Study of the Impact of the Principals' Emotional Intelligence and Self- efficacy on their Conflict Management Style at Secondary School Level


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Abstract

This study was undertaken in an education setup. Secondary school principals were the population of the study including public and private schools. A total of 351 principals were selected from public schools and 467 principals were selected from private sector schools. The sample size was calculated through Krejice and Morgan's sample selection table. Data was collected through a questionnaire. Three questionnaires were used for data collection. Responses of the respondents were measured by using five-point Likert Scale. Five hypotheses were formulated. All hypotheses were tested and accepted. Emotional intelligence is significantly related to conflict management. Self-efficacy has a significant impact on conflict management style. Principals of private schools and public schools were different in emotional intelligence. It was found that both sector principals had different opinions in respect of conflict management style. Public school principals and private school principals were significantly different in self-efficacy. It is recommended that proper training workshops and seminars may be arranged for principals to equip them on how to control the conflicting situations

 

Key Words

Emotional Intelligence, Self-efficacy, Conflict Management Styles, School Principals

 

Introduction

We are living in a new millennium and new ideas are emerging about measuring potential and competencies in emotional intelligence. New ideas about emotionally intelligent competencies do not rely solely on technical abilities and I.Q. alone. Social interaction has made people more effective participants and now they take an active part in organizational business (Rispens & Demerouti, 2016). The workplace provides an opportunity for all employees in which they can learn about emotions and behavior which help in delivering effective service in the organization. It was found that people with a high degree of emotional intelligence have a high degree of self-monitoring and empathetic perspective in workplace situations (UdDin et al., 2011).

People with a high degree of emotional intelligence have a high degree of cooperation towards others and have social skills in dealing with others in an organization. In a research study, it was found that emotionally intelligent people have a high level of affection in relationships and have material satisfaction (Rahman et al., 2017). People with a high degree of emotional intelligence could have a high level of social interaction as compared to people with a low degree of emotional intelligence. Such people are more skillful in motivating others to accomplish the goals and objectives of the organization. These findings declare that emotional intelligence could be considered a significant and desirable quality that leads to interpersonal attraction (Saleem et al., 2017).  

Emotional intelligence's significant role cannot be denied in an organization because when emotions are handled effectively, it results in handling the needs of individuals in an organization. Leaders or managers with a high degree of emotional intelligence could motivate others and people to feel comfortable and satisfied in the workplace (Arif, Din & Saleem, 2019). People with a high level of emotional intelligence are able to understand, perceive, and appraise the emotions of others, thus building a supportive environment in the workplace. Such people are thought to be more interpersonally understanding and sensitive, protective of other people, warm and less deceitful and critical. They are more likely to be better perceivers of advice and reassurance (Williams, 2008).

Emotional intelligence is the degree of mastering one's own emotions and also mastering the emotions of other people. Emotional intelligence helps people in shaping and controlling their emotional world and becomes reliable assets and thus achieves desirable success and goals. One can recognize the important and significant role of emotional intelligence in the workplace because it consists of many verbal and non-verbal competencies which empower an individual to understand, articulate, evaluate and identify own and others' feelings and emotions in a critical situation. Emotional intelligence is critical for an individual to identify certain emotions in others and apply them desirably. An individual with a high degree of emotional intelligence is a good and successful negotiator (Pooya et al., 2013).

Conflict is a situation when there arises a difference in interest, opinion, principles or when there are two different perspectives. Conflicts lead to nonproductive results or when resolved successfully, lead to final and quality products. There it is beneficial and important to resolve conflict immediately and successfully. Successful resolution of conflict results in high performance of the organization and also of the individual. Conflict results in mental health problems and creates stress and tension in the organization. In such stressful situations, people are unable to deliver services according to caliber and ability (Saleem, Malik, & Khattak, 2016).

Conflict management or resolution results in desired organizational outcomes and accomplishment of organizational goals and objectives. Conflict management leads to satisfaction, fairness, effectiveness and efficiency in an organization. Conflict is a matter which every individual would like to avoid in an organization or even in life. There are different types of conflict, like content conflict which arises when individuals disagree on how to deal with a certain issue. Relationship conflict occurs in a workplace when individuals disagree about one another. Process conflict is the type in which individuals disagree over the approach to the task. Task conflict occurs when there is disagreement in opinion in a group about a particular task (Bartlett, 2009).

