Improving employees’ jobsatisfaction and innovationperformance using conflictmanagementXiao-Hong Chen, Ke Zhao and Xiang LiuSchool of Business, Central South University, Changsha, China, andDesheng Dash WuRiskLab, University of Toronto, Toronto, CanadaAbstractPurpose– The major aim of this study is to explore the mechanism through which conflictmanagement behavior impacts job satisfaction and innovation performance, and to verify thisrelationship with the empirical analysis in the context of China.Design/methodology/approach– Amodeloftherelationshipamongconflictmanagementbehavior, job satisfaction and innovation performance was developed and empirically tested. Based ona survey composed of 333 questionnaires designed for Chinese employees, the authors examine theeffects of conflict management behavior on job satisfaction and innovation performance in Chinesecontexts.Findings– Results show that integrating and compromising conflict management behaviors arepositively related to job satisfaction; integrating conflict management behavior is positively related toinnovation performance; and avoiding conflict management behavior is negatively related toinnovation performance.Research limitations/implications– This study does not take the industry differences intoconsideration, though how to maintain job satisfaction and promote innovation might differ from oneindustry to another. This study only studied on the personal level, therefore future studies can beextended to the team level.Originality/value– This paper offers some useful suggestions for business managers as well asemployees to improve employees’ job satisfaction and innovation performance.KeywordsConflict management, Job satisfaction, Innovation performance, ChinaPaper typeResearch paperIntroductionConflict is the most common social phenomenon in organizations. Friction betweenemployees, conflicts among departments, and confrontation among organizations canthreaten the development of enterprises (Wall and Callister, 1995; Jehn, 1997).Interpersonal conflict is one of the most important factors, and has a great impact onstaff relationships at work (Barki and Hartwick, 2001; Rahim, 1983). Conflicts can leadto compromised job satisfaction, reduced motivation, and lack of engagement; and thuslower employees’ performance. With more and more modern enterprises advocatingThe current issue and full text archive of this journal is available atThis work was partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (GrantsNo. 70971139, and No. 70631004).Improvingemployees’ jobsatisfaction151International Journal of ConflictManagementVol. 23 No. 2, 2012pp. 151-172qEmerald Group Publishing Limited1044-4068DOI 10.1108/10444061211218276
for building human-oriented enterprises, methods for handling and solving staffinterpersonal conflicts matters a great deal for corporate long-term objectives.