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Effects of organizational conflict history and employees' situational perceptions of COVID-19 on negative megaphoning and turnover intention

Myoung-Gi Chon (School of Communication and Journalism, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA)
Lisa Tam (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Jeong-Nam Kim (University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Article publication date: 4 June 2021

Issue publication date: 20 July 2021

859

Abstract

Purpose

This study explores the interaction effects of organizational conflict history and employees' situational perceptions of COVID-19 on negative megaphoning and turnover intention.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data (N = 476) were collected from US citizens, who self-identified as full-time employees, through Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) in August 2020.

Findings

Organizational conflict history (i.e. highly conflict-prone vs less conflict-prone workplaces) interacts with employees' situational perceptions of COVID-19 (i.e. inactive vs active publics) in affecting employees' negative megaphoning and turnover intention toward their organizations. Employees who are active publics on COVID-19 in highly conflict-prone workplaces reported the highest negative megaphoning and turnover intention. On the contrary, employees who are inactive publics on COVID-19 in less conflict-prone workplaces reported the lowest negative megaphoning and turnover intention.

Practical implications

COVID-19 is an uncontrollable, exogenous crisis for organizations. While it is expected that employees in highly conflict-prone workplaces would report higher negative megaphoning and turnover intention, this study found that employees' situational perceptions of COVID-19 would further exacerbate the effects. This finding reflects the importance of managing organizational conflicts continuously and preemptively while also segmenting and cultivating relationships with employees based on their situational perceptions of issues and crises.

Originality/value

This study identified the significance of the interaction of cross-situational factors (e.g. employees' recollection of organizational conflict history) and situational factors (e.g. employees' situational perceptions of issues) in affecting employees' negative behavioral intentions in crisis situations, even if the crises are exogenous and uncontrollable.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was funded by an internal grant from the School of Communication and Journalism at Auburn University, USA.

Citation

Chon, M.-G., Tam, L. and Kim, J.-N. (2021), "Effects of organizational conflict history and employees' situational perceptions of COVID-19 on negative megaphoning and turnover intention", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 298-315. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCOM-10-2020-0114

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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