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Natural-born peacemakers? Big five personality traits, gender, and interpersonal peacemaking

Xiaolei Zhang (School of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)
Katalien Bollen (Occupational and Organizational Psychology and Professional Learning, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium)
Kaiping Peng (School of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)
Martin C. Euwema (Occupational and Organizational Psychology and Professional Learning, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Article publication date: 19 September 2022

Issue publication date: 26 September 2022

566

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the relationship between personality, gender and interpersonal peacemaking. Peacemaking is considered as voluntary behavior of team members to help conflicting peers in an impartial way, to find an amicable solution. This study tests the relation between the Big Five personality dimensions, gender and five different components of interpersonal peacemaking (general involvement in peacemaking, multipartiality, focus of finding solutions, emotional support and the use of humor).

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 503 participants filled out a survey assessing their personality and peacemaking behavior at work. To test the hypotheses, this study conducted structural equation modeling in AMOS 22.0.

Findings

In line with expectations, openness, extraversion and agreeableness related positively to most peacemaking components, while conscientiousness and neuroticism related negatively to the use of humor and peacemakers’ multipartiality, respectively; comparing men and women, women engage more often in peacemaking in general and in emotional support, and use less humor than men. Results also showed that these gender differences are partially mediated by agreeableness being higher for women.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the first studies exploring the relationship between personality (Big Five), gender and different aspects of interpersonal peacemaking. Peacemaking is an important, however understudied, behavior in teams and part of OCB. The promotion of peacemaking contributes to team effectiveness.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This paper is funded by ShuiMu Scholar program of Tsinghua University.

Citation

Zhang, X., Bollen, K., Peng, K. and Euwema, M.C. (2022), "Natural-born peacemakers? Big five personality traits, gender, and interpersonal peacemaking", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 33 No. 5, pp. 933-955. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCMA-07-2021-0119

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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