Year of Publication


Date of Thesis


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Communications (School)

Subject Categories

Conflict management; Communication in organizations; Communication in management


Organizational conflict is a factor affecting all organizations. This study is designed to present an overview of organizational conflict and its causes, conflict management techniques, and communication skills necessary for conflict management. The study begins with the presentation of the definitions of the major terms used throughout the study: conflict, conflict management, organization, and communication. Following these definitions is a discussion of the psychodynamic, field, phase and social exchange theories of conflict. Each theory is discussed in its own right and with respect to its implications for organizational conflict and its management. In addition to a review of theories, the study includes an analysis of the various causes of conflict, focusing on aggression, climate, communication and perception. Other factors affecting these such as interdependence, power and trust are also discussed. The study next shifts to an analysis of what can be done to respond to conflict. To this end, various approaches to conflict including those of Blake and Mouton, Thomas and Pondy, and Robbins are examined. Communication is the most essential element in conflict management, and the final chapter is a discussion of the communication skills necessary for effective conflict management. The primary conclusion drawn is that one can learn to recognize causes of conflict as well as conflict management and communication skills and that conflict management training should become an essential aspect of organizational training programs.

Included in

Communication Commons



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