Studies Show how to Navigate Counterproductive Behavior within the Workplace 

Published: June 29, 2022 | Last Updated: July 14, 2022by Vanessa Chapman

Summary of: Studies Show how to Navigate Counterproductive Behavior within the Workplace 

Kundi , Y. (2021, January 23). Interpersonal Conflict and Counterproductive Work Behavior: The Moderating Roles of Emotional Intelligence and Gender. Retrieved June 9, 2022. Interpersonal conflict and counterproductive work behavior: the moderating roles of emotional intelligence and gender (2021)

Background & Theory

This article aims to examine how emotional intelligence plays into our productive communication when it revolves around conflict. There is also an emphasis on how emotional intelligence might depend on an employee’s gender. The study dives into our biological responses to stressful situations and how to mitigate them, regardless of gender.

Research Question(s)

  • How does gender play a role within emotional intelligence?
  • What are strategies upper management can use to enhance emotional intelligence?


Interpersonal Conflict and Counterproductive Work Behavior

Interpersonal conflict relates to negative encounters with others that deeply affect them personally. This type of conflict has been shown to be the most important workplace stressors. In order to relieve this type of conflict, it has been suggested that a mediator or trained conflict resolution practitioner step in to facilitate an efficient and productive dialogue between parties.

Moderating Role of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to recognize the meanings of emotions and their relationships; also, to have the tools to problem solve the conflict in the most productive way possible. Creating educational programs around emotional intelligence and utilizing assessments to understand where we are at in the present, and where we would like to be at in the future will largely help teams succeed within their organization. This will also prevent conflict, as communication tactics are some of the core themes of emotional intelligence training.

Role of Gender

The study highlights how our gender can affect the way we view conflicts and mitigate them. It has been found that gender directly correlates with trends of how men and women respond to stressful experiences within the workplace. It has been shown that men are more likely than women to report conflicts because men have higher impulsivity than women. Biological and social factors also explain differences between both genders when it comes to emotional intelligence. Certain areas of the brain that are responsible for emotional processing is higher in women than in men, which makes women better prepared to consider their own emotions opposed to others.


The research shows that training around emotional intelligence is a powerful tool in order to mitigate and prevent conflict. Emotional intelligence shapes how employees respond to interpersonal conflict. Ones that have undergone training around this topic are much more likely to respond positively to feedback or stressful situations. Due to our natural biological responses to stressful situations, there is a difference in how each gender handles stress. The more education we have around ourselves and those around us, the easier it will become to resolve conflicts and have effective communication.

What This Means

  • Interpersonal conflict directly relates to counterproductive work behavior
  • Studies show that emotional intelligence statistically is shown higher in women than men
  • Emotional intelligence training is key when it comes to regulating negative emotions

Final Takeaway

For consultants: Creating academic workshops around emotional intelligence is key when navigating conflicts.

For everyone: The more we understand how we react to our emotions and situations, the easier it will become for us to unite as a team.




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Vanessa Chapman

Vanessa has a background in Business, Psychology, and Mediation. She is currently Director of Client Services for Peaceful Leaders Academy. Some of her hobbies include continuous learning, reading, writing, and participating in yoga retreats!