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Affecting Employee Conflict Management Behavior Through Supervisor Emotionally Intelligent Behavior

Dealing with conflict in a constructive fashion is essential to allow for a functioning workplace. Nevertheless, many companies struggle with the issue of how to support their employees in doing so. The current paper investigates the hypothesis that supervisors’ emotionally intelligent behavior could be a deciding factor that goes together with employee behaviors in a conflict situation with them. The reported conflict management behaviors of employees were classified by a machine learning algorithm into five categories representing strategies for conflict resolution. A multinomial logistic regression revealed significant differences in the relation of supervisor emotionally intelligent behavior and conflict management behavior of their employees, although modest in effect. Furthermore, we found evidence that more constructive conflict management behaviors of employees patterned with greater satisfaction with the outcome of the conflict. The results strengthen the view on benefits of enactment of supervisor emotional intelligence in the workplace, particularly for constructive conflict resolution.

Vera Hampel
University of Zurich


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