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Dissertation Abstract

Differences in Conflict Management Styles of Leaders in Hierarchical and Congregational Organizational Structures

Kelly Blayne Warren
Regent University

This research extended O'Connor's (1993) study by empirically testing pastoral leaders' conflict management styles through a comparison of leaders in hierarchical (Roman Catholic) versus congregational (Southern Baptist) congregations while also relating the leaders' behavioral profiles and spiritual giftings to their conflict management styles. The respondents completed three survey instruments: (a) the Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory (Rahim, 1983), which assessed the leaders' conflict management styles by measuring the degree of interpersonal conflict with church members; (b) the Leadership Profile (Sashkin & Sashkin, 2003), which measured leadership behavior by differentiating between transformational and transactional leadership; and (c) the Spiritual Gifts Inventory (DellaVecchio, 2000), which identified the leaders' spiritual giftings. Analysis of this data showed conflict management style differences between leaders of the disparate organizational ecclesiological structures in the avoiding conflict management style and significant correlations between (a) the integrating conflict management style and transactional leadership behavior, (b) the integrating conflict management style and transformational leadership behavior, (c) the obliging conflict management style and the spiritual giftings of encourager, (d) the obliging conflict management style and the spiritual giftings of perceiver, (e) the dominating conflict management style and the spiritual giftings of ruler, (f) the avoiding conflict management style and the spiritual giftings of perceiver, (g) the compromising conflict management style and transactional leadership behavior, (h) the compromising conflict management style and the spiritual gift of mercy, and (i) the compromising conflict management style and the spiritual gift of service.