Conflict and well-being at work: The moderating role of personality

Maria T.M. Dijkstra*, Dirk van Dierendonck, Arne Evers, Carsten K.W. De Dreu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose - This study examines the moderating influence of the Big Five factors of agreeableness, extraversion, and emotional stability on the relationship between conflict and well-being. Design/methodology/approach - Two field studies were conducted in which respondents were asked to fill out questionnaires during work hours; the first study involved a health care organization, the second one a manufacturing organization. Findings - In performing sets of hierarchical regressions it was shown that conflict was negatively associated with well-being, especially when individuals were low in agreeableness, low in emotional stability or low in extraversion. Research limitations/implications - We proposed directional relations between conflict and individual well-being, however we cannot rule out the alternative in which reduced well-being leads to more conflict. Future research using a cross-lagged design with longitudinal data is needed to establish causal relationships. Practical implications - The most straightforward implication for practice seems to be that conflict should become part of the checklist consultant's use when advising organisations with high rates of turnover, sick leave, and absenteeism. Originality/value - This study showed that conflict adversely affects well-being, especially for disagreeable, emotional unstable, or introverted individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-104
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2005


  • Career satisfaction
  • Conflict
  • Personal needs
  • Personality


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