The Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence And Conflict Management Style

1. Introduction

Conflict is not something new to us. Every single day we might involve in the conflict. Conflict has occurred since the existence of human beings. Conflict occurred either in person or between other individuals. Conflict can happen when we faced negative situation with family, colleagues, supervisor, customers and others. The early approach of conflict assumed all conflict was negative and to be avoided. Conflict involves a situation where the community cares about their rights and partly felt it incompatible. It can be categorized into two categories, namely as cooperativeness where it is an attitude that tries to satisfy the other party, and another one is the attitude of the assertiveness that is an attitude where more to satisfy yourself.

In addressing conflict, every employee in an organization must have high emotional intelligence. If there is no emotional intelligence, it is likely will create an occurrence of conflict such as mistrust between one another, criminal breach of trust, corruption, strife and conflict.

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Emotional intelligence is also important in managing the stress so that our life will be comfortable and harmonious. A person with emotional intelligence will be able to adjust himself with whatever situation he is facing. Issue that happened in our organization is the conflicts that happen in our daily lives, and it have to be tended to astutely and determined capably. As a result of not managing conflict by using emotional intelligence, spiritual and moral intelligence approach, there will be conflicts between countries, among organizations, among employees and also against an individual.

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Even as small as wherever the conflict, they must be resolved before they spread and affect the performance of an organization. Moreover, there is an expansion of grievances from the public against the government employee as of late. This shows that there is an extensive variety of conflicts that torment people in public service. The majority of the complaints gained include:

a. delay or no action taken
b. unsatisfactory service quality including counter and telephone calls
c. unfair action
d. failure of enforcement
e. government employee misconduct
f. abuse of power
g. failure to adhere to the procedures
h. lack of implementation of policies and the weakness of certain law dan regulation.

Emotional intelligence is essential in addressing conflicts that occurred because the credibility of the organization is associated closely with its performance either in terms of administration, personnel, finance and even conflict. Successful organization is the organization that is capable of addressing the conflict faced by the client as well as the outsiders. This is on account of the conflict will unfavorably influence the viability of the organization and the employee (Onishi and Bliss, 2006).

The internal conflict is related to the burden of the assignments, working environment, relationship with counterparts or the head of department and work processes. The examples of internal conflict such as unsatisfied with the distribution of a given task, don’t like to deal with certain individuals, workplace atmosphere that politicized and etc. Koo and Sim (1999) have found that conflict in tasks occur when there is a distribution of work made by the organizations in which they are involved in terms of the structure of a person or role/position. The imbalance of power and expectation gap which was produced could not meet the expectations of a third party.

All conflict happens either internally or externally, but if we deal with it emotionally indeed it will create a negative effect. But, by adopting emotional intelligence, the resulting impact was different because individuals with self-awareness are aware of the problems and effects that occur on response to his actions. They are also able to manage emotions and have the self-motivation and empathy toward others. They also strongly emphasized the value of a relationship and often practice strategic communication management system. All positive values will be reflected through the personality style shown by the individual concerned.

To enable an organization to resolve external conflicts, they need to identify the internal conflicts in advance. Internal conflict resolution can be done by putting the emphasis on emotional intelligence. Usually, people study against variables and measurement that are normally reachable from the past studies. For this assignment, the selected dependent variable is “conflict management style” whereby the dimensions are competition, collaboration, avoidance, reconciliation and compromise. (Thomas et al., 2008). While the independent variable is “emotional intelligence”, and the selected dimension is intrapersonal skills, interpersonal skills, stress management, adaptability and general mood (Dries and Pepermans, 2007).

Independent Variable
Dependent Variable
Emotional Intelligence
Conflict Management

Intrapersonal skill
Interpersonal skill
Stress management
General mood


Figure 1.1: The Framework

2. Literature Review

There are many previous studies have been conducted on the conflict management style as well as emotional intelligence but only a few who study the relationship between the two variables. To get a clearer understanding of the portrayal, the write-up will be touching both edges. It is done by using past studies related to conflict management style and emotional intelligence.

2.1 Dependent Variable: Conflict Management Style

Generally, conflict is a matter which everybody would like to avoid. However, in our daily life, sometimes it cannot be avoided. Individuals had to face and resolve the conflicts that occur. Conflict can occur in either externally or internally of the organization and also as well as of an individual.

Nair (2008) stated that the definition for conflict is a difference of views and opinions. It can additionally be portrayed as a condition related to the negative impact on behavior, such as stress on the individuals involved as well as inherently bad in the cognitive point of view. The organization faces conflict and it arise due to competition for resources, the distribution of work, streamlining work procedures as well as the participation in the decision making (Boonsathorn, 2007). Tjosvold (2006) states that the conflict is to be experienced by everyone and it will continue to develop into complex, and if it is not solved, it will result in a destruction.

