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Does ethnic conflict impede or enable employee innovation behavior? The alchemic role of collaborative conflict management

Reade, Carol and Lee, Hyun-Jung (2016) Does ethnic conflict impede or enable employee innovation behavior? The alchemic role of collaborative conflict management. International Journal of Conflict Management, 27 (2). pp. 199-224. ISSN 1044-4068

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Identification Number: 10.1108/IJCMA-09-2014-0071


Purpose The main objective of the study is to investigate whether a societal context of ethnic conflict influences employee innovation behavior in the work domain, and whether a collaborative conflict management style adopted by supervisors plays a moderating role. Design/methodology/approach Drawing on the conflict, organizational behavior and innovation literature, the study examines the main and interaction effects of employee sensitivity to ethnic conflict, organizational frustration, and collaborative conflict management style of supervisors on employee engagement with colleagues to innovate products, services, and job processes. Hypotheses are tested using hierarchical regression analysis, controlling for ethnic diversity in workgroups. Findings Employee innovation behavior is greatest when employee sensitivity to ethnic conflict is high, organizational frustration is low, and when supervisors are perceived to be highly collaborative in managing conflict, regardless of whether the workgroup is ethnically homogenous or diverse. Research limitations/implications The research findings expand our knowledge of the effects of sociopolitical conflict on employee behavior and the role of collaborative conflict management. Future research can address limitations including self-reports, cross-sectional design, and single country setting. Practical implications The findings suggest that employee innovation behavior can be enhanced through developing collaborative conflict management skills of those in leadership positions. Originality/value This is the first study to empirically examine the influence of ethnic conflict on employee innovation behavior, and is of value to businesses operating in conflict settings.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2016 09:58
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:22

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