Mehmet ÜSTÜNERAli KIŞ*
- Assoc. Prof. Dr., Inonu University, Education Faculty, Department of
Educational Sciences, 44280 Battalgazi-Malatya, TURKEY.
Problem Statement: Since conflict is an organizational phenomenon, its comparison between other organizational variables to find possible associations has been an important research motive. Relevant researchers have found significant correlations between conflict handling strategies of principals of different genders and school culture, emotional intelligence and conflict management styles, teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and conflict solution styles. Considering the rapid development of communication and the need for organizations to change, an increase in individual differences among organization members has become inevitable today. This also causes increased conflicts among organization members who are constantly interacting with each other. Poor communication underlies the interpersonal conflicts. The degree of interpersonal communication significantly determines the organizational performance and information transmission. Each educational organization, like other organizations, is composed of people with different personalities, perceptions, attitudes, value judgments, personal goals, and expectations. Individual differences can cause problems. The solutions to these problems seem to be closely associated with the communication competence of organization members.
Purpose of Study: This study investigates the relationship between communication competences and organizational conflict levels of heads of educational supervisors, and the extent to which communication competence predicts organizational conflict.
Methods: This associational study was conducted on 217 educational supervisors working in head departments of educational supervisors in eight cities of Turkey. Data were collected using the “Communication Competences Scale” and “Organizational Conflict Scale.”
Findings and Results: Results indicated that heads of educational supervisors mostly exhibit communication competences including the components of empathy, social relaxation and support behaviors. Educational supervisors also stated that they sometimes experience organizational conflict including the components of intergroup, between groups and personal conflict in their head departments. A negative moderate level of correlation was found between communication competence and organizational conflict levels of heads of educational supervisors. In addition, communication competence was found to predict organizational conflict significantly. Additionally, it was found that empathy competence, one of the communication competences, is a significant predictor of intergroup and personal conflict, and support competence is a significant predictor of within group conflict. It was also found that social relaxation competence as one of the components of communication competence is not a significant predictor of any of the components of organizational conflict.
Conclusions and Recommendations: This study provides new insight into the effects of communication competence on conflict management in educational organizations and is of value to educational leaders, managers, and other conflict management specialists.
Keywords: Educational Supervisors, Communication Competence, Organizational Conflict.