A wide range of various models and methods have been applied in order to measure conflict management style. Ayoko and Pekerti (2008) have found that the dimensions related to conflict is communication openness, beliefs, a period of conflict, task conflict, communication conflict and conflict intensity.

Thomas et al. (2008) in his study was using five conflict management styles which are known as competition, collaboration, avoidance, reconciliation and compromise. Green (2008) have found that conflict can occur when two parties try to solve problems together, be sensitive to their feelings and sensitive to the emotional related to issues that arise. He also found there are five styles prevailing in addressing conflict management which are stated as integrating, avoiding, dominating, obliging and compromising.

In addition to the conflict management style, Darling and Walker (2001) have identified the four behavior in addressing conflicts such as analyzer, director, relater and socialize. All four behavior can be identified as a result of the decisive attitude (assertive) and responsive. If an individual has a combination of attitudes that are less assertive and less responsive, the behavior is the analyzer. An analyzer has strength in terms of logical thinking, comprehensive and serious. Those less responsive, because it shows a cautious attitude and make a thorough assessment of the issues that arise.

Vodosek (2007) has divided intragroup conflict into two types, namely as socio-affective and cognitive task-oriented. Socio related conflict involves relationship conflict where they cause stress, animosity and annoyance among colleagues. While task conflict more related to decisions and differences of views, opinions and ideas. In addition to the two types of conflict, there is another one type of conflict, namely as “conflict in terms of the process”. It is more towards disagreements on how to implement a job is, who is responsible and how the distribution of tasks is performed.

The conflict involves basic values in a relationship, and it involves the selection of conflict management. It should be focused because it can affect the outcome (Tjosvold, 2006). Rispens et al. (2007) says the conflict is a matter that must in a group and of the organization. During the discussion, the conflict will occur, and they affect relationships and also the task. He also pointed out that the conflict is also closely linked to faiths and the performance of individual, group and organization.

A conflict resolution style is the social behaviors shown when faced with conflict or dispute. The style shown is usually closely linked to a person’s personality (Posthuma et al. 2006). For example, if an individual has an
introverted personality, conflict management styles that can be used is the avoidance where they will try to refrain from dealing with conflict.

Various conflicts can occur in the organization, and it may involve various parties regardless where they are, either in upper or lower level. Each individual has its own style in addressing conflicts. The management style that usually used is includes competition, collaboration, avoidance, reconciliation and compromise. The competition style is a situation that individuals put his needs in advance compared to others. Conflict management styles may often cause an individual to lose a friendship just because he defends something he fights for without thinking about its impact on other individuals.

Individuals who choose reconciliation style as conflict management style is the individuals who are willing to sacrifice his needs in order to ensure that the needs and requirements of any other person can be fulfilled. Individuals with more reconciliation style values and a concern friendship as well as prioritize the needs of the other party.

The conflict can be divided into three, namely as bargaining, bureaucratic and the system. Bargaining conflict refers to conflicts that arise when there is talk of getting something that bring benefit to them such as resources. While the bureaucratic conflicts occur between the relationships of management with subordinate where there is a gap and methods of information delivery. The system conflict refers to a conflict occur between parties who have a relationship in the functions of the organization (Nair, 2008). Conflicts happen because of a few factors, for example, contrasts in the goals and objectives, desires, values and qualities. Conflict can likewise happen as an aftereffect of progressions in innovation, the move of power in the world, unsteady political condition and additionally money related doubt in the organization. Conflict can happen as a consequence of progressions in working strategies, particular matter, clients, generation, fiscal circumstance and likewise the corporate theory and vision changes (Darling and Walker, 2001).

Conflict is a fact of life whereby everybody is competing within the organization to get a job, dominate the resources, power, receive appreciation and security. Threatened feelings may arise, and it brings negative effects such as stress (Suliman and Al-Shaikh (2007). His research also found that the staff that has a high level of emotional intelligence has been reported to have low levels of conflict and has innovation and high willingness to create.

Macintosh and Stevens, (2008) have found that a conflict is an interactive process that shows incompatibility, dissent and inconsistency that occurs in the community. Conflict can occur when a party feels others are trying to prevent it reaching desired goals. The causes of conflict are as follows:

a. do not have activities that correspond to the interests and needs
b. have incompatible behaviour
c. differences in attitudes and values
d. refuse to hold joint activities
e. ascent to get limited resources
f. dependency on other parties in implementing activities and functions.

