When is Communication Effective for Reducing Interpersonal Conflict? The Moderating Effects of Credibility and Benevolence

  •  Kuang-Peng Hung    
  •  Chung-Kuang Lin    


Bidirectional communication on a personal level plays an important role in developing a long-term buyer-seller
relationship, but the process of interpersonal communication may be conflictual. Moreover, interpersonal trust
may amplify or suppress the level of conflict in the communication. The present study examines how credibility
trust and benevolence trust moderate the positive impact of bidirectional communication on reducing
interpersonal conflict in buyer-seller contexts. Surveying data from 251 procurement professionals revealed that
benevolence weakens the negative relationship between bidirectional communication and interpersonal conflict
whereas credibility trust does not moderate the relationship. The implications of the divergence roles of both
benevolence and credibility are discussed.

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