Effect of superior–subordinate intergenerational conflict on job performance of new generation employees

Yongyue Zhu1, Hua Yang1, Guanglin Bai1
1School of Management, Jiangsu University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Zhu, Y., Yang, H., & Bai, G. (2016). Effect of superior–subordinate intergenerational conflict on job performance of new generation employees. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 44, 1499-1514.

Volume 44 Issue 9 | e5691 | Published: October 2016 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2016.44.9.1499

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We analyzed the influence of superior–subordinate intergenerational conflict on the job performance of 498 employees of Chinese enterprises born since 1980 (new generation employees). Results of a survey showed that the 3 dimensions of superior–subordinate intergenerational conflict, namely task conflict, relationship conflict, and procedural conflict, all had a significantly negative influence on the employees’ work engagement and job performance; work engagement exerted a significantly positive influence on job performance; work engagement played a partial mediating role in the relationship between both relationship conflict and procedural conflict and job performance, and fully mediated the relationship between task conflict and job performance; tolerance and confrontation in conflict resolution had a significantly moderating effect on the relationships between all 3 dimensions of superior–subordinate intergenerational conflict and work engagement; and coordination played a significant moderating role on the relationship between both task and procedural conflict and work engagement, but the role of coordination as a moderator in the relationship between relationship conflict and work engagement was nonsignificant. Theoretical contributions are discussed and options for practical guidance offered.

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