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Oluremi (Remi) B. Ayoko, Alison M. Konrad, (2012) "Leaders' transformational, conflict, and emotion management behaviors in culturally diverse workgroups", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, Vol. 31 Iss: 8
Research paper
Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose - Previous research has shown that diversity is related to both task and relationship conflict in groups. This paper posits that leadership is an important factor for maintaining high group performance and morale under conditions of conflict. We argue that leader conflict management, emotion management, and transformational behaviors determine the impact of conflict on group outcomes. Data from 585 people in 89 work groups showed that diversity increased task conflict but was unrelated to relationship conflict. Both task and relationship conflict were negatively associated with group performance and morale, and effective leadership reduced these negative effects to zero. Findings indicated partial support for our theoretical model predicting that leadership moderates the indirect effect of diversity on group outcomes occurring through the mediator of conflict.

Design/methodology/approach - Data (585 people in 89 workgroups) for this study were collected from group leaders and members in eight public service organizations in Australia. We used hierarchical regression to test the hypotheses regarding group performance and morale. We also followed the procedure outlined by Baron and Kenny (1986) to test the mediation and moderation hypotheses.

Findings - Work groups showed that diversity increased task conflict but was unrelated to relationship conflict. Both task and relationship conflict were negatively associated with group performance and morale, and effective leadership reduced these negative effects to zero. Findings indicated partial support for our theoretical model predicting that leadership moderates the indirect effect of diversity on group outcomes occurring...

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