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Compare Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument and Style Matters


Style Matters and Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument

A Comparison


Order Style Matters as Trainer
Essay by Ron Kraybill on strengths and limitations of the Thomas Kilmann
Trainer testimonials regarding Style Matters
Download free 40 page Trainers Guide to Successful Conflict Styles Workshops
 (for Style Matters but works for TKI too)
Download free Review  copy of Style Matters





    Features for comparison     


Conflict Styles booklet 150NB     conflict-styles-online-ipad-v.2 

Style Matters
The Kraybill Conflict Style Inventory


Thomas Kilmann
Conflict Mode Instrument

Framework is five-styles Mouton/Blake axis 


Time required to take - 15 minutes or less


Suitable for multiple delivery modes (solo or trainer-led) 



Full interpretation info included with inventory 



Option to buy additional booklet for $19.75 per user


Group discussion questions included

Designed for cultural adaptability


Scores for Storm Shift (differing responses in Calm vs. Storm settings)

Detailed tips for supporting each style X Additional Thomas Kilmann info available at extra cost in auxiliary publications.
Reviews strengths and weaknesses of each style

Research-based and psychometrically valid

Available online with automated scoring and report
Self-guided online tutorial included


Trainer Dashboard enables online management of users and score reports by trainer



$199 annual fee  

Includes Partner Support section with tips
for partner/colleagues of user


Free trainer's guide provided
Purchase TKI guide for $250

Free "Intro to Conflict Styles" Powerpoint

PRICING (shipping is extra)  Style Matters  Thomas Kilmann
Cost per single hard copy $11.95 in black and white
$13.95 full color
Best price in bulk purchase
of print copies
$9.95 in black and white
$11.95 full color
$18.50 (each, only in packs of ten)

Make your own photocopies from print copy or PDF file.

Download original in PDF
 for $9.95.  Buy rights to photocopy PDF for $4.50 per user copy.
Thomas Kilmann not available in PDF.  Buy rights to photocopy from print version for $22.95 per user.
Online version $10-$49, depending on use and quantity includes detailed score report and 
interactive tutorialPrices here.

$45 - includes score report.  No tutorial. 
$21.95 in bulk, plus $200 annual account fee. Online Basic Training Course for TKI available for $225.

Guidance for users to interpret scores
Included with the inventory and in greater detail in online tutorial. Additional user booklet recommended for Thomas Kilmann for $18.95
Detailed Trainers Guide Free 40 page download Trainer's Guide to Successful Conflict Styles Workshops.  For training with online version see free guide here.
 for TKI Workshop Facilitators Guide
Online user management tools for trainers. 
Trainer Dashboard
 allows tracking of all users, option to delay access to scores, remote viewing of score reports, emailing of scores, easy aggregation of scores, and capacity to email whole group.  
No user management options.

Order Style Matters Now - Online Version, Print Version, Free Review copy, Free Trainers GuideArrowbutton

Information on Style Matters from; on Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument from Our goal is fair, accurate comparison. We would be grateful to be informed of - and will quickly correct - any points on which the above comparison is out-dated or does not meet these standards. View this on Slideshare.
See also Wikipedia entries on Thomas Kilmann, Style Matters, and conflict style inventories.


Additional info on the Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument 

Many trainers using Style Matters today started out with the Thomas Kilmann.  Read an assessment of the TKI and reasons why Style Matters author Ron Kraybill eventually abandoned it and developed Style Matters here.   See also Kraybill's blog post comparing Style Matters to the Thomas Kilmann and the Hammer Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory



Here is an excellent introduction to the Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, addressed in particular to managers.   Since the Thomas Kilmann is based on the same logical framework as the Style Matters inventory (namely, the Mouton Blake Grid) many concepts in this essay apply to both.


There's a summary of a study about conflict styles of medical residents in a hospital in this essay in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education.  Other researchers might benefit from learning how the study was structured.  Medical doctors, instructors of medical students, and HR people in hospitals might benefit from findings about which conflict styles were associated with best performance of medical residents.

The study found that residents who had high scores in the ACGME competencies (a standardardized battery of ratings widely used in medical schools associated with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to evaluate the performance of residents) showed strong preferences for the Competing (same as Directing in Style Matters) and Cooperating conflict styles and low preferences for Avoiding and Accommodating (same as Harmonizing in Style Matters).  Students with low scores in the ACGME competencies had scores reflecting opposite preferences. 

This essay is also of interest from a psychometric standpoint, for the authors mention in passing that the test-retest reliability "ranges from 0.61 to 0.68".   Given that .90 or above is considered a good score, and .70-.80 an acceptable score, this places the TKI below the minimum acceptable rating.   This means that when people retake the TKI, their scores often vary significantly from the first time they took it.   

Elsewhere the essay mentions "there are concerns about the alpha reliability of the TKI".  That means there may not be consistency among the TKI questions in accurately measuring the same thing, another red flag from a psychometric standpoint.   Given our bias at Style Matters towards optimizing for learning and classroom dynamics rather than psychometrics, that's not such a big deal.  But for an inventory whose publisher has long promoted "rock solid metrics" as its number one quality, it's less than impressive.