Coleman, P. T., and Kugler, K. G. Tracking adaptivity: Developing a measure to assess adaptive conflict orientations in organizations. To be submitted to Organizational and Human Decision-Making Processes.
Since Darwin, adaptation has been associated with survival. Yet despite this fact, few have studied the role of adaptation in managing conflicts over time and across situations. Three studies are presented which contribute to the development of a new measure for assessing chronic versus adaptive orientations to conflict across fundamental differences in conflict situations. Based on a new integrative model of conflict, we proposed that more flexible, adaptive conflict orientations and strategies will result in higher levels of conflict and work satisfaction. Results support our hypotheses. Individuals who responded to different conflict scenarios in a manner not inconsistent with the demands of the situations they faced reported higher levels of general satisfaction with conflict processes, relationships and outcomes, and with work satisfaction in their professional lives.