PurposeRelationship conflict has important negative organizational and personal consequences. However, papers analyzing how to buffer the negative effects of relationship conflict at work-unit level are lacking. This study aims to extend the literature by examining which specific conflict management styles used by work teams (avoiding, integrating and compromising) reduce or increase the link between relationship conflict and collective emotional exhaustion.Design/methodology/approachRegression analysis was conducted using 91 teams (398 employees) from 42 hotels and 42 restaurants.FindingsResults revealed that, as it was expected, relationship conflict was positively related to emotional exhaustion at a team level; this relationship depended on how team members handle relationship conflicts. That is, avoiding and integrating conflict management styles buffered the link between relationship conflict and collective emotional exhaustion, whereas compromising increased this positive link.Research limitations/implicationsOrganizations would include conflict management skills as a requirement for preventing negative consequences of conflict in teams, such as anxiety/depression and bullying.Originality/valueBy considering the unique perspective of team member’s shared perceptions of conflict management styles, important implications for the span of influence of collective perception of conflict on well-being have been indicated.
International Journal of Conflict Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 9, 2018
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