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Managing conflict with emotional intelligence: abilities that make a difference

Margaret M. Hopkins (Department of Management, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, USA)
Robert D. Yonker (Department of Management, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, USA)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 2 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the critical relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) abilities and conflict management styles in the workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

Totally, 126 participants completed a measure of EI and an assessment of conflict management styles. Regression analyses were then performed.

Findings

Results of regression analyses indicate several significant relationships between EI abilities and participants’ conflict management styles. The EI abilities of problem solving, social responsibility, and impulse control were the most directly related to how participants managed conflict at the workplace.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should attempt to replicate these findings in other samples. In addition, researchers should investigate other significant variables that explain people’s choices in conflict management styles.

Practical implications

Implications of these findings suggest that for management development purposes, people should attempt to improve on the EI abilities of problem solving, social responsibility, and impulse control in order to manage workplace conflict effectively.

Originality/value

This investigation contributes to the literature by identifying specific EI abilities, rather than a macro measure of EI, that are associated with different styles of conflict management.

Keywords

Citation

Hopkins, M.M. and Yonker, R.D. (2015), "Managing conflict with emotional intelligence: abilities that make a difference", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 226-244. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMD-04-2013-0051

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited