Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide new insights into conflict styles by examining a new set of antecedents and outcomes. Design/methodology/approach – A theory is outlined and a theoretical model is presented to explain the relationship between a motivational antecedent – goal orientation – and conflict styles, and to explain the relationship between conflict styles and resolution preferences. Findings – The paper suggests that goal orientation serves as an antecedent for subsequent conflict style. Moreover, resolution preferences vary depending on goal orientation and conflict style. Research limitations/implications – This paper has several implications for future research. Empirical research is needed to investigate the relationship between goal orientation and conflict styles as well as the relationship between conflict style and outcome preferences. Such research may either provide grounding to the model or generate further theory development regarding the antecedents and outcomes of conflict styles. Practical implications – This paper suggests that goal orientations are relatively stable but that conflict styles are relatively mutable. This suggests that if people become aware of their goal orientation, they can change their conflict style to achieve a solution that is more appropriate for their unique situation. Originality/value – This paper fills a gap in the literature and offers a new theoretical framework as to the antecedents and outcomes of conflict styles. The paper offers a motivational explanation for conflict styles and examines resolution preferences that could predict party satisfaction with the outcome.
International Journal of Conflict Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 25, 2008
Keywords: Conflict management; Management skills; Conflict resolution; Motivation (psychology); Management effectiveness