Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to investigate the critical relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) abilities and conflict management styles in the workplace. Design/methodology/approach– Totally, 126 participants completed a measure of EI and an assessment of conflict management styles. Regression analyses were then performed. Findings– Results of regression analyses indicate several significant relationships between EI abilities and participants’ conflict management styles. The EI abilities of problem solving, social responsibility, and impulse control were the most directly related to how participants managed conflict at the workplace. Research limitations/implications– Future research should attempt to replicate these findings in other samples. In addition, researchers should investigate other significant variables that explain people’s choices in conflict management styles. Practical implications– Implications of these findings suggest that for management development purposes, people should attempt to improve on the EI abilities of problem solving, social responsibility, and impulse control in order to manage workplace conflict effectively. Originality/value– This investigation contributes to the literature by identifying specific EI abilities, rather than a macro measure of EI, that are associated with different styles of conflict management.
Journal of Management Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 2, 2015