Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Personality Traits and Conflict Management in Bankers

Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Personality Traits and Conflict Management in Bankers

Article excerpt

Invariably, every one experiences or witnesses some form of conflicts in their personal and professional lives, whether it is a disagreement over a policy matter, a clash of interest among family members or colleagues or an argument over a bargain, conflict is as much a part of our daily life as traffic or noise (Di-Chou & Wu, 2005). Conflicts at work place can undermine productivity, harm interpersonal relations and increase stress (Gauhar & Amjad, 2004). Therefore investigation of conflict in workplace generally involves understanding of bases of conflict and to identify effective ways to resolve conflicts (Chuen-Shing & Chang, 1995).

Conflict handling is essential both for organizations and employees. In workplace, if conflicts are coped appropriately, they lead to sense of keenness, teamwork and cooperation (Darling & Fogliasso, 1999; Darling & Walker, 2001; Cetin & Hacifazlioglu, 2004), however, when conflicts are not managed they can cause disunion, less determination, and turmoil in the same environment (Fritchie & Leary, 1998; Hirschman, 2001; Phillips & Cheston, 1979).

Rahim and Bonoma (1979); Rahim (1983b; 2002; 2015) categorized five conflict management styles on two dimensions of concern for self and concern for others as obliging, integrating, avoiding, compromising, and dominating. Obliging is cooperating with others with unassertiveness with low focus on self and high focus on others. Integrating consists of openness and interchange of thoughts and an endeavor to the resolution of issue with high concern for self as well as for others. Avoiding is keeping away from the conflict situation with no concern for self as well as for others. Compromising is to adopt a middle way in which both parties give up something to achieve a mutually acceptable solution with medium level of concern for self and others. Dominating is asserting and competing with high focus on self and low focus on others.

Different people manage conflicts in different ways. In part this variation is dependent on our upbringing, our life experiences and the efforts we have made towards our personal growth and development which shape our personality. The big five model (Costa & Mcrae, 1992) delineates five traits of personality named as extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. People with high level of extraversion are social, self-confident, and lively. The agreeable individuals are compassionate, and, co-operative. Conscientious people are well organized, industrious, single-minded, and reliable. People with high level of neuroticism are emotionally unstable, and prone to anxiety. People with openness to experience have active imagination; are attentive to the inner and outer world feelings; intellectually curious; entertain the new ideas and like to do unconventional acts (Costa & McCrae, 1992).

Number of studies have shown that conflict management styles are largely determined by personality (Hui-Ju; 2008; Moberg, 2001; Moss & Ngu; 2006; Salimi, Karaminia, & Esmaeil, 2011). Specifically with reference to big five personality traits, Antonioni (1998) found positive correlation of extraversion, agreeableness, openness to experience and conscientiousness with integrating conflict management style. Park and Antonioni (2007) observed that extroverted individuals collaborate (integrate) and compete (dominate) but do not accommodate (oblige) to resolve conflicts. Further they observed people with openness to experience collaborate. Moreover, agreeable individuals collaborate and accommodate but do not compete. Neurotics were also found to be more likely to collaborate. Some other studies (Jensen-Campbell & Graziano, 2001; Graziano & Tobin, 2002; Larsen & Buss, 2010) suggest that extrovert people prefer avoiding and compromising style to handle conflicts, while Individuals with high scores on agreeableness favor using negotiation and less agreeable persons try to assert their power to resolve conflicts. …

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