Handling conflict at work: The role of fit between subordinates’ need for closure and supervisors’ power tactics

Jocelyn J. Bélanger, Antonio Pierro, Barbara Barbieri, Nicola A. De Carlo, Alessandra Falco, Arie W. Kruglanski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose – This research aims to explore the notion of fit between subordinates’ need for cognitive closure and supervisors’ power tactics on organizational conflict management. Design/methodology/approach – Two-hundred and ninety employees drawn from six different Italian organizations were recruited for the purpose of this study. Findings – Results indicated that high-need-for-closure subordinates utilized more constructive (solution-oriented) conflict management strategies when their supervisors relied on harsh power tactics, whereas low-need-for-closure subordinates were more inclined to use solution-oriented conflict management strategies when their supervisors relied on soft power tactics. Additionally, results indicated that, overall, supervisors’ use of harsh power tactics increased subordinates reliance on maladapted (control-oriented) conflict management strategies, but even more so for subordinates with low need for cognitive closure. Originality/value – This study highlights the importance of supervisor–subordinate fit to understand conflict management in organizational setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-43
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Conflict Management
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 9 2015

Keywords

  • Conflict management
  • Need for cognitive closure
  • Power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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