Impact of Task Conflict on Job Satisfaction: Mediating Effect of Positive Emotions While Controlling Personality Traits

By Demirbag, Orkun; Findikli, Mine Afacan et al. | Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict, March 2016 | Go to article overview

Impact of Task Conflict on Job Satisfaction: Mediating Effect of Positive Emotions While Controlling Personality Traits


Demirbag, Orkun, Findikli, Mine Afacan, Yozgat, Ugur, Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict


INTRODUCTION

In a today competitive business world, companies are obliged to provide customer satisfaction with high performance to maintain their competitive advantage. In order to provide this satisfaction, human resources are the most important sources. So, job satisfaction is a crucial factor both employees and employers. Job satisfaction can be defined as "... a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's job or job experiences". Organizational goal of high priority has also been attainment of high level of performance through productivity and efficiency (Mount et al, 2006: 598). In order to achieve this, the organizations try to create a conducive and satisfied work force that causes high productivity, reduced turnover, improved commitment and involvement. Ayeni and Popoola (2007) pointed out there are three important dimensions of job satisfaction. The first one is that Job satisfaction is an emotional response to a job situation. As such it cannot be seen, it can only be inferred. Secondly, job satisfaction is often determined by how well outcome meet or exceed expectations. The last one is that job satisfaction represents several related attitudes which are most important characteristics of job about which people have effective response.

According to Affective events theory (AET), emotions are central to employees' job satisfaction and job performance (Weiss and Cropanzano, 1996). Moods and emotions of employees are in the center of the theory; therewithal conflict and conflict management are directly related to the moods and emotions of employees.

In the literature, task conflict is analyzed based on its level of intensity and it is depicted either as mild or intense (Todorova et al, 2014); and the conditions under which task conflict triggers positive or negative outcomes (De Dreu & Weingart, 2003; Shaw et al., 2011)

In this study, task conflict is analyzed based on mild and intense task conflict, the fact that high or low levels of task conflict produce different organizational outcomes (De Dreu & Weingart, 2003; Shaw et al., 2011; Todorova et al. 2014). It is assumed that mild task conflict takes place in the cases where coworkers generally deliberate and articulate different opinions and ideas; and they tend to share dissimilar or contrasting opinions by listening to each other's viewpoint and in some cases they tend to refute each other's perspectives. On the other hand, intense task conflict arises when coworkers usually disagree or dispute over their different opinions and ideas; and they are less likely to listen to others' opinions or alternative suggestions so that they forcefully and repeatedly attempt to persuade others to follow one's position

Mild conflict is generally more manageable than intense conflict. A number of studies find that mild task conflicts are more likely to produce and stimulate more information acquisition based on the assumption that in the cases of mild conflict, coworkers are more likely to develop positive attitudes which in turn increases the level of job satisfaction (Todorova et al, 2014). It also depends on the trust formation in a group. In a similar vein, constructive task conflicts prove to be more useful for reaching a higher degree of consensus whilst group decisions prove to have positive impact on individual acceptance and member satisfaction (Tompson, 2000). Moreover, the level of trust among group members affects the job satisfaction. If it increases, the level of job satisfaction will decrease when there is an intense task conflict (Amason, 1996).

AET model explains the linkages between employees' internal influences (e.g., cognitions, emotions, mental states) and their reactions to incidents that occur in their work environment that affect their performance, organizational commitment, and job satisfaction. In this situation, not only dose of conflict but also personality types should be analyzed in terms of job satisfaction. …

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