An Integrative Solution to the Conflict over Conflict

by Mannes, Albert Edward

Abstract (Summary)

The value of task-related conflict to team effectiveness continues to generate controversy in organizational studies. I argue that this debate reflects as much differences in the conceptualization of conflict by scholars from separate traditions as it does variation in empirical settings and methods. The model proposed in this research is a more general framework for the study of team conflict that clarifies, accommodates, and reconciles to a large degree the divergent findings of prior research. It suggests that recent pessimism about the value of team conflict is overstated, and it offers a number of promising paths through which task-related conflict may improve team performance and satisfaction. Chapter 1 reviews the history of this debate and introduces the model of team conflict. Chapter 2 documents a test of the model's propositions in a correlational study of 223 MBA teams conducting a decision-making exercise. Chapter 3 features an experimental test of the model with a forecasting task completed by 60 3-person groups. And Chapter 4 revisits the conflict over conflict in light of the studies presented herein.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Larrick, Richard

School:Duke University

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:business administration management psychology social sociology organizational conflict decision making diversity performance satisfaction teams


Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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