Anastasiou, S. (2020). The Significant Effect of Leadership and Conflict Management on Job Satisfaction. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 9(6), 9-17. https://doi.org/10.36941/ajis-2020-0107
Background & Theory:
Past studies have indicated that leadership and conflict management both have an effect on employee job satisfaction. However, it is through leadership and conflict management style that make this relationship positive or negative. Through reviewing these past studies, this literature review seeks to elucidate the effect of leadership style and constructive conflict management on job satisfaction.
Research was consolidated by Sophia Anastasiou to answer the following question:
- What is the effect of leadership and conflict management on job satisfaction?
60 past research studies and other resources were consolidated to create this literature review. The author focused on including studies that indicated a significant effect of leadership and conflict management on job satisfaction.
The studies reviewed suggest that it is reasonable to conclude that leadership and conflict management have a significant effect on job satisfaction. This review suggests that leadership style and conflict management style are interrelated, meaning that some leadership styles would necessitate the use of more constructive conflict management styles over others. The author especially focused on transformational leadership as one such style.
When employees are in conflict, transformational leaders approach the conflict with a spirit of collaboration, engaging in flexible and creative problem-solving that examines set policies and strategies to better achieve effective performance. Transformational leaders additionally approach conflict management with a desire to maintain and improve upon employee relationships, especially those who are adversely affected by the conflict. Previous studies have shown that leaders who utilize the laissez-faire style of leadership experience higher levels of conflict, whereas those who utilize transformational leadership experience lower levels of conflict with associated higher job satisfaction. The effect of leadership style on job satisfaction is showcased in a number of industries, including education, healthcare, civil service, construction, manufacturing, and more.
When engaged in by leaders, constructive conflict management increases the level of communication, organizational trust, and understanding. However, when conflict is ignored competition may increase, hindering healthy interpersonal relationships and teamwork. In turn, this leads to lower job satisfaction and reduced effectiveness. This review suggests that leaders should utilize the conflict management style most appropriate for the situations they find themselves in.
What We Can Learn:
Looking over this research, we can take away the following key insight:
- Utilizing a proper leadership style and applying constructive conflict management in the workplace are important elements to consider in raising job satisfaction. Leaders should consider incorporating the transformational leadership style for its encouragement of healthy interpersonal relationships and conflict management.
For Consultants: Teaching leaders how to constructively manage conflict can lead to greater job satisfaction for all. As leaders themselves, consultants should be aware of what leadership style they utilize to increase satisfaction of the consulting experience.
For Everyone: When job satisfaction is low at an organization, it is often due to ineffective leadership styles and little conflict management. Consider hiring a conflict resolution consulting firm to help incorporate more effective leadership styles and healthy conflict management practices at your organization.