Escalation of relationship conflict into work disengagement: uncovering mediation mechanisms

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3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Guided by the job demands-resources model, this study aims to investigate the underlying mediation mechanisms through which vertical relationship conflict between employees and their supervisors and horizontal relationship conflict between employees and their colleagues escalate into work disengagement. It proposes exhaustion and workplace social isolation as the mediators and explores the relative importance of vertical and horizontal relationship conflicts in influencing work disengagement through the distinct impacts of the mediators. Design/methodology/approach: Data collected from a three-wave study of 181 online-questionnaire respondents are used to test the research model using partial least squares structural equation modeling. Findings: Vertical relationship conflict has an indirect effect on work disengagement via exhaustion, whereas horizontal relationship conflict has an indirect effect on work disengagement via workplace social isolation. Compared with horizontal relationship conflict, vertical relationship conflict exerts a stronger effect on work disengagement. Originality/value: This study addresses a void in the literature on relationship conflict by investigating work disengagement from the perspective of both vertical and horizontal relationship conflict as well as from the perspective of both strain- and resource-centric mediators (i.e. exhaustion and workplace social isolation, respectively), providing a comparatively detailed analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-103
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Conflict Management
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan 6

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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