Passive responses to interpersonal conflict at work amplify employee strain

M.T.M. Dijkstra, C.K.W. de Dreu, A. Evers, D. van Dierendonck

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Interpersonal conflict at work correlates with stress related outcomes such as psychological strain and exhaustion. Consistent with conflict theory, we argued that this relationship is moderated by the way conflict is managed. Cross-sectional data collected in The Netherlands, from students with part-time jobs (Sample 1, n=104), healthcare workers (Sample 2, n=191), and mid-level administrative personnel (Sample 3,n=161) indeed revealed that conflict was related to psychological strain and exhaustion especially when interpersonal conflict was managed passively (through avoiding and yielding). Active conflict management strategies (forcing and problem solving) did not moderate the relationship between interpersonal conflict and employee strain. Implications for conflict theory, for future research, and for practice are discussed. © 2009 Psychology Press.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)405-423
    Number of pages19
    JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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