Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)As greater numbers of women throughout the past few decades have assumed managerial roles in organizations, the question of whether gender differences exist in the ability to manage effectively has become an important concern. According to Korabik, Baril, and Watson (1993), conflict management skills are a fundamental aspect of leadership effectiveness and “perceptions of how females handle crisis and conflict often are cited as blocks to the female manager’s ascent to the executive suite” (Shockley-Zalabak, 1981, p. 289). Additionally, the importance of likability of supervisors by their subordinates has become of greater importance in the past few years as researchers have discovered that more people leave their job because they do not like their supervisor than for any other reason (Agrusa, Spears, Agrusa, & Tanner, 2006; Joyce, 2006). The purpose of this study was to examine gender differences in supervisor’s conflict management styles and to determine how they relate to both effectiveness and likability among their subordinates. Specifically, research was conducted to reveal a) what differences exist between conflict management styles chosen by women and men leaders, b) if a relationship exists between conflict management styles and likeability among subordinates, c) what influence conflict management styles have upon perceived effectiveness among subordinates, and d) what correlation exists between likability and perceived effectiveness
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