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Resolving organizational peer conflict via integrative behaviors: the role of trust and informational support

Randi L. Sims (Department of Management, H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA)
Tais S. Barreto (Department of Management, H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA)
Katelynn M. Sell (Department of Management, H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA)
Eleanor T. Lawrence (Department of Management, H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA)
Paul Seymour (Leadership Consulting, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Article publication date: 3 October 2023

106

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of trust, informational support and integrative behaviors in the effective outcomes of peer conflict in the workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

Deidentified secondary data were provided by a human resource management company that offers conflict resolution training. The authors studied a sample of 815 supervisors and middle-level managers (51% female; average age = 40) who reported their primary work experience was in the USA. Each respondent described a workplace conflict with a peer. A regression-based bootstrapping technique was used to test the hypothesized relationships between the constructs of trust, informational support, integrative behaviors and effective outcomes in peer conflict.

Findings

The relationship between trust and the use of integrative behaviors during peer conflict is conditional on the availability of informational support, such that those who solicit a third party’s views are more likely to exhibit integrative behaviors during the conflict under study, even at relatively lower levels of trust in the conflict relationship.

Originality/value

In this study, the authors add to social interdependence theory and the role of integrative behaviors by proposing the importance of interpersonal trust and informational support, which may reduce uncertainty during peer conflict. The authors also extend existing literature on cooperation, cooperative approaches to managing conflict and integrative behaviors in the workplace by examining peer-to-peer organizational conflict.

Keywords

Citation

Sims, R.L., Barreto, T.S., Sell, K.M., Lawrence, E.T. and Seymour, P. (2023), "Resolving organizational peer conflict via integrative behaviors: the role of trust and informational support", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCMA-05-2023-0084

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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