Conflict dynamics within the gender spectrum of a large South African sugar manufacturing company
Objective: The primary objective of this study was to investigate the perception and handling of interpersonal conflict within the gender spectrum compilation of biological sex and gender identity. Methods: The research of this study was conducted by means of a theoretical study and a quantitative empirical analysis. Literature analysis and scientific theories form the basis for the first three chapters of this study. These include the philosophies of Karl Marx and Max Weber, followed by a detailed discussion on the dynamics of conflict. The empirical analysis utilized cross-sectional survey design, with a combined convenience quota sample of employees (n=133) within the company taken. This consisted of top management, middle management and lower management. The empirical study utilized the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) and the Rahim Organisational Conflict Inventory-II (ROCI-II). The Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) provided self-determining assessments of masculinity and femininity in terms of the respondent’s self-reported control of socially desirable, stereotypically masculine and feminine personality characteristics. The Rahim Organisational Conflict Inventory-II (ROCI-II) measured the present methods of conflict management specifically within an organizational environment. Results: It was noted that there was no difference in how pure biological sex (males and females) perceived and handled conflict within the workplace; but there was a difference in how the different gender identity groups (masculine males vs. feminine males and feminine females vs. masculine females) perceived and handled conflict. Conclusion: This study highlighted the conflict-dynamics within the gender-spectrum of a large South African sugar manufacturing company. Results of the study proved that the motivation towards this study was achieved in the sense that, although there were no differences in how different genders perceive and handle conflict, differences were found in the different gender identities within each of those genders. It is recommended that further research include a comparative study between two or three manufacturing companies to see how different companies within the same industry deviate from or resemble the results of this study. Further research could also determine whether there are differences, by cross-checking all four gender identity groups (masculine males, feminine males, feminine females and masculine females) using the MANOVA statistical procedure.