This research aims to examine the link between personality, motives, and the choice of conflict resolution strategy in a service conflict context.
Participants' responses to a service conflict scenario were coded into strategy categories and both personality (the Big Five) and motives were measured with established scales. Differences in personality and motives across the strategies were assessed with ANOVA and the relationship between personality and motives was assessed with multiple‐regression.
While the results did not show a direct relationship between personality and choice of strategy, they did indicate an indirect link through motives. The results also show that consumers used a variety of strategies based on a mix of economic and social motives.
The results show that social motives play an important role in business conflicts. The study also supports a multi‐level perspective of personality, where basic tendencies (the Big Five) impact characteristic adaptations (motives), which are more closely related to behavior.
The results suggest that consumer behavior in dealing with conflict can be complex and that service provider cannot rely on “one best way” strategies for dealing with customers. Managers should also be sensitive to the importance that social motives play in conflict resolution, particularly the importance consumers place on fairness.
The paper illustrates how social motives play an important role in business conflicts.
Macintosh, G. and Stevens, C. (2008), "Personality, motives, and conflict strategies in everyday service encounters", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 112-131. https://doi.org/10.1108/10444060810856067
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