The most influential current idea in the theory of conflict management concerns the design features and supposed superior outcomes of conflict management systems combining interest-based and rights-based practices for resolving conflict in organizations. Yet much of the literature in the area is highly prescriptive and draws heavily either on exemplary case studies or descriptive data. Using focus groups of HR practitioners and experts in conflict resolution to develop a questionnaire covering the main conflict management practices associated with the theory of conflict management systems, the study analyzes data from a survey of firms in the Republic of Ireland to examine quantitatively the effects of conflict management systems on organizational outcomes. While proactive line management and supervisory engagement in conflict resolution as a key dimension of conflict management systems is found to be positively associated with a range of organizational outcomes, no evidence is found for the kind of system effects proposed in the theoretical and prescriptive literature. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management of Technology and Innovation
- Strategy and Management
- Applied Psychology
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management