The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the influence of managers' leadership styles (transformational, transactional and laissez‐faire) on both the level and the nature of workplace conflicts (cognitive and relational in nature).
Data are collected from hospital employees in Canada. A total of 1,031 completed questionnaires are received, representing a response rate of 46 percent. The hypothesis is tested using confirmatory factor analyses and multiple regressions.
The results indicate that the two conflict dimensions do not derive completely from the same mechanisms, since only two out of the eight leadership dimensions evaluated influence both cognitive and relational conflicts. On the one hand, inspirational motivation has a negative impact on cognitive conflicts while intellectual stimulation and passive management by exception seem to foster it. On the other hand, inspirational motivation and individualized consideration negatively influence relational conflicts whereas management by exception‐active and management by exception‐passive impact it positively.
The sample comprises a single organization and the data are collected at one point in time. Also, the model's variables are assessed by the same source (employees).
The results of this research highlight the importance of a supervisor's ability to introduce a common vision and demonstrate individualized consideration to reduce workplace conflict during periods of organizational change.
Although researchers stress that conflict management represents an important role for leaders, very few empirical studies have examined how leadership influences workplace conflicts.
Doucet, O., Poitras, J. and Chênevert, D. (2009), "The impacts of leadership on workplace conflicts", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 340-354. https://doi.org/10.1108/10444060910991057Download as .RIS
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