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REDUCING ORGANIZATIONAL CONFLICT: THE ROLE OF SOCIALLY‐INDUCED POSITIVE AFFECT

Robert A. Baron (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
Suzanne P. Fortin (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
Richard L. Frei (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
Laurie A. Hauver (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
Melisa L. Shack (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Article publication date: 1 February 1990

849

Abstract

Two studies were conducted to investigate the impact of socially‐induced positive affect on organizational conflict. In Study I, male and female subjects were provoked or not provoked, and then exposed to one of several treatments designed to induce positive affect among them. Results indicated that several of these procedures (e.g., mild flattery, a small gift, self‐deprecating remarks by an opponent) increased subjects' preference for resolving conflict through collaboration, but reduced their preference for resolving conflict through competition. In addition, self‐deprecating remarks by an opponent (actually an accomplice) increased subjects' willingness to make concessions to this person during negotiations. In Study 2, male and female subjects were exposed to two treatments designed to induce positive affect (humorous remarks, mild flattery). These were presented before, during, or after negotiations with another person (an accomplice). Both treatments reduced subjects' preferences for resolving conflict through avoidance and increased their preferences for resolving conflict through collaboration, but only when delivered during or immediately after negotiations. Together, the results of both studies suggest that simple interventions designed to induce positive affect among the parties to conflicts can yield several beneficial effects.

Citation

Baron, R.A., Fortin, S.P., Frei, R.L., Hauver, L.A. and Shack, M.L. (1990), "REDUCING ORGANIZATIONAL CONFLICT: THE ROLE OF SOCIALLY‐INDUCED POSITIVE AFFECT", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 133-152. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb022677

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1990, MCB UP Limited

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