Shared perceptions of supervisor conflict management style: A cross-level moderator of relationship conflict and employee outcomes

Way, Kirsten A., Jimmieson, Nerina L., & Bordia, Prashant (2016) Shared perceptions of supervisor conflict management style: A cross-level moderator of relationship conflict and employee outcomes. International Journal of Conflict Management, 27(1), pp. 25-49.

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  • Purpose

This study aims to investigate the extent to which employee outcomes (anxiety/depression, bullying and workers’ compensation claims thoughts) are affected by shared perceptions of supervisor conflict management style (CMS). Further, this study aims to assess cross-level moderating effects of supervisor CMS climate on the positive association between relationship conflict and these outcomes.

  • Design/methodology/approach

Multilevel modeling was conducted using a sample of 401 employees nested in 69 workgroups.

  • Findings

High collaborating, low yielding and low forcing climates (positive supervisor climates) were associated with lower anxiety/depression, bullying and claim thoughts. Unexpectedly, the direction of moderation showed that the positive association between relationship conflict and anxiety/depression and bullying was stronger for positive supervisor CMS climates than for negative supervisor CMS climates (low collaborating, high yielding and high forcing). Nevertheless, these interactions revealed that positive supervisor climates were the most effective at reducing anxiety/depression and bullying when relationship conflict was low. For claim thoughts, positive supervisor CMS climates had the predicted stress-buffering effects.

  • Research limitations/implications

Employees benefit from supervisors creating positive CMS climates when dealing with conflict as a third party, and intervening when conflict is low, when their intervention is more likely to minimize anxiety/depression and bullying.

  • Originality/value

By considering the unique perspective of employees’ shared perceptions of supervisor CMS, important implications for the span of influence of supervisor behavior on employee well-being have been indicated.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 93044
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Conflict Management, Climate, Employee Strain, Supervisors, Claims
DOI: 10.1108/IJCMA-07-2014-0046
ISSN: 1044-4068
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Organisational Behaviour (150311)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Deposited On: 18 Feb 2016 05:22
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2016 01:51

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