UQ Business School sheds new light on managing workplace conflict

21 Aug 2009
With workplace conflict a big issue in Australian organisations, UQ Business School Honours student Jeremy Chen is finding out just how this affects workplace trust. Given the importance of managing conflict within organisations, Jeremy is expecting his research to be highly significant for the management field. "This research plays a significant role in the management field as conflict has been largely regarded to be inevitable in organisations, and relationship repair is of increasing interest to researchers in this field today," he said. The management student said his Honours research explored the mediating and moderating effects of emotions and accounts or explanations of conflict on the relationship between conflict and workplace trust. "Specifically, the research aims to find out if conflict accounts will lower negative emotions and increase perceptions of trust in the face of workplace conflict," he said. Jeremy gave a presentation on his progress so far at the recent UQ Business School Research Colloquium - an annual opportunity for research students to share their progress, learn from the comments of fellow students and academics, and hone their presentation skills. "I presented my research model briefly in the colloquium. Research questions, objectives, as well as the model's main constructs were defined and explained, together with my proposed methodology," he said. And just how is Jeremy examining this complex relationship between workplace conflict and trust? "The project will use quantitative methods. In particular, I will be collecting data from a sample of students making use of likert-scaled questionnaires. Following which, the collected data will then be tested using regression analysis," he said. After graduating from Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore with a Diploma in Business Information Technology, Jeremy came to UQ in 2007 to study the Bachelor of Business Management course offered by UQ Business School, and began his year-long honours project at the start of this year. "I chose to study management in UQ Business School as I knew it could equip me with both theories and hands-on knowledge that will benefit me in the working world. After half a year in honours, I have not only gained skills in critical thinking, but have also been exposed to the exciting world of research," he said.