Rispens, Greer and Jehn (2007) believe that a conflict can also cause a lack of faith in a person against any other person and it can also affect the assessment of the performance of an organisation. This opinion was supported by Onishi and Bliss (2006) stating that conflict that occur in an organization will reduce the effectiveness of the organisation.

2.2 Independent Variable: Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence has begun as early as the 1920s through proof of studies conducted by Thorndike. It was then reviewed by Moss and Hunt in 1927, Hunt in 1928 and Vernon in 1933. But the study and theory has been streamlined by Mayer and Saarni in 1999. They have found that individuals with emotional intelligence show spectacular features in addressing emotion in their environment (Kunnanatt, 2008). Dulewicz and Higgs, (2000) defines emotional intelligence is knowing what is felt and are able to manage these feelings without letting it dominate. It can motivate them in carrying out their duties, be creative and give your best and understand the feelings of other people and be able to keep the relationship with effectiveness. From the study it was found that the dimensions of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, emotional management, self-motivation, empathy, relationships, communication and personality style.

Every manager need to have emotional intelligence in decision making where it is a combination of self-management skill and communication skill. Emotional intelligence also allows people to identify and manage good emotions and thoughts which are translated through the action. Suliman and Al-Shaikh (2007) stated that by having emotional intelligence the managers have a better understanding of its employees work. Employee will be able to prevent conflict that would affect the ideas and innovation through having the emotional intelligence.

Tischler, Biberman and McKeage (2002) defines that emotional intelligence has some relations with spiritual intelligence. Someone who has a high emotional intelligence will be more than happy, and more productive in the task, as well as in everyday life. Likewise individuals with high spiritual intelligence also has a happy life and productive.

Kerr et al., (2006) state that emotional intelligence is a set of related and relevant to the individual embodiment of emotion and others, involves effective emotional regulation, using feeling as motivation whereby it can plan to achieve something in life. There are various dimensions used in measuring the emotional intelligence but for this assignment the dimensions used are intrapersonal skills, interpersonal skills, stress management, adaptability and general mood.

Intrapersonal Skill
Intrapersonal skills more closely related to us (internal) which are related to recognize ourselves. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of our owned and making it as an advantage. The sub-dimensions for function of the intrapersonal are self-awareness, selfmanagement/self-control and self-motivation. Individuals who have high self-awareness usually will accept all criticism openly and be prepared to make changes towards goodness. (Moller and Powell, 2001)

Interpersonal Skill
When the individual has awareness of himself, in turn is associated with contact with others. Moller and Powell (2001) say that interpersonal skills are skills in the working relationship among humans either by co-workers, neighbors and family. In our daily lives, we need to interact with other parties either orally or through the signal. Between the sub dimension is social responsibility which have the nature of empathy and able to establish relationships with others without causing conflicts. Stress Management

Stress management can also reflect the emotional intelligence that is owned by an individual. If an individual has a high emotional intelligence, he will be able to manage stress well compared to othe person. Sub dimensions used are stress tolerance and impulse control (Bardzil and Slaski, 2003).

Adaptability process is a process of reconciliation in a relationship, group and organizations. Sub dimensions under personal suitability are the reality testing, flexibility and problem solving (Bardzil and Slaski, 2003).

General Mood
Bardzil and Slaski (2003) in his study have stated that the mood can affect the emotional intelligence of an individual. Sub dimension in general mood which is identified are optimistic and happiness.

Riggio and Reichard (2008) says that there are three emotional intelligence skills, namely as emotional expressiveness, emotional sensitivity and emotional control. Emotional expressiveness is the ability to communicate orally, especially when sending a signal of patriotic emotion. Emotional sensitivity refers to skills to receive and interpret nonverbal communication, emotion or feelings of others. Emotional control refers to the ability to control the emotional and nonverbal communication. While for the corresponding of social skills are social expressiveness, social sensitivity and social control. Social expressiveness is the ability to communicate verbally and have the skills to attract other individuals to discuss together. Social sensitivity not only involves listening oral communication skills but sensitive to environmental conditions. Finally, social control is to control the social situation.

The Influence of Emotional Intelligence
Suliman and Al-Shaikh (2007) say that emotional intelligence can result the individuals:
a. more aware of their interpersonal style
b. identifying and managing the effects of emotions on the thoughts and behavior.
c. develop the ability to make judgements against the social dynamics at work.
d. know how to manage the relationship and how to improve it.

Chrusciel (2006) found that emotional intelligence has connection with the performance of an organization whereby it affects decision-making process by management, organizational change and profitability and also the success of the organization.

