Chat with us, powered by LiveChat How do you feel about managing conflict? Note any apprehensions that you may have, their root and how you plan to overcome them? As a new leaders, who would you go to for assistance in | WriteDen

How do you feel about managing conflict? Note any apprehensions that you may have, their root and how you plan to overcome them? As a new leaders, who would you go to for assistance in

  1. How do you feel about managing conflict? Note any apprehensions that you may have, their root and how you plan to overcome them?
  2. As a new leaders, who would you go to for assistance in managing conflict in your desired educational setting?
  3. Of the approaches to conflict management identified in Chapter 5 of Gorton & Alston (2022), which do you feel are the most effective?  Why? 

1. Assume you are the leader of this institution, how will you approach this situation?



Conflict in educational settings can take many forms: student-to-student, parent-to-teacher, teacher-to-teacher, teacher-to-administrator, parent-to-administrator, athlete-to-coach; coach-to-athletic director, professor-to-student services professional and so on. As an educational leader, you will want to ensure that you are both comfortable with managing conflict and competent in how to effectively manage any conflicts that may arise,


1. After completing the required reading and watching the mini-lecture on Conflict Management, write 2-4 well developed paragraphs reflecting on your thoughts/ reactions to the topic. Some questions to consider in your reflection include:

1. How do you feel about managing conflict? Note any apprehensions that you may have, their root and how you plan to overcome them?

2. As a new leaders, who would you go to for assistance in managing conflict in your desired educational setting?

3. Of the approaches to conflict management identified in Chapter 5 of Gorton & Alston (2022), which do you feel are the most effective? Why?

2. Cite evidence from the course readings in APA format and/ or other scholarly evidence to support your arguments.

Mini Lecture: 5601414c23&start=3.673826667333986

ASSIGNMENT 2: Faculty Dissatisfaction and Low Morale

"It is understandable that an administrator should wish to avoid conflict, especially if a particular conflict could be disruptive. By trying to avoid all conflict, however, an administrator could be ignoring or suppressing significant problems or issues that need to be aired if they are to be ameliorated or resolved" (Gorton & Alston, 2012, p. 129).

-sample APA citation format-

You have learned about sources of conflict and approaches to managing conflict. This assignment gives you the opportunity to apply and demonstrate mastery of what you have learned. The case study that you will examine for this assignment, illustrates a scenario which you may encounter in your career as an educational leader. While many of you are not pursuing a leadership role in schools, reflect on how you might approach

a similar issue as a new leader coming into the institution, program or department that you anticipate leading.


Gorton, R. (2022). School Leadership and Administration: Important Concepts, Case Studies, and Simulations (11th ed.). McGraw-Hill Higher Education (US).


1. Read the case study Faculty Dissatisfaction and Low Morale found on page 301 of Gorton & Alston (2022).

2. Write a 3-5 page paper addressing the following:

1. Assume you are the leader of this institution, how will you approach this situation?

3. Support your answer with evidence from the course reading or other scholarly sources. Be sure to cite and reference your sources in APA format.


Entering the faculty workroom, Mary Beth Williams crossed the room to a table where Alice

Spencer was correcting papers, spread out before her in organized confusion.

“At it again, I see,” Mary Beth greeted the other teacher.

“It never ends, does it?” Alice responded. “And I have a meeting right after school,

besides. I hope I can finish these, because there’s another stack on my desk that I have to

take home tonight.”

“You’re on that lesson plan committee, aren’t you?” Mary Beth said, sitting down across

the table. “How’s that going?”

“About as well as you might expect. I mean, what good is this committee going to do

anyway? It’s the principal’s committee—he’s the one who thinks there needs to be a change

in the lesson plan format. As far as I can make out, none of the teachers see any need to

change it at all, except maybe Bill Challenge, who wants to eliminate lesson plans altogether.

You should have seen the principal’s face when Bill brought up that idea! Mr. Hizway has

previously been making this big statement about how the teachers on this committee need to

participate more and get involved, and how receptive he was to hearing our ideas on the

subject when Bill Challenge brings up this suggestion to eliminate lesson plans

completely—although I don’t think he meant to eliminate planning. I thought Mr. Hizway was

going to have a stroke. He got very red in the face and then quickly said that Bill’s ideas

weren’t worth discussing and immediately changed the subject.”

“You mean,” Mary Beth asked incredulously, “he just cut Bill off and didn’t even permit

discussion of the idea?”

“Exactly. Cut him off cold,” Alice replied, sorting through the papers to find her grade- book.

“How did Bill react?”

Page 302

“He wasn’t happy about it, but when the principal cuts you off that way, it doesn’t do much

good to object.”

“I bet that didn’t help his problems any,” Mary Beth observed.

“What problems?”

