership

Committee Member 2

Dr. Heather M. Annulis

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership

Committee Member 3

Dr. Jonathan B. Beedle

Committee Member 3 School

Leadership

Committee Member 4

Dr. John J. Kmiec

Committee Member 4 School

Leadership

Committee Member 5

Dr. Dale L. Lunsford

Committee Member 5 School

Leadership

Abstract

This mixed-methods study explored social constructs, conflict management style (CMS), and workplace conflict among workers in the United States. Workers do not understand the connections between social constructs, CMS, and workplace conflict. A lack of information on workers' experiences and representation in conflict literature supports the gap in understanding (Aquino, 2000; Bourdieu, 1986; Hayes, 2008; Herr & Anderson, 2005; Lin, 2001; Long, 2007; Meng et al., 2019; Mertens, 2003, 2009, 2018; Sosa, 2019). The study used a transformative-emancipatory explanatory sequential design focused on workers. There were 82 convenience sample participant surveys and 12 purposive sample low-level cooperativeness CMS participant interviews analyzed in this research. The quantitative method used chi-square tests for associations to determine relationships between perceptions of age, attractiveness, gender and sexual identity, language, likability, and race with influence on CMS in the workplace. Odds ratios supplemented the quantitative technique. The qualitative method used interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), rival theory, and the method of multiple working hypotheses. Qualitative techniques helped explore participant perspectives on geographic location, morality, political affiliation, religiosity, socioeconomic status, and trust influencing CMS in the workplace. Relationships were determined and workplace conflict experiences were explored. Study findings convey perceptions of external social constructs do not influence CMS in the workplace. Perspectives on internal social constructs affect and shape CMS in the workplace. Reflecting on workplace conflict lived experiences encourages change. Researcher recommendations include workers should consider their perceptions of external social constructs and perspectives on internal social constructs with influence on their workplace conflict behaviors. Workers should develop social intelligence. Workers should also reflect on workplace conflict lived experiences, learn, contemplate change, and make constructive changes when necessary.

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