Gender Perspective on Conflict Resolution Styles of Aspiring Indian Managers

Shweta1 and Shilpa Jain2

1Apeejay School of Management, New Delhi                                        
2University School of Management Studies, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Kashmere Gate,Delhi – 110006, India
1E-mail: shwetajha.asm@gmail.com, 2E-mail: shilpajain.usms@gmail.com

Abstract

It is assumed that gender plays a significant role in determining the conflict resolution style of an individual, although some studies dismiss such a notion. In this paper, the author has tried to explore the relationship between gender and conflict resolution styles among aspiring Indian managers. Indeed, it is imperative to develop a gender perspective on conflict resolution styles considering the fast changing composition of Indian workforce, where women occupy important positions across levels and industries. Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument was administered on aspiring Indian managers (i.e. the full-time management students, for the purpose of the study) in order to find out the patterns of conflict resolution styles based on their genders. Further, descriptive statistics was used to find out the most preferred style of leadership by males and females. T- test was used to find out the significant difference amongst the two genders in the usage of various conflict resolution styles. The empirical results revealed that the aspiring Indian managers generally adopt accommodating style of conflict resolution, followed by avoiding style, irrespective of their gender. Moreover, there is a significant difference in the competing style of conflict resolution mode between the two genders. Males are more competing than females –a phenomenon that may be attributed to the socio-cultural milieu and Indian ethos.

Keywords: Conflict Management, Gender, Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, Management Students