“Well, I don’t know if I should say anything, Alice. …”

Alice turned back to her gradebook, entering the scores from the papers. “It’s okay. I


“I don’t think it’s really confidential… . Bill’s wife and I are pretty good friends, and I know

she’s worried about him. Apparently he’s been under a lot of pressure this year. He has that

different teaching assignment that he was given, and it’s always hard to do one new

preparation, let alone your whole teaching load. And then he has more problem students

assigned to him this year. Bill has never had discipline problems before, but he really does

this year, and it bothers him a lot. His wife is concerned that he may also be going through a

midlife crisis, both personally and professionally. She didn’t elaborate on the personal bit, but

she has said that he’s expressed uncertainty as to whether he is even the same teacher he

once was and whether he has the same capabilities he once possessed.”

“Bill Challenge? Mary Beth, you can’t be serious. He’s always seemed to me to be an

excellent teacher, always so confident.”

“I guess he’s not feeling so confident these days.”

“Really!” Alice sat back, reflecting on Mary Beth’s disclosures. “You’d never know it from

his behavior on the lesson plan committee. He’s very outspoken at the meetings.”

“That may just be the pressure building up and then exploding,” Mary Beth speculated.

“Lord knows, there’s enough going on in this school to upset anybody! And Bill has always

been such a perfectionist.”

“I suppose that’s true. Serving on this committee for lesson plan revision has to be as

frustrating for him as it is for me. I mean, this committee is going nowhere. I’ve been here

eight years, and this is just like so many committees that I’ve served on at the district level:

the administrator already has his mind made up when he establishes the committee, so all he

really wants—at least this is how it seems—is for us to endorse his thinking, and then he can

say that he provided teacher involvement and input. Sometimes I feel like saying, ‘Just tell us

what you want, and we’ll say it, and then everybody can go home.’ What difference does it

make, anyway, what the teachers do on this lesson plan committee? The principal never even

does anything with the lesson plans. I can’t tell that substitute teachers use them very much,

and I don’t follow them all that strictly myself—not that I’m against planning, of course.”

“I know what you mean,” Mary Beth agreed. “Even if a committee comes up with some

good ideas, the administrator rejects them on the spot if they don’t agree with what he wants

to do. Or else we don’t ever hear any more about them. Doesn’t it seem sort of dumb for Mr.

Hizway to always be asking us for our ideas if his mind is already made up? Or if he’s going

to ignore our recommendations?”

Alice nodded. “Definitely. A lot of these committees and meetings, particularly faculty

meetings, are a waste of time. They hardly ever deal with teachers’ needs.”

“That’s for sure. You want more coffee, Alice?”

She shook her head, now engrossed with their discussion. “Mary Beth, I don’t know how

you feel about this, but I think a lot of teachers are getting fed up with their situation at this

school. Here we are, getting larger classes, being assigned to more committees, and always

being asked to do more with less. And yet, what appreciation do we get? Look at our salaries!

Compared with my expenses, I tell you, I’m going backward! And I don’t think most parents

really care any more about their kids or about teachers. I don’t see much appreciation from

the administration for the job we’re doing. It seems to me that, at best, we’re taken for granted

and, at worst, we’re being exploited!”

Page 303

“Absolutely. The administration is more concerned with public relations and raising

students’ achievement test scores. I think a lot of teachers are just plain burned out. I know I


“Well, Mary Beth, burned out or not, I’ve got to get back to my room and put some things

on the board before next period begins. I’ve been working on these papers like mad, and I still

haven’t finished recording all the grades.”

“I’ve got to get back to my room too. I have a student coming in for some extra help before

class begins.”

Later that month the lesson plan committee presented its report to the faculty at an

after-school meeting. The principal explained the report, which proposed a more elaborate

lesson plan format, requiring more details of teacher planning. When he asked for reactions to

the proposed plan, no one responded. Waiting a moment or two for comments, the principal

finally indicated that the changes would go into effect the next fall.

During the summer, the principal of the school left for an administrative position in another

district. The new principal who was hired for the school had not previously worked in the

district, so she didn’t know too much about the students and faculty. She felt optimistic about

her new assignment and looked forward to the challenges and opportunities for leadership in

the school. She would be starting the next day, and she was to begin the morning with a

meeting with two of her teachers who had requested to see her: Mary Beth Williams and Alice

Spencer. With only three weeks before classes began, the principal was delighted to have an

opportunity to meet with some of her faculty.


Page 129 CHAPTER 5: Conflict Management


▪ Standard 2: Ethics and Professional Norms Effective educational leaders act ethically and according to professional norms to promote each student’s academic success and well-being. ▪ Standard 3: Equity and Cultural Responsiveness Effective educational leaders strive for equity of educational opportunity and culturally responsive practices to promote each student’s academic success and well-being. ▪ Standard 8: Meaningful Engagement of Families and Community Effective educational leaders engage families and the community in meaningful, reciprocal, and mutually beneficial ways to promote each student’s academic success and well-being. ▪ Standard 9: Operations and Management Effective educational leaders manage school operations and resources to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.

