Title

Where Does Conflict Management Fit in the System's Leadership Puzzle?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Winter 2008

Abstract

Superintendents are faced with conflicts every day. The conflicts arise around issues of personnel, community roles, funding, politics, and work/life balance. Good leadership involves an understanding of how to deal with conflict, whom to involve in the conflict resolution, how to set up structures and processes that ensure conflict doesn't reoccur, and the ability to use conflict in a positive manner. Superintendents look to current literature to assist with the development of positive conflict resolution skills. These skills are not only preferable for current superintendents, but necessary for positive career development of future superintendents. Several authors have examined the various types of conflicts that leaders typically encounter. The Sphere of Conflict model, proposed by Moore (2003), offered five types of conflicts: (1) Data; (2) Interests; (3) Relational; (4) Structural; and (5) Values-based. This article offers brief descriptions of these types of conflicts and possible interventions.