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The impact of horizontal conflict on reducing vertical conflict in Japan’s retail organizations

Eunji Seo (Department of Business Administration, Fukuyama Heisei University, Hiroshima, Japan)
Katsuyoshi Takashima (Graduate School of Business Administration, Kobe University, Kobe, Japan)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




The purpose of this study is to investigate the negative impact of horizontal conflict on vertical conflict in a triadic configuration, which is based on the supposition that buyers who experience horizontal conflict due to competition with other buyers are motivated to limit vertical conflict to better cooperate with store staff.


This study tests the hypotheses with an AMOS-based structure equation model based on survey data of 236 merchandise managers at Japanese retailers.


The study’s findings demonstrate that process conflict concerning resource and role allocation, negatively affects the task conflict and relationship conflict involved in vertical interactions. The results suggest that conflict between buyers is an accelerative mechanism affecting the construction of cooperative relationships between buyers and store staff.


Previous studies have discussed the possibility of positive effects arising from process conflict. In this study, the authors found that horizontal process conflict tolerates vertical conflict statistically and identified a new positive effect of process conflict.



Seo, E. and Takashima, K. (2017), "The impact of horizontal conflict on reducing vertical conflict in Japan’s retail organizations", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 217-232.



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