Job Satisfaction_9 - The current issue and full text...

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Improving employees’ job satisfaction and innovation performance using conflict management Xiao-Hong Chen, Ke Zhao and Xiang Liu School of Business, Central South University, Changsha, China, and Desheng Dash Wu RiskLab, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada Abstract Purpose – The major aim of this study is to explore the mechanism through which conflict management behavior impacts job satisfaction and innovation performance, and to verify this relationship with the empirical analysis in the context of China. Design/methodology/approach – A model of the relationship among conflict management behavior, job satisfaction and innovation performance was developed and empirically tested. Based on a survey composed of 333 questionnaires designed for Chinese employees, the authors examine the effects of conflict management behavior on job satisfaction and innovation performance in Chinese contexts. Findings – Results show that integrating and compromising conflict management behaviors are positively related to job satisfaction; integrating conflict management behavior is positively related to innovation performance; and avoiding conflict management behavior is negatively related to innovation performance. Research limitations/implications – This study does not take the industry differences into consideration, though how to maintain job satisfaction and promote innovation might differ from one industry to another. This study only studied on the personal level, therefore future studies can be extended to the team level. Originality/value – This paper offers some useful suggestions for business managers as well as employees to improve employees’ job satisfaction and innovation performance. Keywords Conflict management, Job satisfaction, Innovation performance, China Paper type Research paper Introduction Conflict is the most common social phenomenon in organizations. Friction between employees, conflicts among departments, and confrontation among organizations can threaten the development of enterprises (Wall and Callister, 1995; Jehn, 1997). Interpersonal conflict is one of the most important factors, and has a great impact on staff relationships at work (Barki and Hartwick, 2001; Rahim, 1983). Conflicts can lead to compromised job satisfaction, reduced motivation, and lack of engagement; and thus lower employees’ performance. With more and more modern enterprises advocating The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at This work was partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants No. 70971139, and No. 70631004). Improving employees’ job satisfaction 151 International Journal of Conflict Management Vol. 23 No. 2, 2012 pp. 151-172 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 1044-4068 DOI 10.1108/10444061211218276
for building human-oriented enterprises, methods for handling and solving staff interpersonal conflicts matters a great deal for corporate long-term objectives.

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