The role of emotions in conflict management: The case of work teams

Helena Syna Desivilya, Dana Yagil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study aims to identify the factors underlying differing preferences for conflict-management patterns within work teams. Two major antecedents of dispute resolution modes were examined: the team members' emotional reactions to and their perceptions of the type of conflicts encountered in their work group. The sample consisted of 69 medical teams, comprising 331 employees (nurses and physicians) employed in several medical organizations. Self-report structured questionnaires were used to assess the research variables. A series of regression analyses showed that cooperative (integrating and compromising) patterns of conflict management were associated with positive intragroup emotional states; contentious (dominating) patterns were associated with positive as well as negative emotions; and an avoidance pattern was associated with negative emotions only. Additionally, negative emotions were found to mediate the association of relationship conflict with a dominating pattern of conflict management. The findings point to the centrality of emotional states in determining conflict management preferences at the intragroup level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-69
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Conflict Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005


  • Emotions
  • Intragroup processes
  • Organizational conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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