Cultural values, emotional intelligence, and conflict handling styles: A global study

Marjaana Gunkel*, Christopher Schlaegel, Vas Taras

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)
65 Downloads (Pure)


While previous research has identified cultural values and emotional intelligence as central determinants of conflict handling styles, little is known about the mechanism through which cultural values impact individuals' preferences for specific conflict handling styles. Based on a multinational dataset including 1527 individuals from ten different cultural clusters, the current study aims to integrate these two literature streams by examining the influence of cultural values on conflict handling styles through emotional intelligence. The results of structural equation modeling and mediation analysis show that in particular uncertainty avoidance and long-term orientation influence preferences for the conflict handling styles of compromising, obliging, and integrating through emotional intelligence. Furthermore, we find that collectivism has a direct negative effect on the preference for a dominating style and that power distance has a direct positive effect on the preference for an avoiding and a dominating style. Our study contributes to a more comprehensive and more integrative understanding of earlier research on the role of culture and emotional intelligence in conflict handling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-585
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of World Business
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Conflict handling styles
  • Cultural value dimensions
  • Culture
  • Emotional intelligence

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