Conflict in the workplace creates a challenge for many of present day managers. The purpose of this paper is to explore the moderating effect of generations X and Y on the relationship between personality and conflict handling styles.
The study is conducted using a sample of 199 employees working in the electronic retail sector in a non-Western culture. The five-factor model of personality traits is used to measure personality, while conflict styles are measured using Rahim’s Organizational Conflict Inventory II.
Results indicate that generations X and Y moderate the relationship between specific personality traits and conflict handling styles.
This study investigated the moderating effect of generations X and Y on a sample of employees within the electronic retail service sector in Lebanon. It is recommended that future research examine such a relationship in other sectors and cultures for generalizability. Since generation Z (born in the late 1990s) will soon be entering the job market, further studies should include this cohort when investigating the relationships. Finally, for a deeper understanding of the relationship, it is advisable to use both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods.
The understanding of what influences an individual’s choice regarding his/her choice of conflict resolution styles is of great use to supervisors in general and human resource managers in particular. This will assist in developing training programs that help employees acquire the appropriate skills necessary to control their impulses in a conflict situation. Training should comprise conflict resolution and communication skills that could help bridge the gap between generations. Effectively managing generational conflict in the workplace can positively contribute to the level and frequency of future conflicts, which in turn, can lead to favorable organizational outcomes.
Earlier research that examined the relationship between personality and conflict management styles have found varying results ranging from weak to strong relationships. The understanding of what influences an individual’s choice of which management style he/she chooses is of great use for managers in general and human resource managers in particular. This study showed that the inconsistency could be the result of some factors that moderate this relationship. The age of individuals contributes to the strength or the weakness of the various relationships between personality and conflict handling styles. Findings suggest that generations X and Y do not moderate the relationships among the personality traits and the dominating and obliging conflict styles. They do, however, have varying moderating effects on the relationships between specific personality traits and the integrating, avoiding, and compromising styles.
Canaan Messarra, L., Karkoulian, S. and El-Kassar, A.-N. (2016), "Conflict resolution styles and personality: The moderating effect of generation X and Y in a non-Western context", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 65 No. 6, pp. 792-810. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPPM-01-2016-0014Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited