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Personality traits and conflict management styles in predicting job performance and conflict

Nailah Ayub (King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Suzan M. AlQurashi (King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Wafa A. Al-Yafi (King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Karen Jehn (Business Administration, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Article publication date: 9 October 2017



Personality differences may be a major reason of conflict, as well as the perception of conflict and preference for handling that conflict. This study aims to explore the role of personality traits in determining conflict and performance. The authors also studied the moderated mediated relationship between personality and performance through conflict and conflict management styles.


A field survey was conducted with a sample of 153 employees to test the hypotheses.


As hypothesized, agreeable persons perceive less conflict and extraverts are more likely to use integrating, obliging, compromising and avoiding styles. Emotionally stable people opt for integrating style whereas neurotics opt for dominating style. Conscientiousness, openness and emotional stability have a direct effect on performance, but the interactions between conflict and conflict management styles determine the relationship between personality traits and performance.

Research limitations/implications

The cross-sectional nature of data and somewhat reliable coefficients for personality measures reduce confidence in the results. Future research should use different or multiple measures of personality. Personality traits may be explored in view of the degree of each personality trait or interactions between personality traits.

Practical implications

People are sensitive about engaging in conflict and handling conflict differently because of their personality characteristics. The personality traits should, therefore, be understood and considered for conflict experience, conflict management and performance.


The paper adds to management research by investigating the relationship between personality traits, conflicts, conflict management styles and performance.



This project was funded by the Deanship of Scientific Research (DSR) at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, under grant no. G 114-245-34. The authors, therefore, acknowledge and thank DSR for technical and financial support. The authors are grateful to Rafiq and Ayub for their assistance in data collection.


Ayub, N., AlQurashi, S.M., Al-Yafi, W.A. and Jehn, K. (2017), "Personality traits and conflict management styles in predicting job performance and conflict", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 671-694.



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