Consequences of Conflict between Supervisor and Subordinates on Well-Being at Work
30 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2008
Date Written: 2007
Theory and research on negotiation has been traditionally focused on conflicts within the same level of hierarchy, paying little attention to supervisor- subordinate conflict. Based on previous literature and focusing on supervisor-subordinate relationship, the present study has a two-fold purpose. First, we intend to confirm the widely accepted typology on intragroup conflict (task vs relationship conflict) in workers from different hierarchical levels. Second, we intend to explore the relationship between supervisor-subordinate conflict and well-being at work (job satisfaction and burnout). In this study, we administered self-reported measures to 305 hotel employees. Confirmatory factor analysis results support the existence of two types of conflict on supervisor-subordinate interactions - task versus relationship conflict - confirming the classical typology found on studies with workers on the same level of hierarchy. Multiple regression analyses suggest that when the level of relationship conflict is high, an increase on the task conflict level does not reduce job satisfaction. However, when the level of relationship conflict is low, an increase on the task conflict levels reduces job satisfaction. Method of Baron and Kenny (1986), support that relationship conflict mediates the relationship between task conflict and burnout. Findings theoretical and practical implications are discussed and suggestions for further research are made.
Keywords: supervisor-subordinate conflict, job satisfaction and burnout
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