Emotional intelligence plays a significant role in conflict management. Emotions are an important and significant part of the conflict in an organization. Emotions and workplace conflict in an organization or institution have a strong link. Generally, conflict is related to mental pressure and stress. It escalates negative stimulation and emotional response. Management and controlling of emotions is a major ability of individuals which is necessary and essential for handling conflict effectively in a workplace. To retain business relations in an organization, it is essential to manage conflicts effectively (Ariyani, Suyantno, Zuhaery, 2012).

Emotional intelligence is a competency to handle one's own emotions and the emotions of others in the desired way. It is the ability to deal with managers by means of enhanced conflict resolution skills. People with high emotional intelligence have a more established and satisfied life. Calmness exists in their life because such a person has fever conflicts in life. According to Ayoko et al. (2008), people with a high degree of emotional intelligence were searching for an integrative solution to the conflict. Such individuals try to avoid conflict in workplace and whenever conflict arises, they try to settle down it immediately.

 Conflict is a situation where there arise differences in interest, views, approaches or opinions. It is a situation from at least two different perspectives. Conflict usually leads to nonproductive results but sometimes it also results in a final quality product. It is vital for organizational and also individual productivity to resolve conflict efficiently. Conflict resolution is an integral part of team performance and also of profit achievement. According to Yu et al. (2006) significant relation was found between emotional intelligence and conflict management styles of the subordinates. Supervisors with high emotional intelligence had integrated and compromised conflict management styles.

There are five conflict management styles for resolving conflicts in organizations. These are obliging, integrating, compromising, dominating and avoiding conflict management styles. In integrating style, both parties first examine differences and then exchange information related to the conflict in order to reach a viable and satisfactory solution (Ergeneli, Metin,  Camgoz, & Karapinar, 2010). In integrating style, both parties encourage mutual commitment and incorporate each other ideas and opinions into a final agreement. In obliging style, supervisor views are given more importance than subordinates in reaching consensus. In this style supervisor or head of the organization attempts to minimize the differences and emphasize the other party's approval (Kearney et al., 2014).

In dominating conflict management style, a win-loss situation exists. In such a situation supervisor takes advantage of his position and neglects subordinates' ideas and opinions. The subordinates are unwilling to extend cooperation both mentally and physically. Compromising conflict management style is that style where there exists to give and take situation. In this style, both parties need a fast but temporary solution to reach for an amiable solution. According to Barbuto and Ye (2006), integrating a decision-making style is most effective while avoiding style is considered as least effective. They further concluded that accommodating style, integrating style and obliging style provokes less conflict in the organization and proved effective in resolving issues and conflicts. On the other hand, dominating style provokes conflicts in the organization and results in less productivity in the organization. Other research studies also concluded positive results about interaction style in handling conflicts in an organization (Mehdinezhad, & Mansouri, 2016).

Conflict is a natural part of every workplace and business situation. Conflict arises in an organization where work is against rules or vital interests. Conflict management is the practice of an individual to be able to identify and handle different conflicts efficiently and effectively. Conflict management has great importance for an individual to understand conflicts and know strategies how for resolving these conflicts. An individual has different conflict management styles (Rimm-Kaufman et al., 2005). Conflict management styles depend upon different factors like self-concept, life experience, position, communication skills and emotional intelligence competency. Emotional intelligence is the ability to know and control own emotions and the emotion of other people in an effective way. This research was designed to find the relationship between emotional intelligence, self-efficacy and conflict management styles of secondary school principals.

 

Objectives

§  To determine the relationship between emotional intelligence of principals and conflict management of principals

§  To explore the relationship between self-efficacy of principals and conflict management of principals

§  To determine the difference between public school principals and private school principals regarding emotional intelligence

§  To measure the difference between public and private school principals, referring to conflict management

§  To explore the difference between private school principals and public school principals regarding self-efficacy

 

H1: There is a significant relationship between emotional intelligence and conflict management styles of secondary school principals

H2: There exists a relationship between self-efficacy and conflict management styles of secondary school principals

H3: Private and public schools principals are significantly different in respect of emotional intelligence

H4: Public and private schools principals have a difference in responses referring to conflict management

H5: Both sector principals have differences in opinion regarding self-efficacy

 

