Article

Functional and Dysfunctional Strategies for Managing Conflict

SSRN Electronic Journal 05/2010; DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.1612886

ABSTRACT This study suggests that strategies for handling interpersonal conflict can be classified as functional and dysfunctional and provides some evidence that functional strategies are associated with greater positive outcomes than dysfunctional strategies. There are various styles of handling interpersonal conflict, such as integrating, obliging, dominating, avoiding, and compromising and using one combination of styles may be functional than using another combination of styles. A functional strategy is associated with greater use of the integrating and lower use of avoiding styles plus greater use of the obliging and lower use of the dominating styles. A dysfunctional strategy is associated with greater use of the avoiding and lower use of the integrating styles plus greater use of the dominating and lower use of the obliging styles. Analysis of questionnaire data in several samples provided support for the hypothesis that the use of functional strategy, but not the dysfunctional strategy, is associated with better job performance and organizational citizenship behavior.

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