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Intragroup conflict dynamics and their linkages with horizontal power disparity configurations, upper management conflicts and coworker support

Intragroup conflict dynamics and their linkages with horizontal power disparity configurations,... This study aims to examine how changes in power disparity shape in-groups and upper-level management conflict are associated with intragroup relationship and task conflict variations. It also examines how workplace conflicts relate to focal employees’ perceptions of coworker support.Design/methodology/approachData were collected from 3,343 respondents for nine years, comprising measurements taken on six occasions in 47 departments and stores of a Canadian retailer. The relationships between, within and across levels were tested using multilevel structural equation modeling.FindingsThe results showed that higher levels of power concentration vested by a few members or a single person are associated wih higher levels of intragroup conflict than usual. Furthermore, higher levels of task and relationship conflicts at upper management levels are associated with higher-than-usual task and relationship conflicts between nonhierarchical employees. Additionally, a higher-than-usual intragroup task conflict level was associated with lower-than-usual coworker support, supporting the proposed multilevel dynamic model.Research limitations/implicationsAn important limitation of this study is that all variables are self-reported despite using the six-wave repeated measurements, thereby increasing the possibility of inflating some observed relationships. Future research should examine the emergence of a larger spectrum of power dispersion configurations and their role on process conflict.Practical implicationsRetail managers should legitimize why a high-power concentration occurs when the equal distribution of power is not possible and find ways to minimize the trickle-down effects of conflicts at upper levels on their subordinates.Originality/valueThis study examines the effect of variability on power configurations and conflict in upper management ranks on conflict dynamic. The findings show that a high-power concentration elicits increasing conflicts, and that there is no empirical evidence that intragroup conflict is associated with positive outcomes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Conflict Management Emerald Publishing

Intragroup conflict dynamics and their linkages with horizontal power disparity configurations, upper management conflicts and coworker support

International Journal of Conflict Management , Volume 34 (2): 28 – Mar 10, 2023

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References (100)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1044-4068
eISSN
1044-4068
DOI
10.1108/ijcma-04-2022-0078
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study aims to examine how changes in power disparity shape in-groups and upper-level management conflict are associated with intragroup relationship and task conflict variations. It also examines how workplace conflicts relate to focal employees’ perceptions of coworker support.Design/methodology/approachData were collected from 3,343 respondents for nine years, comprising measurements taken on six occasions in 47 departments and stores of a Canadian retailer. The relationships between, within and across levels were tested using multilevel structural equation modeling.FindingsThe results showed that higher levels of power concentration vested by a few members or a single person are associated wih higher levels of intragroup conflict than usual. Furthermore, higher levels of task and relationship conflicts at upper management levels are associated with higher-than-usual task and relationship conflicts between nonhierarchical employees. Additionally, a higher-than-usual intragroup task conflict level was associated with lower-than-usual coworker support, supporting the proposed multilevel dynamic model.Research limitations/implicationsAn important limitation of this study is that all variables are self-reported despite using the six-wave repeated measurements, thereby increasing the possibility of inflating some observed relationships. Future research should examine the emergence of a larger spectrum of power dispersion configurations and their role on process conflict.Practical implicationsRetail managers should legitimize why a high-power concentration occurs when the equal distribution of power is not possible and find ways to minimize the trickle-down effects of conflicts at upper levels on their subordinates.Originality/valueThis study examines the effect of variability on power configurations and conflict in upper management ranks on conflict dynamic. The findings show that a high-power concentration elicits increasing conflicts, and that there is no empirical evidence that intragroup conflict is associated with positive outcomes.

Journal

International Journal of Conflict ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 10, 2023

Keywords: Intragroup conflict; Power disparity; Trickle-down effect; Social support

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