A quantitative research design was used for this research in hand. Data was collected by using a survey questionnaire. The population of this study comprised of male principals which were selected from secondary schools. Principals of private sector secondary schools and principals of government schools were selected for the population. The reason for selecting male principals was cultural constraints as it is very difficult for a male researcher to collect data from girls' schools' populations selected from Haripur, Malakand, Mardan and Charsada Districts. Krejice and Morgan's (1970) table of sample selection was used for sample size. In this way, a total of 351 principals from public schools and 467 principals from private schools were selected for the sample. Three questionnaires were used for data collection. One questionnaire was used for emotional intelligence. The second questionnaire was used for conflict management styles and the third questionnaire was used for self-efficacy. Five-point Likert Scale was used to measure the responses of the respondents. The reliability of the three questionnaires was checked through Cronbach Alpha Coefficient. 

 

Data Analysis

Data was collected from the respondents through questionnaires. Before distributing the questionnaire, prior permission was taken from the respondents and was briefed about the purpose and objective of the data collection. A total of 351 questionnaires were distributed to public school principals and 467 questionnaires were distributed to private school principals. Data was analysed through SPSS version 21. Regression analysis and independent-sample t-test were used for data analysis.

 

Findings and Results

Findings

H1: There is a Significant Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Conflict Management Styles of Secondary School Principals


 

Table 1a. Model Summary

Model.

R.

R2.

Adj. R2.

Std. Err of Estimate

1

.460

.212

.211

.543

 

Table 1b. Coefficient

Model

Unstandardized

Coefficient

Standardized Coefficient

F

T

Sig

1

B

Std. Error

Beta

219.28

16.95

.00

Constant

1.768

.104

 

 

 

 

E1

.397

.027

.460

 

14.80

.00

Dependent Variable: Conflict Management

Predictor: Emotional Intelligence (EI)

 


Table 1 shows the result of the linear regression analysis test of emotional intelligence and conflict management style. It is seen in the table that the R2 value is .212. This value indicates that emotional intelligence (independent variable) explains 21.2% variance in conflict management styles (dependent variable). In this table F value is 219.28 which shows a high degree of model fitness. In this table, P-value is .00 which indicates that the relationship is significant because (p < .05). The value of Beta is .460 which illustrates that a unit change in the independent variable (emotional intelligence) will result in a positive change of .460 in the dependent variable (conflict management styles). This result shows that p-value is .00 (p < .05) which is significant. It shows that emotional intelligence is significantly related to conflict management style. Hence hypothesis H1 is accreted at a .95% confidence level.

H2: There exists a relationship between self-efficacy and conflict management styles of secondary school principals


 

Table 2a

Model.

R.

R2.

Adj. R2.

Std. Err of Estimate

1

.445

.198

.197

.548

 

Table 2b. Coefficient

Model

Unstandardized

Coefficient

Standardized Coefficient

F

T

Sig

1

B

Std. Error

Beta

219.28

15.73

.00

Constant

1.74

.111

 

 

 

 

Self-Efficacy   

.426

.030

.445

 

14.19

.00

Dependent Variable: Conflict Management

Predictor: Self-Efficacy

 


Table 2 shows the result of the linear regression analysis test of emotional intelligence and conflict management style. It is seen in the table that the R2 value is .198. This value indicates that emotional intelligence (independent variable) explains a 19.8% variance in conflict management styles (dependent variable). In this table F value is 201.58 which shows a high degree of model fitness. In this table, the P value is .00 which indicates that the relationship is significant because (p < .05). The value of Beta is .445 which illustrates that a unit change in the independent variable (emotional intelligence) will result in a positive change of .445 in the dependent variable (conflict management styles). This result shows that the p-value is .00 and is significant (p < .05) which is significant. It shows that self-efficacy is significantly related to conflict management style. Hence hypothesis H2 is accreted at a .95% confidence level.

