A Phenomenological Study on Conflicts Experience by Women: Focused on the Case of Women in Small and Medium Size Enterprises

중소기업 직장 여성의 갈등경험에 대한 현상학적 연구

  • NamGung, Eun-Jeong (Department of Journalism and Communication, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Shin, Seong-Gene (Department of Journalism and Communication, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Hur, Gyeong-Ho (Department of Journalism and Communication, Kyung Hee University)
  • 남궁은정 (경희대학교 대학원 언론정보학과) ;
  • 신성진 (경희대학교 대학원 언론정보학과) ;
  • 허경호 (경희대학교 언론정보학부)
  • Published : 2008.02.14


This study examined the case of women's conflict experience in small and medium size enterprises. Although the number of women working in business organizations is rapidly growing in Korea, discourse about them is still scarce. Some discourse about them focuses only on the productivity and inequality aspects within the organizations. Therefore, we need to examine their organizational lives through a more dynamic and performance based perspective. Especially, because conflicts experience by women within business organizations involve a variety of organizational interactions, they reveal the vivid reality with which working women face today. The existing conflict research studies focused on communication or interpersonal relationship are limited by the fact that they have primarily dealt with the variables such as conflict management styles. However, conflict research needs a more specific and wholistic interpretation because conflicts usually depend on their contexts and interaction dynamics. Therefore, the phenomenological methodology was employed as a more appropriate method for the current conflict study. Results shows that the two themes were identified regarding the conflict content. The first and second themes were the unfair situations and the hierarchical rank respectively. The three themes were identified regarding the attitudes about conflicts. They were the passive stance toward conflicts, the recognition of the gender difference, and the acknowledgement of the importance of the relational aspect respectively. Finally, three more themes were identified regarding the conflict management styles. The first, second and third themes were the passive responding, the aggressive responding and the positive conflict management respectively. In addition, the implications of the results and the suggestions for future studies were made.