Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Paul Chapman.


Previous research suggests that academic deans follow the human relations and structural perspectives in conflict management (Feltner & Goodsell, 1972). However, the position of an academic dean has been described to have undertones that are more political and social than hierarchical and technical. Hence, the current study evaluated the role of the academic dean in conflict management from a more inclusive perspective that involved the Bolman and Deal four-frame leadership theory: Structural, human resources, political and symbolic frames and Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory (ROCI-II) instrument that evaluated the five dimensions of conflict management: Integrating, obliging, compromising, dominating, and avoiding. The respondents of the study included 93 academic deans heading Business and Education colleges in Public Masters Colleges and Universities-Larger programs (Carnegie Classification, 2010). The research found significant relationships between deans' leadership frames, styles, and conflict management styles: Integrating conflict management style was positively related to all the four frames; contrary to the dominating conflict management style which was negatively related to the human resource frame. An education dean was 2.59 times more likely to have a political frame than a business dean; deans with less than five years of experience in the position of an academic dean were 3.23 times more likely to have a human resource frame than deans with more experience in the position; and finally, deans with more than five years of experience in academia were more likely to use the compromising conflict management style than deans with less experience in academia with a medium effect size of .24. This knowledge can be used during deanship trainings and job placements.