Emotional intelligence is essential at all levels of management organization and it started during the recruitment process.
In the study conducted by Brooks and Nafukho (2006), there is a relationship between human resource management, emotional intelligence and productivity of the organization. This is because human resource management used emotional intelligence in addressing process which involves recognition. It is also used to motivate, plan and achieve what is needed for the organization.

According to studies done by Dries and Pepermans (2007), it has identified dimensionsdimensions for emotional intelligence, namely as skills of intrapersonal, interpersonal skills, stress management, adaptability and general mood.

The measurement of emotional intelligence can be done with various models that have been designed and used by researchers. Riggio and Reichard (2008) have found that there are four emotional intelligence skills in which to identify emotions, able to use emotions to facilitate thinking, understanding emotions and managing emotions. Dulewicz and Higgs (2000) has identified that the dimensions related to emotional intelligence is self-awareness, emotional management, self-motivation, empathy, relationships, communication and personality style.

3. Discussion

As I stated earlier, there were less previous study done related to the relationship of both variables. But, under this discussion, I will try to discuss in terms of findings against a few number of recent researches that has been done by researchers under the scope of in study the emotional intelligence and conflict management style. Shih and Susanto, (2010) study the relationships between emotional intelligence, conflict management styles and job performance at selected local governments in Indonesia. Specifically, the antecedent of conflict management styles was studied. Their discoveries demonstrate that enthusiastic discernment was a precursor of conflict management styles for incorporating and bargaining styles. They demonstrate the immediate impacts of coordinating style on job performance. The study likewise affirms that incorporating style in part intercedes the relationship between emotional intelligence and job performance. At long last, the outcomes exhibit that emotional intelligence inside public organizations has an effect on job performance like that of emotional intelligence inside private organizations.

Di Fabio and Blustein, (2009) considered on the relationship between emotional intelligence and decisions conflict styles around the Italian secondary school understudies. The intrapersonal measurement of emotional intelligence showed up as the best invert indicator of non-adaptive styles, though the adaptability measurement was the best indicator of the versatile style of vigilance; the Interpersonal measurement of emotional intelligence was identified with the non-adaptive styles. The outcomes give an in-profundity take a gander at the relationship between the emotional intelligence develop and the decisions conflict styles, yielding new territories of exploration, appraisal, and mediation.

Godse and Thingujam, (2009) examined the relationship between emotional intelligence and conflict determination styles well beyond personality. The example included data innovation experts. The outcomes indicated that general emotional intelligence, understanding outer feelings and emotional administration were altogether related with coordinating style of conflict determination. Also, general emotional intelligence and emotional control were discovered to be contrarily and essentially corresponded with evading style of conflict determination. The relationship between emotional intelligence and conflict determination styles was discovered to be huge well beyond personality.

Tsarenko and Strizhakova, (2013) mull over on the theories of personality to explore precursors and results of purchaser adapting in examples of administration disappointment and particularly keep tabs on the impacts of emotional intelligence and practicality toward oneself on three adapting strategies – active, expressive, and denial. The experts further research the impacts of adapting methods on customer expectation to whine. The effects demonstrate that emotional intelligence has a positive relationship between dynamic and expressive adapting procedures however a negative relationship with denial. Expressive adapting prompts more stupendous griping, while denial reductions it. Additionally, shopper ampleness toward oneself intervenes the relationship between emotional intelligence and dynamic adapting strategy. In uniqueness, the impact of ampleness toward oneself on expressive strategy is negative.

Montes, Rodríguez, and Serrano, (2012) examine the affective factors which causal conflict conduct. Conventional conflict examination accepts that when people face conflicts they take after a sane procedure, consequently preventing the part from emotion-relevant variables. Their outcomes reveal that affective groups measurably contrast in their reported toward oneself conflict management styles. Positive states of mind and sentiments have been discovered to be identified with the inclination for additional helpful strategies. The outcomes likewise underline that the inclination for any conflict management style ought to be comprehended from a multidimensional perspective.

4. Conclusion

The concept of emotional intelligence describes the emotional qualities that contribute to the production of a person so that the ability to understand others and to act wisely in the relations between human beings. Emotional intelligence should be accepted as one of the factors that have impact on the conflict management styles of employee in any organizations either in the public service or private companies. Through emotional intelligence will also understand how interpersonal relations affect the performance of the work and organization. More research study and observation should be done in this area in order to obtain and gather the comprehensive and depth knowledge related to emotional intelligence and conflict management styles.


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The Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence And Conflict Management Style

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