Gender and role in conflict management: Female and male managers as third parties

Imen Benharda*, Jeanne M. Brett, Alain Lempereur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study tested hypotheses drawn from the literature on gender, leadership, and conflict management about the outcomes facilitated by men and women in third party roles in dispute resolution in organizations. Data collected in association with an MBA teambuilding exercise showed that when women played third party roles in which they lacked authority over disputants, they were able to facilitate an outcome that was both acceptable to disputants and met organizational interests, more than men in these roles or than men and women in third party roles with authority. Behavioral data suggested that this effect was due to women in the third party peer role eschewing and men in the third party role displaying agentic behavior. The study contributes to the literature on gender, leadership, and conflict management by showing women's traditional leadership strengths of collaboration and participation can result in unique outcomes when they have less rather than more authority over disputants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-93
Number of pages15
JournalNegotiation and Conflict Management Research
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2013

Keywords

  • Conflict management style
  • Gender
  • Negotiation
  • Third party intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management

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