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Evaluating the Evolution of Construction Management Students’ Conflict Management Styles as a Result of Andragogical Methods

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Construction Engineering Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Divisions

Architectural Engineering and Construction Engineering

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Paper Authors


David Wesley Martin Central Washington University

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Certified Professional Constructor with twelve years professional experience in civil and construction project management encompassing over $400,000,000 worth of vertical and horizontal construction. An additional fifteen years involved in college level construction management instruction and administration including contract and project management techniques, estimating, disputes resolution practices, planning and scheduling, safety engineering, engineering practices, and quality control. Quality oriented with a strong sense of integrity

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Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is becoming common in construction thought and practice. Although IPD has its success stories and continues to grow, IPD failures exist. Much of the research on IPD focuses on the integration of technology to streamline the construction management (CM) process however, little attention is given to the change in relationships between the project members and how these individuals must operate within this changed environment. A common reason cited for IPD failures is that selected CMs had difficulty adjusting their mindsets to operate within this new environment despite being successful in other more traditional methods. IPD, a collaborative approach to project delivery that demands change from traditional non-cooperative mindsets, requires CMs to manage conflict from a more collaborative perspective. This change in spirit is not accomplished simply because a contract encourages collaboration. Initial results acquired through the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI), which categorizes conflict management styles, indicate that CM students’ conflict management styles at XXX University tend to be non-cooperative. Left unchecked, this could potentially further establish a non-cooperative culture in the construction industry and thereby, limit the growth and success of future IPD projects. In addition, an inability of the CM student to operate in a collaborative manner may significantly impede their ability to compete in a changing industry. Therefore, students in an undergraduate CM program at XXX University learn the value of collaborative conflict management through andragogical methods that challenge their non-cooperative propensities. The andragogical methods used include active learning games, conflict-infused assignments, and industry engagement opportunities that require students to apply collaborative conflict approaches. This study evaluated the evolution of conflict management styles between the students’ junior and senior years while enrolled in the CM program at XXX University. Results were then used to evaluate the andragogical methods used to disseminate conflict management education. A series of independent samples t-tests determined which conflict management styles differed from the students’ junior to senior years. Three conflict management styles showed statistically significant differences between the students’ junior and senior years including Avoiding (t[52] = 2.935, p < 0.01), Compromising (t[52] = -2.272, p < 0.05), and Collaborating (t[52] = -2.164, p < 0.05). No statistical difference was indicated for the Competing and Accommodating conflict management styles. In addition, statistical results showed that the students as a group made a statistically significant move toward becoming more collaborative in their conflict management styles between their junior and senior years (t[52] = -3.739, p < 0.01).

Martin, D. W. (2020, June), Evaluating the Evolution of Construction Management Students’ Conflict Management Styles as a Result of Andragogical Methods Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34598

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