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How social interaction can prevent interpersonal conflict from inducing turnover intentions and diminishing championing behaviour

Dirk De Clercq (Goodman School of Business, Brock University, St. Catharines,Canada)
Imanol Belausteguigoitia (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), Mexico City, Mexico)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 27 December 2022




The purpose of this study is to draw from conservation of resources theory to examine how employees’ experience of resource-draining interpersonal conflict might diminish the likelihood that they engage in championing behaviour. Its specific focus is on the mediating effect of their motivation to leave the organization and the moderating effect of their peer-oriented social interaction in this connection.


The research hypotheses are empirically assessed with quantitative survey data gathered from 632 employees who work in a large Mexican-based pharmacy chain. The statistical analyses involved an application of the Process macro, which enabled concurrent estimations of the direct, mediating and moderating effects predicted by the proposed conceptual framework.


Emotion-based tensions in co-worker relationships decrease employees’ propensity to mobilize support for innovative ideas, because employees make plans to abandon their jobs. This mediating role of turnover intentions is mitigated when employees maintain close social relationships with their co-workers.

Practical implications

For organizational practitioners, this study identifies a core explanation (i.e. employees want to quit the company) for why frustrations with emotion-based quarrels can lead to a reluctance to promote novel ideas – ideas that otherwise could add to organizational effectiveness. It also highlights how this harmful process can be avoided if employees maintain good, informal relationships with their colleagues.


For organizational scholars, this study explicates why and when employees’ experience of interpersonal conflict translates into complacent work behaviours, in the form of tarnished idea championing. It also identifies informal peer relationships as critical contingency factors that disrupt this negative dynamic.



De Clercq, D. and Belausteguigoitia, I. (2022), "How social interaction can prevent interpersonal conflict from inducing turnover intentions and diminishing championing behaviour", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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