Thomas–Kilmann conflict mode instrument

The big picture

This classic tool is used to determine the most appropriate ways of managing conflict. Ken Thomas and Ralph Kilmann, working at the University of Pittsburgh, contended that each of us has a default mode of handling conflict (defined as situations in which the concerns of two individuals appear to be incompatible) and that our default mode may not be the best way in each situation.

The authors produced a questionnaire comprising 30 paired statements. To complete the questionnaire, users are asked to tick the single statement in each pair that is most characteristic of their behaviour and the result shows their conflict-handling preferences. Even without the questionnaire, the conflict ...

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