Research Shows Different Communication Styles for Employees and Supervisors to Improve Relationships - Pollack Peacebuilding Systems

Summary of:

Employee – Supervisor Conflict Management in Organizations

Mbrica , A. (2022). Employee-Supervisor Conflict Management in Organization (2022), 44–57.

Background & Theory

This article focuses on understanding the styles in which employees and supervisors use when managing conflict. As we all come from different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, there has been a rise in conflict within organizations due to different mentalities. In using a collaborative and compromising communication style, we can thrive as a community and enhance productivity within the workplace.

Research Question(s)

1.) What are the best communication styles to use when managing conflict?
2.) How do our personal demographics correlate to conflict?


Division of Conflict Categories – Interpersonal Conflict

Through the research, conflict can be divided as conflict within the organization and external conflict between different organizations. Interpersonal conflict within the organization occurs when a member is required to perform certain tasks that don’t correlate with their values, morals, and goals. Moreover, interpersonal conflicts are highlighted within this study versus external conflicts because they are more prevalent. An example of internal cross functional conflict would be between the line and staff within marketing, human resources, and revenue operations. If each staff member from each department isn’t aligned on mission and vision there can be organizational conflict.

Management of Conflict in Organizations

Studies show that it is crucial to have constructive management for optimal performance within the organization. Although some organizations focus on resolving or minimizing the conflict, studies show that there should be more of a focus and emphasis on continuous learning transformation in order to create trust within the team. Producing an environment of psychological safety, trust with employees, and inclusion is the way of ensuring a preventive method in regards to conflict.


The results show that many conflicts that arise are due to work environment conditions and interpersonal conflicts. This can range from different cultures clashing in perspective, but also staff working under stressful work conditions. When analyzing the communication style of managers, the ones that were most effective was the collaborating style and the compromising style. If we learn to communicate effectively with an open mind, we are much more likely to compromise and find a middle ground that makes everyone content and comfortable.

What This Means

  • The more resources we provide our staff in regards to conflict management, less conflicts arise
  • If we use the compromise style of communicating we can deepen relationships across the team
  • In understanding our individual unique cultures, we can create more cohesion between staff and managers

Final Takeaway

For consultants: The collaborative and compromising communication styles are important styles to use when managing conflict.
For everyone: Conflicts are inevitable, in understanding our values, goals, and communication styles we can improve relationships with others.

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!

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