Date of Conferral







Janice Spangenburg


Negative conflict in public school districts during collective bargaining impedes efforts towards creativity and student success. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the experiences of conflict for participants in collective bargaining in California public school districts. Complexity theory and social construction theory were used as the conceptual framework for the research, and ideas related to conflict, social interactions, knowledge management, and collective bargaining were examined to gain an understanding as they related to the central phenomenon. The specific research questions pondered in this study related to how conflict was experienced in California public schools during collective bargaining, what the perception of conflict was when knowledge management tools were used, and what some of the outcomes from conflict were when knowledge management tools were used. Data were collected from 25 participants who met the specified criteria of having experienced collective bargaining in a California public school setting, having experienced conflict during collective bargaining as a part of the negotiating teams, and must have experienced the use of knowledge management tools when in conflict during collective bargaining. Findings showed that knowledge management tools were a benefit to positive perceptions of conflict and positive conflict outcomes during collective bargaining in California public schools. The findings effectuate positive social change because when in conflict, knowledge is an intermediary that fills a void where there is a gap in understanding and a lack of viable solutions between the parties.