The Effects of Faultline Solo Splits on Relationship Conflict Asymmetry and Performance

39 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2008

See all articles by Lindred Greer

Lindred Greer

Leiden University - Social and Organizational Psychology

Karen A. Jehn

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School

Ilja van Beest

University of Amsterdam (UVA), Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences - Communication Science Department

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

In this paper, we introduce the concept of faultline solo splits. Faultline solo splits occur when a demographic dividing line in a group separates a single dissimilar group member from a larger subgroup of demographically similar members, as opposed to separating two dissimilar subgroups as has been examined in past faultline research. We examine how faultline solo splits impact within team differences in conflict and performance in two studies. In the field study, we found that faultline solo members had more negative experiences than other group members who were part of a subgroup. Faultline solo members experienced higher, asymmetric levels of relationship conflict and lower levels of perceived performance. In the laboratory experiment, we showed that this effect holds only for low status solo members. Low status solo members had more asymmetric conflict expectations and lower cognitive performance. We also found members of high status subgroups to experience similar effects, suggesting that 'too many cooks in the kitchen' may be as negative an experience for high status subgroup members as the experience as being a low status solo member.

Keywords: faultlines, conflict, diversity

Suggested Citation

Greer, Lindred and Jehn, Karen A. and van Beest, Ilja, The Effects of Faultline Solo Splits on Relationship Conflict Asymmetry and Performance (2007). IACM 2007 Meetings Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1080626 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1080626

Lindred Greer (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Social and Organizational Psychology ( email )

Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

Karen A. Jehn

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School ( email )

200 Leicester Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053 3186
Australia

Ilja Van Beest

University of Amsterdam (UVA), Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences - Communication Science Department ( email )

Kloveniersburgwal 48
Amsterdam, 1012 CX
Netherlands
+31(0)20 525 2110 (Phone)

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