Intra-team conflict: the moderating effect of emotional self-leadership

Hector R. Flores (Management and Human Resources Department, College of Business Administration, California State Polytechnic University Pomona, Pomona, California, USA)
Xueting Jiang (School of Management, New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, New York, USA)
Charles C. Manz (Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Publication date: 11 June 2018



The aim of this paper is to present a model of the moderating role of emotional self-leadership on the cognitive conflict–affective conflict relationship and their effect on work team decision quality.


This paper draws upon extant theoretical and empirical research on the conflict, leadership and emotions literature works to argue for the role of emotional self-leadership as a boundary condition of the intra-team conflict–work team decision quality relationship.


Key to understanding why cognitive conflict sometimes leads to improved decision quality and sometimes it does not is the role of emotional self-leadership. Through emotional self-leadership, team members can actively anticipate, guide and focus their emotional responses to cognitive conflict and reduce their experience of affective conflict, improving team decision quality.

Research limitations/implications

Identifying and explaining the moderating role of emotional self-leadership represents important progress for reframing emotion regulation and emotional intelligence into a new theoretical lens that may yield more meaningful insights into self-managed teams’ research. If empirically supported, this moderating effect would help explain the contradictory results obtained in prior empirical studies.

Practical implications

Practitioners can diminish or avoid the negative effect of the type of conflict that lowers work team decision quality and preserve the positive effect of the type of conflict that improves work team decision quality by identifying and implementing ways to improve a work team’s level of collective emotional self-leadership.


This paper extends the emotions, leadership and conflict literature works into the current research on self-directed work teams’ effectiveness by bringing attention to the moderating role of emotional self-leadership and calls for empirical research on this subject.



Flores, H., Jiang, X. and Manz, C. (2018), "Intra-team conflict: the moderating effect of emotional self-leadership", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 424-444.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.