Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Beth Rous


As pressures continue for colleges and universities to find new ways of doing business, the calls for change heighten and the potential for conflict ensues. The purpose of the research study was to explore change as conflict via an exploration of organizational change related to preferred cognitive style, as measured by the Kirton Adaption-Innovation (KAI) instrument, and conflict management style, as measured by the Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory-II (ROCI-II) instrument. The two instruments were administered to 72 university administrators at a large flagship university. The results indicate that the preferred cognitive style of university administrators is not significantly different from that of the general population. In addition, there were no statistically significant differences in style when comparing functional reporting area, gender, or education level. University administrators were found to prefer using the integrating conflict management style, followed by the compromising and obliging styles. Dominating and avoiding styles were the least used by university administrators. An understanding of cognitive styles and conflict management styles may help university administrators to be more self-aware and to know when each style is appropriate for use, particularly as it relates to problem-solving in teams with a diversity of styles to manage change and enhance organizational effectiveness.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)