Date of Conferral

1-1-2009

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Nathan Long

Abstract

This correlation study focused on the lack of understanding of the relationship between social self-image "face" and conflict styles among adult employees on school campuses. An individual's social self-image may involve concerns for the social representation of oneself, another individual, or a relationship. Limited research pertaining to the degree face concerns affect conflict styles within school communities is a problem for school administrators because conflict styles can influence conflict outcomes and impact workplace quality on school campuses. This study relied on Ting-Toomey's face-negotiation theory, which proposes that individuals prefer conflict styles based upon face concerns. Research questions explored correlations between self-face, other-face, and mutual-face concerns with dominating, emotional expressive, neglect, integrating, obliging, compromising, third-party help, and avoiding conflict styles. The sample consisted of 192 adults employed on 3 school campuses located in a large metropolitan region in the western region of the United States. Participants completed a survey by recalling a conflict with an adult coworker. Participants responded to items measuring social self-image and behavioral responses to conflict. Results were analyzed using multiple regression tests. Findings suggest that preferences for conflict styles were very different in the presence of self-face than in the presence of other-face and mutual-face, and face-concerns were either weak predictors or nonpredictors for avoiding and third-party help. This study has the potential to enhance workplace quality on school campuses in that it suggests mutual-face concerns for relationships associate with cooperative conflict styles that tend to promote constructive conflict outcomes.