In young company: supervisor strategies for managing conflict with older subordinates.
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Urbantke, Lacy G.
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This study examined the conflict-management strategies used by younger supervisors with their older subordinates. The organizational culture variables of openness-to-change and supportiveness were also tested as mediating factors in the relationship between supervisor age and strategy selection. Survey data was obtained by subjects (n=132) through a network sample design. The sample represented professionals from ages 18-58 years with jobs in more than twenty industries. Subjects provided information about their conflict experiences with older workers and their organizational cultures. Results indicated that younger supervisors were more likely to use the avoiding style and less likely to use the collaborating style to manage conflict with older subordinates. The openness-to-change culture variable had a slight impact on the age-strategy relationship, but the age factor alone was found to be the most powerful predictor of the supervisor's selection of conflict management strategies.