Deciding to Use Organizational Grievance Processes: Does Conflict Style Matter?

Paula Hopeck, Nathalie Desrayaud, Tyler R. Harrison, Kristen Hatten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


University ombuds serve as a resource for students who want to resolve conflicts with professors. However, little research examines the relationship between individual conflict style preferences, perceptions of procedural justice, and intentions to use ombuds processes. Professor–student conflict is a unique area of study because the relationship is temporary and also the first time that individuals deal with conflict as adults. This study examined the relationship between students’ preferred conflict style, their perceptions of procedural justice, and their intentions to use the ombuds system if involved in a conflict. Individuals with solution-oriented styles had positive perceptions of procedural justice, whereas control and nonconfrontation styles were associated with negative perceptions. In addition, individuals with solution-oriented styles were more likely to indicate intent to use ombuds systems. The findings provide further support for the original literature on conflict styles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-584
Number of pages24
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 27 2014


  • conflict
  • ombud
  • procedural justice
  • university

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management


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