Conflict at work, negative emotions, and performance: a diary study

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This study examines how daily conflict events at work affect people's active (anger, contempt) and passive (sadness, guilt) negative emotions and in- and extra-role performance. We introduce the concept of conflict detachment and examined whether this coping strategy alleviates the degree of negative emotions a person feels due to a conflict experience. Sixty-two individuals from various professions in the Netherlands provided questionnaire and daily survey measures during five consecutive workdays. Multilevel analyses showed that daily relationship and process conflict experiences at work were positively related to daily negative emotions. In addition, the results demonstrated a lagged effect of passive negative emotions: feelings of guilt and sadness predicted lower in-role and extra-role performance the following day. We also found that conflict detachment moderated the relationship between daily conflict and negative emotions. We discuss the implications of our findings for organizational practice and suggest possible ways for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-119
Number of pages17
JournalNegotiation and Conflict Management Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Emotions
  • Interpersonal conflict


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