Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Kelly R. Chermack


Unresolved conflict is responsible for at least 50% of resignations in the workplace, which negatively affects an organization's reputation and profitability. Although there has been ample research on the link between conflict resolution and leadership, there was limited research on conflict aboard military installations specifically. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore conflict resolution strategies of civilian small business managers who work on a military installation in Southern Arizona. The theory of realistic conflict, or realistic group conflict theory, was used as the conceptual framework for this study. The data collection process involved semistructured interviews of 11 managers selected from 4 different civilian small businesses via purposive sampling along with company documents and public information found on the Internet containing conflict resolution processes within the organization. Transcribed interviews were coded and analyzed using software to help generate emergent themes. Yin's comprehensive data analysis method of compiling, assembling and disassembling, interpreting, and making conclusions resulted in the emergence of 3 themes: effective communication, situational leadership, and organizational culture. The results from this study may help business leaders identify strategies for resolving conflict, as well as recognize issues beforehand, mitigating conflict before is develops. This study has implications for positive social change, in that potential outcome of reduced conflict may lead to more organizational productivity and increase the revenue stream that is input into base programs for military members, their families, and other government employees, subsequently improving their quality of life.