The Role of Emotions in Conflict Management: The Case of Work Teams
21 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2004
The current study was designed to investigate conflict dynamics in intact work teams, focusing on the role of emotional experience in the process of conflict management. Furthermore, we attempted to elucidate the contribution of an individual disposition (self-efficacy) and a situational-group factor (ethical climate) to emotions experienced toward group members, thereby indirectly affecting conflict management patterns. Sixty nine medical teams, comprising 331 employeess (mainly nurses and physicians) participated in the study. Self-report structured questionnaires were used to assess the respondents intra-group conflict management patterns, their self-efficacy, positive and negative emotions towards the work team and the team ethical climate. Path analyses of the data show that constructive pattern of conflict management is associated with positive emotional intra-group experience, which in turn is positively related to self-efficacy and to a climate of concern for organizational interests. A destructive pattern was associated with negative emotions and negatively with self-efficacy. The findings seem to suggest the centrality of emotional experience in conflict management processes at the intra-group level.
Keywords: Organizational conflict, intra-group processes, emotions
JEL Classification: D74
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation