Conflict management and effective communication: types of conflict confronted and the skills, needs, and att,tudes of students in handling conflicts

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2009
Polat, Mustafa
This study examines and analyzes conflict management and effective communication from several complementary perspectives. The purpose of the study is to identify common types of conflicts that learners confront in the process of EFL learning; to examine and analyze EFL learners' own strategies to deal with conflicts based on the conflict handling modes in the process of EFL learning; to find out their needs in terms of effective communication skills necessary to manage conflicts; and to analyze their attitudes toward conflict management learning and their needs for conflict management strategies. In order to achieve this aim, a survey research is preferred and the quantitaitve data gathered through the questionnaires were supported with the qualitative data obtained from the interivews with participants EFL learners. In the questiıonnaire, there were two parts. The first one was a demographic inventory designed to gather the demographic characteristics of the participants. In the second part, four sub-sections were desgined: (1) a rank answer questionnaire to identify common types of conflicts that learners confront in the process of EFL learning; (2) a slightly adapted, Likert scale questionnaire which was translated to Turkish by Gümüseli (1994) from the Rahim Organizational conflict Inventory II (ROCI II) to identify EFL learners' conflict management strategies; (3) another Likert scale questionnaire to find out their needs in terms of effective communication skills necessary to manage conflicts; and (4) an alternative answer questionnaire to analyze learners' attitudes toward conflict management learning and their needs for conflict management strategies. The result of these questionnaires were analyzed by SPSS 15.0. This data gathering instrument was implemented on 339 students at the preparatory school TOBB University of Economics and Technology. Data gathered from 171 students from the same school were used for the piloting of the stduy. The data gahthered from 339 students at ETU Preparatory School represented the results of the main study. In analyzing the data, descriptive statistics as frequency, percent, average, and standard deviation and inferential statistics as ANOVA was used. As the second scale of the current study, semi-structered interviewsw were conducted with 12 students studying at the same university. The results of the interviews were analyzed through content analysis. The results of the study revealed that there is a relationship between EFL learners' conflict managament strategies, need for effective communication skills, and their gender, scholarship status, last school graduated, and duration of study at a particular university. Additionally, the study displayed that students confornt various types of conflict and they need to learn conflict management skills and effective communication skills to deal with conflicts successfully.

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Citation Formats
M. Polat, “Conflict management and effective communication: types of conflict confronted and the skills, needs, and att,tudes of students in handling conflicts,” M.A. - Master of Arts, Middle East Technical University, 2009.