 

H3: Private and public schools principals are

significantly different in respect of emotional

 intelligence


 

Table 3

School

N

Mean

Std. Dev

Mean Diff

F

T

Sig

Public

351

4.11

.708

.493

8.44

10.45

.00

Private

467

3.62

.634

.493

 

10.29

.00

 


Table 3 indicates the result of the independent sample test for determining the difference in the opinion of private and public school principals referring to emotional intelligence. It was aimed to find out whether private school principals and public school principals had the same opinion regarding their emotional intelligence competencies. The mean difference value is .493 which indicates that there was a difference in the responses of private and public school principals referring to emotional intelligence. The mean score value of private school

principals is 3.62 and the mean score value of government school principals is 4.11. In the above table, p value is significant as it is .00 and it shows a significant difference in the responses (p < .05). This result concluded that both sector principals are significantly different in their responses to emotional intelligence. It is evident from this result that our hypothesis H3 which states that private and public school principals are significantly different in respect of emotional intelligence, is accepted.


 

H4: Public and Private Schools Principals have Difference in Responses Referring Conflict Management

Table 4

School

N

Mean

Std. Dev

Mean Diff

F

T

Sig

Public

351

3.43

.687

.257

31.33

6.07

.00

Private

467

3.18

.523

.257

 

5.84

.00


Table 4 indicates the result of the independent sample test for determining the difference in the opinion of private and public school principals referring to conflict management styles. It was aimed to find out whether private school principals and public school principals had the same opinion regarding their emotional intelligence competencies. The mean difference value is .257 which indicates that there was a difference in the responses of private and public school principals referring to conflict management styles. The mean score value of

private school principals is 3.18 and the mean score value of government school principals is 3.43. In the above table, p value is significant as it is .00 and it shows a significant difference in the responses (p < .05). This result concluded that both sector principals are significantly different in their responses about emotional intelligence. It is evident from this result that our hypothesis H4 which states public and private school principals have differences in responses referring to conflict management styles, is accepted.


 

H5: Both Sector Principals have Differences in Opinion Regarding Self-efficacy

Table 5

School

N

Mean

Std. Dev

Mean Diff

F

T

Sig

Public

351

3.49

.548

-.248

11.81

-5.59

.00

Private

467

3.73

.681

-.248

 

-5.77

.00


Table 5 indicates the result of the independent sample test for determining the difference in the opinion of private and public school principals referring to self-efficacy. It was aimed to find out whether private school principals and public school principals had the same opinion regarding their self-efficacy. The mean difference value is -.248 which indicates that there was a difference in the responses of private and public school principals referring to conflict management styles. The mean score value of private school principals is 3.73 and the mean score value of government school principals is 3.49. In the above table, p-value is significant as it is .00 and it shows a significant difference in the responses (p < .05). This result concluded that both sector principals are significantly different in their responses about self-efficacy. It is evident from this result that our hypothesis H5 which states that the sector principals have differences in opinion regarding self-efficacy, is accepted

 

This research study was undertaken to study the relationship between two independent variables (self-efficacy and emotional intelligence) and one dependent variable (conflict management style). This research in hand was undertaken in an educational setup, selecting school heads as the population. It was determined that there was a significant impact of emotional intelligence on conflict management styles. This result is in line with other previous research studies. This result confirms the findings of some previous research studies. Wirawan (2010) found that emotional intelligence is significantly related to conflict management style. Leung (2010) also found that the emotional intelligence of the employees was significantly related to their conflict management style. Emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in handling conflict situations in an organization. According to Ibrahim and Shaikh (2013), people with a high degree of emotional intelligence know how to control their own emotions effectively and how to mould the emotions of other people in the desired way. Such a person manage conflicting situation amicably and settle down issues. Conflict needs and requires agreement, consensus and compromise which is not possible without the capability of recognizing and regulating emotions (Butler & Shibaz, 2019).

 

In this research study, emotional intelligence and self-efficacy were treated as independent variables. Conflict management style was treated as the dependent variable. It was determined from the result of this current research that the emotional intelligence of school heads has significantly related to their conflict management style. Principals with a high degree of emotional intelligence can handle the conflicting situation and conflicting behaviour effectively. Emotional intelligence is the degree of knowing and controlling one's own emotions and also of the emotions of other people. It was also determined that self-efficacy has a positive relationship with principals' conflict management styles. It was observed that there exists a difference in the response of principals including public sector and private sector schools in respect of emotional intelligence. Public school principals showed more competencies in emotional intelligence as compared to private school principals. The findings of this study will benefit all stakeholders of the education department. This study was conducted in an educational setup. Future studies may be conducted in some other setup touching open some other workplace-related variables.


 


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