Impact of Conflict Resolution Strategies on Perception of Agency, Communion and Power Roles Evaluation

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Abstract

Two experiments probed the role of strategies used in social conflicts on perception of agency and communion. In study 1, persons who revealed prosocial orientation were perceived as less agentic, but more communal than those who revealed competitive orientation. In study 2 these findings were replicated in the context of organizational conflict, those who decided to use confrontational strategies were also perceived as more agentic, although less communal than these who used cooperative strategies. In line with the theory of power effects on objectification of social targets, the perceived agency and communion were differently linked to superior’s and subordinate’s evaluation. While perceived agency predicted the subordinate’s evaluation, perceived communion predicted superior’s evaluation, but not the other way round. Moreover, perception of communion (but not agency) mediated the negative effect of confrontational strategies on supervisor’s evaluation. On the other hand, perceived agency suppressed the effect of strategies on subordinate’s evaluation.

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Polish Psychological Bulletin

The Journal of Committee for Psychological Sciences of Polish Academy of Sciences

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