A general model of conflict is applied to a description of the user-computer interface. The importance of minimizing conflict between users and the computer department is stressed. A questionnaire survey in six companies was used to help define the key variables in the relationship between users and the computer department. Associations among these variables predicted from the conflict model are compared with the results of the survey. The implications of the findings for users, computer professionals and managers for designing and operating computer-based information systems are discussed.