Original Research

Interpersonal conflict – handling styles used in public and private sector organisations: A comparative study

Werner Havenga, Jan Visagie
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 32, No 1 | a223 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v32i1.223 | © 2006 Werner Havenga, Jan Visagie | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 October 2006 | Published: 29 October 2006

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Werner Havenga, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Jan Visagie, North-West University, South Africa

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The objective of this study was to determine and compare by means of an empirical study whether there exists a significant difference in the handling of interpersonal conflict between two totally different organisations. The study made use of the Rahim Organisational Conflict Inventory – ROC-II instrument to determine the extent of usage of five conflict handling styles by employees of an agricultural company and a local authority. Results indicated that a significant difference exists in usage of the various handling styles between respondents and their superiors as well as respondents and their peers. The obliging style and integrating styles were used the most and the dominating style was used the least in both organisations. Significant differences were also recorded with regard to sex, age and qualifications and the usage of different conflict handling styles. These results have definite implications for managing conflict in organisations.

Die doelwit van hierdie studie was om d.m.v ’n empiriese studie vas te stel en te vergelyk of daar ’n betekenisvolle verskil is in die hantering van interpersoonlike konflik tussen twee verskillende organisasies. Die studie het gebruik gemaak van die Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory – ROC II instrument om vas te stel watter mate die vyf konflikhantering-style binne ’n landboumaatskappy en ’n plaaslike owerheid, gebruik word. Resultate het gewys dat daar ’n betekenisvolle verskil is in hanteringstyle tussen respondente en hul hoofde sowel as respondente en hul gelykes. Die toegewende- en integrerende styl was die meeste gebruik en die dominerende styl die minste in beide organisasies. Betekenisvolle verskille is ook aangeteken met betrekking tot geslag, ouderdom en kwalifikasies en die gebruik van die verskillende konflikhantering-style. Hierdie resultate hou noemenswaardige implikasies in vir die bestuur van konflik in organisasies.


Interpersonal conflict; Handling styles; Private sector organisations


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