Thomas–Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument

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The Thomas–Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) is a conflict style inventory, which is a tool developed to measure an individual's response to conflict situations.

A conflict style inventory is a written tool for gaining insight into how people respond to conflict. Typically, a user answers a set of questions about their responses to conflict and is scored accordingly.

A conflict is a clash of interest. The basis of conflict may vary but, it is always a part of society. Basis of conflict- personal, racial, class, caste, political and international. Conflict in groups often follows a specific course. Routine group interaction is first disrupted by an initial conflict, often caused by differences of opinion, disagreements between members, or scarcity of resources. At this point, the group is no longer united, and may split into coalitions. This period of conflict escalation in some cases gives way to a conflict resolution stage, after which the group can eventually return to routine group interaction


A number of conflict style inventories have been in active use since the 1960s. Most of them are based on the managerial grid developed by Robert R. Blake and Jane Mouton in their Managerial Grid Model. The Blake and Mouton model uses two axes: "concern for people" is plotted using the vertical axis and "concern for task" along the horizontal axis. Each axis has a numerical scale of 1 to 9. These axes interact so as to diagram five different styles of management. This grid posits the interaction of task with relationship and shows that according to how people value these, there are five basic ways of interacting with others.

Robert R. Blake was an American management theoretician. He did pioneer work in the field of organizational dynamics.

Jane Srygley Mouton was an American management theorist, remembered in particular for developing the Managerial grid model with Robert R. Blake.

In 1974, Kenneth W.Thomas and Ralph H. Kilmann introduced their Thomas–Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (Tuxedo NY: Xicom, 1974). In 1999, CPP, Inc. (Mountain View, CA) acquired Xicom and is now the sole publisher and international distributor of the TKI. The TKI popularized conflict style inventories and, according to the publisher's website, there have been over six million copies published. [1]


The Thomas–Kilmann Conflict Mode instrument consists of thirty pairs of statements. For each pair, the respondent must choose either the A or B item (for example, one item depicts collaborating while the other item describes avoiding). Each pair of statements was specifically designed, through a multi-stage research process, to be equal in social desirability.

The TKI uses two axes (influenced by the Mouton and Blake axes) called "assertiveness" and "cooperativeness." [2] The TKI identifies five different styles of conflict: Competing (assertive, uncooperative), Avoiding (unassertive, uncooperative), Accommodating (unassertive, cooperative), Collaborating (assertive, cooperative), and Compromising (intermediate assertiveness and cooperativeness). There are some seemingly obvious, but difficult to support, similarities between anger resolution-management style ideas with other tools and theories, such as DISC assessment, Social styles, and even the theory of five temperaments, which is based in the theories of ancient Greece.

DISC is a behavior assessment tool based on the DISC theory of psychologist William Moulton Marston, which centers on four different personality traits which are currently Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Conscientiousness (C). This theory was then developed into a behavioral assessment tool by industrial psychologist Walter Vernon Clarke.

Five temperaments is a theory in psychology, that expands upon the four temperaments proposed in ancient medical theory.

Thomas, K. W., and Kilmann, R. H. The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc., 1974).

[3] ==External links==


  1. "CPP TKI page" . Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  2. Blake, R (1964). The Managerial Grid: The Key to Leadership Excellence. Gulf Publishing Co. ISBN   0884152529.
  3. Thomas, K. W., and Kilmann, R. H. The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc., 1974).
  4. Hall, J. Conflict Management Survey (Conroe, Texas: Teleometrics International, 1969). 2

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