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Sex-typed traits, moral and interpersonal conflict, and conflict management strategies of women managers Portello, Jacqueline Yvonne

Abstract

The focus of this study was to determine whether sex-typed traits (instrumentality, expressiveness, androgyny) and type of conflict (interpersonal and moral) differentiate conflict management styles (dominating, integrating, and compromising) of women managers. The data were collected from 134 supervisors and managers (M age 40.1) from 12 branches of the federal government and 25 ministries and offices of the provincial government (British Columbia and the Yukon Territories). Each respondent completed the Bern Sex-Role Inventory and the Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory-II. Two research questions were posed. The first question examined whether managers resolved conflicts differently according to their sex-role orientation, regardless of the type of conflict. It was hypothesized that (a) high-instrumental managers would report greater use of the dominating conflict handling style, compared with low-instrumental managers, and (b) high-expressive managers would report greater use of the compromising conflict handling style, compared with low-expressive managers. The second research question examined whether managers resolved conflicts differently according to their sex-role orientation and the type of conflict engaged in (interpersonal or moral). It was hypothesized that high-instrumental managers would report greater use of the integrating conflict management style for interpersonal conflict, whereas they would report greater use of the dominating style for moral conflict. Also, it was predicted that androgynous managers would report greater use of the integrating conflict management strategy for both types of conflict, compared with managers who score high on the undifferentiated dimension. One 2 X 2 X 2 (High vs. Low Instrumentality X High vs. Low Expressiveness X Conflict Type) MANOVA was employed to test the hypotheses. Conflict type was used as the repeated measures factor as it was assessed twice (interpersonal conflict and moral/ethical conflict). Results supported the hypothesis that high-instrumental managers report greater use of the dominating conflict management strategy, compared with low-instrumental managers, F (1,130) = 10.20, p

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