Is Team Harmony Necessary for Success? Cultural Beliefs About Conflict and Team Performance
University of Michigan - Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Eric J. Neuman
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Business Administration
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Psychology
University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business
Ross School of Business Paper No. 909
Despite empirical evidence that relationship conflict hampers team performance, recent cultural psychology theories have posited that European Americans underestimate the negative influence of relationship conflict. Consistent with research on Protestant Relational Ideology, a crosscultural experiment showed that compared with Koreans, European Americans were less likely to believe that relationship conflict - but not task conflict - limits a team's ability to succeed. European Americans were also more likely to join a talented team despite its likelihood of experiencing relationship conflict. Furthermore, secondary analyses showed that the cultural effect observed in participants' decisions to join the potentially conflict-ridden team was related to participants' beliefs about whether relationship conflict is detrimental to team performance.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30
Keywords: relationship conflict, task conflict, team performance, cultural differences, Protestant
JEL Classification: J21working papers series
Date posted: May 19, 2006
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