TH-P01-011-interactive - Conflict Style Fit: A novel approach to studying conflict management in the workplace

Conflict management
Interactive Poster Presentation
1 hour 30 minutes
O'Brien Foyer
Conflict in organizations
Conflict management
Conflict Style Fit: A novel approach to studying conflict management in the workplace
A. M. Damp*
Purpose: The objectives of the present research were twofold: 1) employ a person-centered, analytic approach to studying individual conflict management styles and perceived organizational conflict management climates, and 2) operationalize a novel construct, namely conflict style fit. Individual and organizational conflict management profiles were identified by their varying usage of competing, avoiding, compromising, accommodating, and collaborating styles when managing conflict in the workplace. Furthermore, conflict style fit was operationalized by exploring how individual and organizational profiles combined to influence perceived fit, group satisfaction, process satisfaction, conflict resolution, and conflict efficacy. Profile combinations with higher outcomes reflected higher conflict style fit.
Methodology: Questionnaire data were obtained from two independent samples of employees from a variety of organizations (n = 314 for Sample 1, and n = 320 for Sample 2). Latent profile analyses were conducted to identify individual and organizational conflict management profiles in each sample. Subsequently, multiple analyses of variance were conducted to assess conflict style fit.
Results: Three individual and three organizational profiles were identified. Conflict style fit was higher for certain profile combinations than others based on their relations to the outcomes of interest. Results largely replicated between samples.  
Limitations: Climate was measured subjectively. Future research should objectively measure organizational conflict management climates.
Implications: Researchers should utilize a person-centered approach when studying conflict management styles, and organizations should foster constructive conflict management climates.
Originality: To my knowledge, this research is the first to investigate conflict management styles via a person-centered approach and to operationalize conflict style fit.


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