Task Conflict, Integrative Potential, and Conflict Management Strategies in Joint Ventures
IEEE PES Transmission and Distribution Conference and Exposition, 2008
62 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2008
Existing studies of conflict management in joint ventures assume that the characteristics of the tasks that generate conflict have no impact on either the conflict-performance relationship or on the effectiveness of conflict management techniques. In this paper we challenge this assumption by examining joint venture conflict over R&D and marketing tasks. Because joint ventures decisions are made by two or more partners, often with very different goals and agendas, the potential for conflict is high. In some cases this conflict can have a positive impact on performance. We hypothesize that this possibility is more likely in the context of R&D task conflict, because (1) marketing task conflict is relatively more likely to involve distributive (win-lose) issues and (2) when win-win (integrative) potential exists, disputants are relatively less likely to perceive this potential in marketing-task conflicts (i.e., the disputantants in a marketing task conflict from a fixed-pie perspective). Our analysis of data collected from 196 joint ventures clearly supports this hypothesis. We also find that the relative effectiveness of different conflict-management strategies varies depending on whether they are applied to R&D or marketing task conflict.
Keywords: joint ventures, cross-functional projects, project conflicts, conflict resolution
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