It is understandable that an administrator should wish to avoid conflict, especially if a particular

conflict could be disruptive. By trying to avoid all conflict, however, an administrator could be

ignoring or suppressing significant problems or issues that need to be aired if they are to be

ameliorated or resolved. Moreover, as Wexley and Yukl have emphasized, “Interpersonal and

intergroup conflict occur to some extent in all organizations and are a natural part of social

relationships.” The challenge, according to Wynn, “is not to eliminate conflict but to minimize its

destructive impact and make it a positive force in the organization.”

Page 130

To meet this challenge, the administrator will need to engage in conflict management. In

this chapter, conflict management will be broadly defined to address two aspects of the topic.

On one hand, conflict management refers to efforts designed to prevent, ameliorate, or resolve

disagreements between and among individuals and groups. On the other hand, conflict

management may also include efforts by the administrator to initiate conflict—not for its own

sake but because of a need to take an unpopular stand or introduce changes that some will

oppose. Although many readers may perceive the concept of initiating conflict as radical, the

social science literature supports the proposition that in some cases an administrator may need

to take action resulting in possible conflict for an individual or group whose performance has

become complacent or stagnant.

Since many of the conflicts arising in an organization are role conflicts, a discussion of

the basic concepts of role theory will be presented first, as an introduction to conflict



Every administrative position in an effectively managed organization has job descriptions or

policy statements, written and emanating from a governing board, that embody the formal

expectations of the organization. In addition, every organization usually has implicit, frequently

unexpressed expectations for an administrator’s behavior that originate with the various

individuals or groups with whom the administrator comes into contact. Together, both sets of

expectations constitute a behavioral definition of the role different individuals or groups—both

formal and informal—believe the administrator should perform in a particular situation. As

Getzels has observed, “The expectations define for the actor [administrator] . . . what he [or she]

should or should not do” while the actor “is the incumbent of the particular role.” The

expectations, according to Gross and his colleagues, also serve as “evaluative standards

applied to an incumbent in a position,”5 and therefore can represent a powerful source of

potential influence on any administrator’s behavior.

The behavior of an administrator is also affected by personal needs, however, regarding

the role the administrator should play. These needs become the administrator’s

self-expectations and may be more important than the expectations of others in determining the

role to be taken in a given set of circumstances. For example, if an administrator would rather

play the role of manager than instructional leader, most energies will be focused on

administering an efficiently run school, despite the expectations other individuals and groups

have for the administrator to perform the role of instructional leader. Figure 5.1, based on the

Getzels model, illustrates major factors that can influence an individual’s role behavior.6 It

shows that both the institution and the individual, that is, the administrator, are influenced by the

larger culture in the development of their expectations and need dispositions. The model implies

that one source of the administrator’s self-expectations is underlying personal needs. It further

indicates that the administrator’s behavior is affected not only by personal needs but also by the

role expectations held by other relevant individuals and groups. Finally, the model suggests that

the administrator’s behavior is a result of interaction between personal need dispositions and

the role expectations held by others associated with the institution. Based on the Getzels model,

it would appear that, as long as the administrator’s need dispositions are compatible with the

expectations of others, conflict will be minimal. When need dispositions and expectations clash,

role conflict is likely.

Page 131


The preceding discussion indicates the importance for an administrator of knowing the role

expectations of others. No inference should be drawn that an administrator must conform to

these expectations. As Campbell has noted, “Only by an understanding of these expectations

can the administrator anticipate the reception of specific behavior on his part. Such anticipation

seems necessary if the area of acceptance is to be extended and the area of disagreement

minimized. Moreover, such understandings are necessary if a program of modifying

expectations is to be started.”

Figure 5.2 identifies the various individuals and groups whose expectations may

generate conflict for the administrator.

The need for the administrator to identify and understand the role expectations of others

cannot be overemphasized. Frequently the administrator’s problem is deciding which individual

or group expectations are the most important to ascertain. It is not inconceivable that all the

individuals and groups identified in Figure 5.2 would have an opinion about the way an

administrator should behave with respect to a certain issue. It is neither reasonable nor

practical, however, for the administrator to attempt to discover and understand the expectations

of everyone in the school organization and community. The administrator must, therefore,

concentrate on developing an awareness and understanding of the expectations of those

individuals or groups who may influence the administrator’s effectiveness in some important

regard. If expectations, as previously defined, constitute the “evaluative standards applied to an

incumbent of a position,” the administrator needs to learn the expectations of those individuals

or groups whose evaluation may impair or enhance the administrator’s effectiveness. According

to Gross, role expectations can vary in three basic ways: direction, clarity, and intensity.

