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The Kraybill Conflict Style Inventory (KCSI) was developed by Ron Kraybill, then director of Mennonite Conciliation Service, based inAkron, Pennsylvania in the 1980s. Like the widely-used Thomas Kilmann Inventory (TKI), it identifies five styles of responding to conflict, calling them:
- Cooperating, and
Its Basic version takes about 15 minutes to take and forty-five minutes to three hours to interpret, depending on how many exercises trainers choose to use. Its culturally sensitive Expanded Version takes about 25 minutes to take.
The KCSI has several features not found in the TKI. One is that it gives users two sets of scores, one for "calm" conditions and one for "storm", recognizing that many people's style shifts under high stress. For example, some people who are high in Directing behaviors in the beginning of a conflict shift into Avoiding as stress mounts. Others may shift from Avoiding to Directing, etc.
An unusual feature of the KCRI in the world of conflict style inventories is that its Expanded Version is culturally sensitive. Users are instructed to identify whether they are from an individualistic (eg: white, Anglo North American) or collectivistic (eg: black, Hispanic, indigenous) culture, and are given slightly differing instructions accordingly.
Strengths: Like the TKI, the KCSI is fairly quick to administer and interpret. In addition to the features described above, the KCSI has extensive interpretation pages. These include a "Hot Tips" section with many specific, practical tips for relating to people who favor each style. It has has two pages of suggestions for group discussion. Questions are multiple choice which many users seem to prefer. And at $3.95 in quantity orders or $6.95 in single purchase, the KCSI is less than half the price of competitors.
Weaknesses: Though it uses the same five-style framework, the KCSI is less widely known than the TKI. Since it circulated free in an early version for a decade or more, user quantities are unknown, but its publisher estimates 40,000-80,000 users. It has yet to undergo formal standardization which would make the numerical results verifiable, however since most trainers use the inventory as a tool for purposes of teaching strategies for conflict resolution rather than for diagnostic purposes, this is not a significant weakness for most purposes.
The early version of the Kraybill inventory, with minimal interpretation pages can be taken online at no cost at http://peace.mennolink.org/resources/conflictstyle/
The full version is available from http://www.RiverhouseEpress.com
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