The article chosen for this analysis and critique is titled, “Managers’ conflict management styles and employee attitudinal outcomes: The mediating role of trust” by Ka Wai Chan, Xu Huang and Peng Man Ng. The article explores leadership, conflict management styles, and communication.
The article was published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Management in 2007. The aim of this paper is to summarize and critique the above peer-reviewed article in terms of its relevance to the field of conflict management.
While carrying out the study, Chan et al. (2007) were concerned with examining “the mediating effects of trust on the relationships between manager’s conflict management styles (CMS) and employee attitudinal outcomes (p. 277). The research study conducted by Chan et al. (2007) recruited 169 employees in Guangzhou, China respondents.
Through its research findings, the study established that when managers and leaders integrate conflict management styles at the workplace, this leads to positive outcomes from the subordinates. The results further showed that integrating collaborative leadership style with CMS results in positive attitudinal outcomes among the subordinates.
According to the article, the use of paternalistic leadership style in the Chinese culture helped to increase trust in leadership and conflict resolution, thereby enhancing a strong supervisor-subordinate relationship (Chan et al. 2007).
Therefore, transformational leadership style promotes open communication between superiors and the subordinates. In this context, the proper style of leadership encourages the integration of conflict management styles, which results in positive employees’ attitudinal outcomes.
Judging by the research findings of the study by Chan et al. (2007), employers have a duty to ensure that their managers are ably trained to manage issues of conflict, leadership wrangles and communication in the workplace. The study also underscores the importance of managerial behavior in advocating for open communication, respect and care for the subordinates in CMS.
Managers who advocate for open communication in the workplace enable their subordinates to achieve job satisfaction. Additionally, the way managers treat their subordinates during conflict affect their behavior and attitude in the workplace (Chan et al. 2007).
Critique of the article in terms of its relevance to the field of conflict management
The article by Chan et al. (2007) is relevant to the issue of conflict management in the workplace as it explores the concept of leadership and open communication in conflict resolution. The major strength of the article as far as conflict management styles are concerned is that it could be used to implement conflict resolution in the workplace.
Additionally, the research findings of the article could assist in promoting trustworthy behavior in the fields of conflict management, communication, and leadership. Additionally, the article explores the major leadership styles (such as transformational leadership, collaborative, and paternalistic leadership style), that are vital in improving trust between managers and their subordinates when dealing with conflict in the workplace.
In this context, managers should be more concerned with the behavior of employees in the workplace, particularly when dealing with conflict. For this reason, managers are encouraged to use their leadership and managerial skills effectively in solving conflicts. Therefore, employees can promote conflict management in the workplace through effective leadership skills.
The article also reveals that the integration of CMS by managers in the workplace has a huge impact on employees’ turnover and job satisfaction. Moreover, trust precipitates subordinates’ positive attitudinal outcomes after conflict resolution.
Chan, K. W., Huang, X., & Ng, P. M. (2007). Managers’ conflict management styles and employee attitudinal outcomes: The mediating role of trust. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, (25), 277-295.