Page 132


The direction of the expectations for the administrator’s role may range along a continuum, from

complete agreement to absolute opposition. The primary factor that seems to determine the

direction of an individual’s or group’s expectations is the nature of the situation that has created

the expectations.

For instance, a decision by an administrator not to involve teachers in considering a

schedule change may completely agree with the teachers’ expectations that it is not necessary

for the principal to secure faculty participation on any decision to change the school’s schedule.

In another situation, concerning a curricular change, however, a decision by the administrator

not to involve teachers in discussing the change may directly conflict with the expectations of

the faculty about the role of the administrator because in the area of curriculum, faculty expects

to be involved on all matters. The critical variable, then, that will typically determine the direction

of an individual’s or group’s expectations is the nature of the situation giving rise to the



Another aspect of role expectations that the administrator needs to consider is clarity. Since

expectations are frequently unwritten and sometimes unspoken, the administrator may

occasionally be unaware that a particular group holds any role expectations. For example, a

principal may delegate to one assistant the responsibility for working with various student

organizations in the school. In this situation the students of a particular group may expect the

principal, rather than the assistant, to help them. Nevertheless, the circumstances may be such

that the students are reluctant to express their feelings about the role of the principal. As a

result, the principal’s behavior may fail inadvertently to meet their expectations, and problems of

dissatisfaction may be created.

Page 133


The third dimension of role expectations identified by Gross is intensity.11 In a given situation, a

group may expect that the administrator absolutely must act in a certain way or perhaps should

act in a certain way. It is clearly in the best interest of the administrator to assess accurately the

intensity of an individual’s or a group’s expectations. An expectation that it is absolutely

essential for the administrator to play a particular role that carries markedly different implications

for behavior than one based on the feeling that perhaps action on an issue should be taken.


Conflict Management


For effective schooling in the twenty-first century, school administrators must be attuned to the complexities of the changing demographics as well as to the needs of those persons who have been traditionally excluded from the core of educational reform (Capper, 1993). Given the increasing demands of meeting the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students and the communities they live in, it is imperative that we now effectively “cross borders.” These borders include but are not limited to ethnic, cultural, religious, racial, linguistic, ability, and socioeconomic factors. While homogeneity is good for milk (Paley, 1979), it is no longer an appropriate criterion to determine what is effective for teaching or administrative leadership in today’s diverse schools. As Ladson-Billings (2001) noted, there is an incredible range of diversity in today’s schools. This is further emphatically supported by Hanson and Avery (2000) as they noted the following:

Making student diversity central to all aspects of the school experience compels adults—administrators, teachers, parents, non-certified staff, and members of the community—to be constantly mindful of the consequences of their actions and decisions especially on categorical groupings of students for historical, political, and social reasons. (p. 119)

Organizations must now become more efficacious to better prepare for cultural diversity. Exemplars from business can be found in the marketability of particular products as demographics (racial and economic) create new customer markets. In this climate, opportunities continue to arise for niche marketing to ethnic, economic, and other groups (National Multicultural Institute, 1997). This niche marketing is focused, targeted, monitored, and adaptable. Educational organizations should now be preparing their “market” strategies to better serve these growing diverse populations in an effort to create focused culturally relevant teaching, target and equitable distribution of resources, and adaptability to the ever-increasing school diversity. This diversity is not just relegated to the incoming population of school-age children, but also to those who will teach them and work with them on a daily basis. To that end, educational leaders will be challenged to secure qualified individuals to provide more innovative approaches, solving both culturally induced organizational problems and meeting the workplace learning needs of minority individuals and groups (Saldana, Norwood, and Alston, 2003; Martin and Ross-Gordon, 1990). Conversely, diverse students will be inadequately served by teachers and staff trained in outmoded techniques, led by administrators with mimetic approaches. From this standpoint, it will be imperative for current administrative training to be reformed with cultural and linguistic diversity as indispensable core components, not just as an “add-on” but also as a part of the nucleus for effective schooling training in this new century.

Page 134 Because we all experience the world through our own eyes, experiences, and perceptions, we, as educators (teachers, counselors, administrators, etc.), must understand that those children who come to our public schools each day also view the world from their unparalleled lived experiences. It is imperative for educators to have some understanding about the larger issues related to diversity—that is, racism, classism, sexism, and other oppressions (Pohan, 1996)—and how families from marginalized groups view education (Weiner, 1993). Expanding on this notion, Sarason (1990) stated:

First, you must understand and digest the fact that children—all children—come to school motivated to enlarge their worlds. You start with their worlds. You do not

look at them, certainly not initially, as organisms to be modified and regulated. You look at them to determine how what they are, seek to know, and have experienced can be used as the fuel to fire the process for enlargement of interest, knowledge, and skills. You do not look at them in terms of deficits. . . . You enter their world in order to aid them and you try to build bridges between two worlds, not walls. (p. 164)

In studying the multiple worlds of students and the transitions (“border crossing”)


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